The clothes we wear tell stories about us—and are often imbued with cultural meanings specific to our ethnic heritage. This concise A-to-Z encyclopedia explores 150 different and distinct items of ethnic dress, their history, and their cultural significance within the United States.
The clothing artifacts documented here have been or are now regularly worn by Americans as everyday clothing, fashion, ethnic or religious identifiers, or style statements. They embody the cultural history of the United States and its peoples, from Native Americans, white Anglo colonists, and forcibly relocated black slaves to the influx of immigrants from around the world. Entries consider how dress items may serve as symbolic linkages to home country and family or worn as visible forms of opposition to dominant cultural norms. Taken together, they offer insight into the ethnic-based core ideologies, myths, and cultural codes that have played a role in the formation and continued story of the United States.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; October 2014
- ISBN 9780759121508
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: Ethnic Dress in the United States
- Author: Annette Lynch (ed.); Mitchell D. Strauss (ed.); Joanne B. Eicher (other); Linda Arthur Bradley (contrib.); Naomi Braithwaite (contrib.); Steeve O. Buckridge (contrib.); Laura L. Camerlengo (contrib.); Carol Ann Colburn (contrib.); Vishna Collins (contrib.); Jennifer Craik (contrib.); Jamie R. Cupit (contrib.); Jennifer Daley (contrib.); Tameka N. Ellington (contrib.); Sandra Lee Evenson (contrib.); Marie-Claire Eylott (contrib.); Irene M. Foster (contrib.); Arianna E. Funk (contrib.); Blaire O. Gagnon (contrib.); Adam Geczy (contrib.); Karen J. Gilmer (contrib.); Priscilla N. Gitimu (contrib.); Rebecca W. Greer (contrib.); Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi (contrib.); Silke Hagen-Jurkowitsch (contrib.); Laura McLaws Helms (contrib.); Ellen Hlozan (contrib.); Rogelia Lily Ibarra (contrib.); Rebecca Nelson Jacobs (contrib.); Tracy Jenkins (contrib.); Michelle Jones (contrib.); Helen Koo (contrib.); Abby Lillethun (contrib.); Luanne Mayorga (contrib.); Ellen C. McKinney (contrib.); Marcella Milio (contrib.); Aprina Murwanti (contrib.); Susan Neill (contrib.); Virginia M. Noon (contrib.); Anupama Pasricha (contrib.); Victoria Pass (contrib.); Juliette Peers (contrib.); Lauren Downing Peters (contrib.); Irina Zhoukova Petrova (contrib.); Harini Ramaswamy (contrib.); Helen Ritchie (contrib.); Jennifer Rothrock (contrib.); Mary Ruppert-Stroescu (contrib.); Jessica Schwartz (contrib.); Erica Suzanne Scott (contrib.); Wendy Rosie Scott (contrib.); Sabrina Skerston (contrib.); Toby Slade (contrib.); Celia Stall-Meadows (contrib.); Susan M. Strawn (contrib.); Jessica Strübel (contrib.); Caitlin Tracey-Miller (contrib.); Jennifer Van Haaften (contrib.); Laura Van Waardhuizen (contrib.); Rebecca Vang (contrib.); Joan Webster-Vore (contrib.); Linda Welters (contrib.); Juanjuan Wu (contrib.); Cassidy Zachary (contrib.)
Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
In The Press
One way that multicultural diversity in the United States can be seen is by observing past and present ethnic influences on contemporary fashion. Like much of the US population, anorak parkas, Ugg boots, pashmina shawls, and dashikis—to name just a few of the topics covered in this concise volume—all came from somewhere else. More than 150 diverse and unique clothing items, including headwear, shoes, jewelry, and accessories, are described in short signed essays by contributors with academic credentials or professional interests in fashion and costume. Each signed entry provides a brief history of the artifact's origins, how it has been interpreted in the US, and the influences or impact it may have had on popular dress and culture. The entries provide ample see also and compare to cross-references, along with short lists of further readings. Selected entries are accompanied by small but detailed black-and-white ink drawings. The inclination of some contributors to provide examples of ethnic dress worn by particular film and music celebrities tends to date some of the entries. Based on the content and writing, this resource seems most appropriate for public libraries and secondary-school reference collections. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.
About The Author
Annette Lynch is a professor in the Textile and Apparel Program at the University of Northern Iowa. Her research focuses on the role of dress and appearance in negotiating gender role transformation and cultural change, particularly within the United States. Her book Dress, Gender and Cultural Change examined the role of dress worn within rites of passage in modifying and reinventing tradition and gender ideals for Hmong and African American teenagers and young adults. She has also written extensively on the mainstreaming of porn culture into fashion and identity constructions in the new millennium.
Mitchell D. Strauss is professor of textiles and apparel at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been involved in education and consulting with the textile industry for more than thirty years. He has also served as the dean of the Institute of Textile Technology, department head of Design, Textiles and Interior Design at Kansas State University, and director of textile research at Air Products & Chemicals. His most recent scholarship has included field research exploring the meaning of dress among Confederate Civil War re-enactors, as well as coauthoring with Dr. Lynch Changing Fashion: A Critical Introduction to Trend Analysis and Meaning.