By Daniel Miller
This clean and obtainable ethnography bargains a brand new imaginative and prescient of ways society could cohere, within the face of on-going worldwide displacement, dislocation, and migration. Drawing from in depth box paintings in a hugely assorted North London local, Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward concentrate on a daily item—blue jeans—to research what one easy article of garments can let us know approximately our person and social lives and demanding, via extension, the foundational anthropological presumption of “the normative.” Miller and Woodward argue that blue denims don't continually characterize social and cultural distinction, from gender and wealth, to kind and situation. as an alternative they locate that denims permit participants to inhabit what the authors time period “the ordinary.” Miller and Woodward exhibit that the emphasis on turning into traditional is critical for immigrants and the inhabitants of North London extra typically, they usually name into query foundational ideas in the back of anthropology, sociology and philosophy.
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Additional info for Blue Jeans: The Art of the Ordinary
He turned his passion for bikes into his job for a while, as he worked for the Royal Automobile Club motorcycle display team fixing bikes. Once he was working he could afford proper motorcycle leathers. So although there are clear points of difference between Darren and his father in that Darren never went as far as wearing leathers for motorcycle riding (never being that serious about it), there are also continuities. Darren’s father says of his son that when he goes out he looks very different from his crowd of friends.
The key term here is generation. There is an extensive academic debate over this term: Allan and Jones (2003), for example, Life | 23 prefer to use cohort, as generation is linked to kinship. But cohort has its own problems and is, moreover, less colloquial. Taking our cue from the ethnography, we see a generation not just in terms of people born around the same time but also as an affinity and memory with respect to music and clothing in particular (see also Corsten 1999). These are not just issues of style; they are defined by the way people behaved at that time, as well as by wider social changes and aspirations.
His jeans must therefore be considered in relationship to the rest of his wardrobe, as different categories and types of clothing serve different functions within his life. The concept of wardrobe will be important throughout this chapter, as the reasons people have for wearing jeans will always in some sense be relative to the other clothing choices available to them. Darren is typical of many informants in that the meaning jeans have for him comes from the contrast with the clothing he wears at other times, differences that help him compartmentalize his life into appropriate domains.