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Collective Selection Versus Class Differentiation

Selection" argues that fashion as a power in culture, collective selection substitutes category differentiation as a purpose for its active change. The elites (buyers and designers) will be the ones that move but do not impact the style system thus leading to collective selection. This occurs because customers and designers are intertwined in a mesh of an uniform culture where they read the same trends and also have the sort of influences to each other. The collective selection forms part of a fresh movements towards newer likes with driving makes of fashion being historical continuity (newer fashions arising from older ones), modernity, collective flavour from social relationship and finally internal motives which Blumer (1969) acknowledges but will not favour. From his exam, he observes fashion as a central make that affects cultural sociology. His form of fashion is semi-autonomous which responds to but it isn't influenced by opinions and style of elites. This is a first look at by sociologists to use the topic of fashion very seriously. Georg Simmel in his 1904's class research of fashion got given a casual examination of this issue.


Fashion has become the creative and important industry on the globe. Everyone participates in development of the fashion industry to a certain degree. Fashion is a topic that occasionally rediscovers itself which is interesting in its dynamics of humanities and sociable sciences. Community thinkers over time have treated the fashion industry as a windowpane for communal change and social course. Fashion has been looked at to embody characteristics representing modernity and culture. Some sociologists claim that it's hard to fathom a public life be it in arts, sciences, politics, entertainment, academia, business, rules or morality without exhibiting components of fashion in one way or another. Contemporary society tend to flock to styles, ideas, methods and practices that show up new and thrilling to them, and over time of your time, the power of the fascination diminishes when newer ones emerge. The necessity and need to be in fashion is manifested generally in dressing. That is seen as a a move of the society's or inividual's continuity and the also the drive to adopt new inventions.

A cultural examination of fashion is vital in understanding the active shift in styles as time passes. Unlike the trickle down theory by Georg Simmel in 1904 which didn't monitor fashion first-hand, the Blumer's collective selection theory offers attention to the whole process of meaning to modern culture with concentrate on techniques that are fashionable. An observation is made from the above mentioned two theories that fashion setters will be the ones who mainly benefit from the intertwined romance whereas followers benefit a bit. Blumer asks fellow sociologists to take seriously this issue of fashion. He argues that this is so because fashion is more than clothing. Fashion is natural as it didn't appear to society that ever sold as fashion but successes that were up-to-date. He further says that fashion is important socially because where it manages whether it be in idea, business or technology, it assumes a central position. Blumer asserts that fashion is a tendencies that is rational. Fashion has its respectability because people react to its character that is of differentiation and propriety.

Simmel's (1957) view of fashion as style in his trickle-down theory provided insights including the relevance of prestige in fashion operation and the correct recognition of the realm of fashion as a form of change which is natural as opposed to aberrant. This examination however falls in short supply of catching the real position of fashion as a wider sociable happening. Simmel brings that fashion is adopted by interpersonal elites for the reason why of classifying themselves from the other lower school. The lower group or class adopts the design of the top group. When new styles emerge, the upper class shifts to flee from other counterparts hence leading to a continuous trickle-down effect seen as a the need for the upper class to tell apart themselves. The bottom line is, fashion is influenced by dependence on social stratification and cultural mobility. Though there's been vast criticism of the public class theory to be simplistic and also one-dimensional, it has already established broad impact on today's fashion because observation of fashion developments of many consumers show that high status people and the wealthy set the trend in fashion. As an example fashion magazines show images of items which are highly costed and beyond your reach of lower school group, this result in a drive for the ordinary group to imitate and emulate the rich. However, it isn't the wealth and prestige of the elite that makes the very design fashionable, but it is the design's potential fashionableness that allows the elite's prestige to be attached. That is possible because the elite, rather than placed the movements/fashion, they have difficulties and make an effort to follow its way. This is based upon the fact that people will consume fashion however, not for their riches or prestige with their social class but just to show fashionability. Furthermore, the top notch have to produce a decision of choosing between fighting trends popular and that the choice they make is not necessarily reliant on prestige of the innovator of the same fashion. In addition, class structure of the 20th century was different from the subsequent ages. The modern society's category has a diversified structure and sets emphasis on fashion modernity.

Zeitgeist theory

Blumer (1969) expands on the views of Simmel by outlining all the societal conditions of fashion appearance because fashion emanates from societies. On the theory advanced by Herbert Blumer, fashion originates from a process that is collective where people choose collective tastes indicated in trends in fashion. The driving pressure of fashion is not necessarily imitation of the higher class people by itself, rather they follow styles in fashion because of their need to be fashionable. Consumers bother making a choice among various possibilities in the fashion market. People think of alternatives of their fashion as personal style and expressing personality. As the selection goes on at individual level, it also occurs in aggregation into tastes that are collective.

As selection and aggregation process in fashion goes on, a zeitgeist theory of development is reflected. Specific choices in fashion spark a activity which has collective identity implications on society. For example a method observed by the public physique may manifest the zeitgeist tendency. The idea is a critique of the trickle-down effect of imitation of men and women of high position. The theory views fashion and style as a collective or aggregation of alternatives of individuals in the contemporary society. It stresses not imitation or copying, however the desire by a person to be classy. For instance, the need to be in fashion will not necessarily mean emulation of beliefs, lifestyle, or status of the group that sported the style first. Such individuals may opt to maintain a collective second which does not require imitation of what others are wearing. A position theory in movements might claim that joining a pattern is copying. Moreover, fashion increases as emulation then practices by a drop when early adopters make an effort to stratify themselves from the masses by adopting new style. After that it uses that, if one will try to equate subscribing to a style with copying, then your conclusion is that copying is a driving a vehicle push for fashion. However, the trickle-down impact or position theory does not completely exhaust all the motivations for trends in fashion. Based on the zeitgeist theory, imitation of elites and copying will not completely define fashion. Therefore, the idea disaggregates fashion from copying and this it goes not because the market is saturated with copies. The bottom line is, copying popular change may play a small role but it is not the engine without that your industry's invention would stagnate.

