"We make the shoes, you make the story" teenage girls' experiences of fashion: Bricolage, tactics and narrative identity

Gilles Marion, Agnes Nairn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores the ways that French teenage girls use fashion discourse to construct their evolving identity from their recently left childhood to their future as fully grown women. Verbatim texts of 14 phenomenological discussions concerning clothing, accessories, make-up and fashion are interpreted using the concepts of bricolage (Lévi-Strauss),tactics (Certeau) and narrative identity(Ricoeur). The findings resonate with Thompson and Haytko's portrayal of adialogical relationship between consumers and a system of countervailing fashionmeanings and with Murray's exposition of a dialectical and discursive tensionbetween sign-experimentation and sign-domination. But beyond this we elucidate the process by which teenagers also acquire, from personal social milieu, skills and tactics through which they toy with preconstrained sartorial symbolism to construct the plot line of their own lives which, in turn, reflects their past, defines their present self and presages their future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-56
Number of pages28
JournalConsumption, Markets and Culture
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Bricolage
  • Fashion
  • Narrative identity
  • Tactics
  • Teenagers

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