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Undressing the Androgynous Body: Analysing Gender Equality in the Representation of Androgynous Bodies within Contemporary Swedish Fashion
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Stemming back thousands of years, the term androgyny continues to raise uncertainty regarding its definition in contemporary society. Simultaneously, the term has come to represent a body ideal and fashion that signals gender equality. Analysing gender equality in relation to androgyny, the aim of this study is to address power relations within gender in the construction of androgynous bodies in contemporary Swedish fashion. Building on feminist theories by Judith Butler and Luce Irigaray; along with Pierre Bourdieu's idea of habitus and Sara Ahmed's ideas, questioning what is considered natural, the historical connection between the straight male body as representation of a standard, gender-neutral body is highlighted. Through visual analysis of campaign images produced by Acne Studios, Filippa K and Tiger of Sweden, the masculine domination of the androgynous ideal is revealed and further problematized using focus groups and separate interviews to include consumers and retail workers, in order to answer the questions; how the androgynous body is represented in contemporary Swedish fashion, and in what ways the androgynous body represents gender equality versus inequality. Although the results show that androgyny questions traditional gender roles and encourages to express individuality in dress, the ideal also prioritizes the masculine, using the male straight body as sign of a gender-neutral and thus natural human body, making the female curvaceous body appear unnatural and sexualized.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Androgyny, Body Ideals, Gender, Equality, Power, Fashion
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145477DiVA, id: diva2:1129684
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Examiners
Available from: 2017-08-29 Created: 2017-08-06 Last updated: 2017-08-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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