Social construction factor of fashion in a society

Blumer argues that fashion as a form of change is not associated with any field arbitrarily but it could affect or affect the content of this particular field which it performs. Fashion is the linkage to days gone by, today's and the continuing future of the enthusiasts of fashion. Blumer (1969) offers six features which can be basic principles of fashion which underline the function played by time in the whole fashion process. First is the readiness and willingness to change specifically in the region and the individuals through their methods, beliefs, attachments and they must also prepare yourself to accept new types of interpersonal order which thrusts them in to the right direction in the future. The assumption and presupposition is the fact the area of fashion change is within passage, it will responding to changes around it which is geared towards left over up to date with current and new improvements.

Secondly, new proposals or models compete for them to be followed and embraced. The models for adoption should be diverse by covering a range of viewpoints, styles, doctrines, tactics, lines of preoccupation and artifacts use. Thirdly, there should be relatively free room or chance for making a choice between the proposals or models. Fourthly, the selection should be produced based on response to the interplay or incipient style rather than rational things to consider, merit or utility. This brings the difficulty of willpower of merits because the guiding concepts of fashion are not utilitarian or factors that are rational.

Fifthly, is the topic of existence of characters who are prestige and who espouse upon themselves the contending proposals. Blumer (1969) contributes that what is perceived to depend on date is better than mere advertising of trends popular of certain figure that is prestigious (actor, organization, specific). The 6th element or feature is the region of applicability of the fashion. It ought to be open to growing new hobbies in response to effects of outside situation/events, new members being introduced in the fashion area and shift social connections. Blumer argues a span of fashion development must be there so that a given model is solidified and socially raised which is important for a certain timeframe (Blumer, 1969: 288). According to Meyer and Rowan (1977) as fashion comes and moves within the context of institutional environment, so long as they are simply accepted and institutionalized as expectations in behavior, they can be regarded as organizations.

A critique of fashion system features

Viewing fashion mechanism from the perspective of an ongoing process of fashion that is of collective selection in a competitive model brings another type of picture of interpersonal analysis. The elites popular form part of your collective process which responds to a shift in level of sensitivity and taste. Features such as historical continuity, modernity, collective flavour and subconscious motives which influence fashion mechanisms are talked about below.

Historical continuity

Fashion increases out of predecessors. The innovators of fashion always consider prevailing fashion for purposes of embracing, elaborating or departing from it. A continuity lines is thus formed which typically has a tendency. This continuity means that no extreme change occurs. On the other hand Blumer calls the popular adornments which lack "successor" as "fads".


Blumer refers to modernity as zeitgeist. Fashion is modern and looks for to remain up to date with contemporary times. Fashion is obviously sensitive to changes in developments. Fashion becomes dependable and attentive to trend, to developments in ornamentation, textiles, and fine arts.

Collective taste

Collective taste is a pressure that ensures a process which selects, places limits and provides direction and also undergoes refinement through attachment to social forms. Tastes is tri-fold in characteristics. It operates such as a selector by giving basis for rejection or approval. It is also an agent which leads the development of action lines and by shaping objects for the purposes of meeting demand. Fashion change occurs frequently in societies where there is more relationship between people and where in fact the newness of the change is most valued rather than feared. Fashion is also not specific but interpersonal in mother nature.

Psychological Motives

Earlier scholars have traced fashion to be needs for notoriety and personal prestige. For instance, some define it as your time and effort towards increasing the do it yourself attractiveness under conditions that impair one's integrity of the ego. Matching to Blumer (1969), such explanations are shallow as they singly or either collectively, has been struggling to account for movements in fashion because they don't show how the several emotions lead to fashion process. The explanations are unsuccessful show fashion as a collective selection process as it is. In summary, there are numerous factors influencing fashion change. Fashion change is chosen collectively through interplay between general public taste that is vibrant and desire by the elite group to shape modernity which is part of the public. Fashion, matching to Blumer (1969) looks as a collective school or grouping for the longer term than a trend that is laid down by the prestige statistics.


Blumer's (1969) research of fashion as being social rather than specific in aspect is a alternative attempt by the sociologist to clarify the topic. Blumer (1969) concludes that fashion helps individuals and population in general to cope with the dynamics and potential complexities of modern world. Through the procedure of collective selection, sociable order is achieved. Fashion brings into fore a way of measuring uniformity and unanimity in a market that could have been fragmented. It introduces some order in the present. It can so by establishing a model that limits variability hence guaranteeing uniformity. Secondly, fashion acts at detaching the grasp of past happenings in a energetic world. This calls for option to go towards new directions hence it cannot be referred to as old-fashioned or out-of-date. Finally fashion works as prep that is orderly to the future. It includes elites the chance to give their models and at the same time adopts those that withstand collective selection. The aforementioned three ways help society move in a unified and orderly manner. Fashion should be viewed as a pivotal mechanism which informs cultural order in a modernized culture. Sociologists should make an effort to analysis fashion without irrationality and inconsequential patterns.

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