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Ann Mari Sellerberg

Ann Mari Sellerberg

Professor emerita

Ann Mari Sellerberg



  • Ann Mari Sellerberg


  • Neil J Smelser
  • Paul B Baites

Summary, in English

Fashion's universal nature does not preclude strong variations in its significance from society to society. As a stratification variable, fashion's importance increases in step with economic growth. Simmel sees the ‘need for distinction’ and the ‘need for union’ as preconditions for fashion, with certain societies lacking the necessary motivation. Variations in fashion's importance have also been tied to women's standing in society; according to Veblen, their role was to be vicarious consumers and thus vehicles of fashion. There are numerous theories on what drives fashion's continuous changes. The theory of social differentiation argues that fashion is based on class, the upper classes abandoning a fashion once it has trickled down to the lower classes. The theory of fashion's internal dynamic contends that changes are powered by an Eigendynamik in fashion; Nedelmann develops the idea of the inherently contradictory nature of fashion. The theory that fashion is a manifestation of the expression for other social change is a variant of spirit of the age theory. Different system theories analyze the influence of the different elements of the fashion system. Trickle-down theory has been criticized by system theorists for failing to take into account the complex organizational and marketing structures that mediate fashion. Arguing for a violation of convention theory, Campbell has identified peripheral groups such as bohemians and artists—not the upper class of social differentiation theory—as setting fashion in motion by defying convention. Fashion offers a means of psychological expression, but also a social expression of protest. A number of researchers see distinct cycles in fashion. However, the transient symbols of what is right at a given moment can never be nailed down in advance, making unpredictability the decisive characteristic of fashion.


  • Sociologi






International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences


On line


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  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • processes of change
  • differentiation
  • theory
  • fashion
  • sociology
  • sociologi