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Re: Lesson 1: Group Identity

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  • lindseymacallister
    Fascinating commentary about your experience in Brazil. No matter the country, I bet everyone has found themselves underdressed at some point. Isn t it
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 21, 2008
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      Fascinating commentary about your experience in Brazil.
      No matter the country, I bet everyone has found themselves
      underdressed at some point. Isn't it interesting the social
      expectations we place on ourselves!

      --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
      <peterlenting@...> wrote:
      >
      > The group that I want to focus on is the working class here in
      > Brazil (Remeber that I live and work in Soutrh America´s biggest
      > city, São Paulo).
      > Working class Brazilians celebrate social/religious occasions in
      > disticnt and clear ways - Very well and smartly dressed for
      weddings
      > and some chrasmatic church groups and virtually just and "old rag"
      > for weddings. I once attended a wedding
      > for which my wife had told me that it wasn´t at all necessary to
      > wear anything formal because people are normally very informal.
      Much
      > to my dismay I found out that it was exactly the opposite as
      > everyone was extremely well dressed and made up. The women were
      > mostly drressed in ball gowns and the men in two piece suits. No
      > wool or silks though. Nylons and polyesters I suppose are always
      > more cost effective but also better for the humidity. My wife and I
      > are fairly laid back about fashion but I never attended a wedding
      > again without formal dress. One has to conform some time or the
      > other.
      >
      > Funerals on the other hand are almost the opposite extreme.
      Everyone
      > seems to wear whatever was available in the closet on that day. I
      > simple see this as not necessarily being a sign of disrespect but
      > rather of a sense of life must go on!
      > Social status is very important in Brazil but is not one of the
      > major factors that determines something like dress sense. The vast
      > majority of people identify themselves with the group and conforms
      > to it. It is therefore difficult to point out in this group who is
      > who just by looking at way someone is dressed. Individuals
      > differentiate themselves in other ways for example by the cars they
      > drive or the gated community they live in.
      > Attraction between people is also not truly based on a clothes
      > although clothes do help point out certain assets. Beauty and
      health
      > is very strong at the moment so it is very common to see young men
      > and women whose bodies are well toned through long and hard
      physical
      > training. So much so that a pair of broad shoulders means more than
      > what´s inside of the head. I have to mention beach wear as this is
      > also a definite major cause of physical attraction. Nudity on
      > Brazilian beaches is a taboo. Women wearing a G-string bikini on
      the
      > other hand is the 8th wonder of the world. The idea of the prefect
      > from is taken literally in many cases so that Brazil is one of the
      > world leaders in the number of corrective surgeries
      > performed.
      > I believe that it is very difficult not to conform to the group as
      > individuals who do not will be ostrasized. A good examaple of this
      > was when I went to a local neighbourhood supermaket without shoes
      > and was stared at as if I had slaughtered a holy cow. Individual
      > tastes are not taken into account and these individuals are
      expected
      > to conform or be excluded.
      >
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