The Faculty of Sociology of Wrocław University,
Wrocław Branch of the Polish Sociological Association
and Wrocław Contemporary Museum
would like to invite you to an interdisciplinary conference

Functions – dynamics – mechanisms

Fashion is what introduces clothes into the area of interest of sociologists, and not only. It is an important social and research category, emphasising the social functions of clothes, such as expressing oneself, manifesting belonging to a certain social group, wealth and prestige. It has turned the presentation of new clothes into a social event. Its economic dimension has also increased in significance. As a result, fashion has become an important social and market mechanism. However, not each act of putting on clothes and showing them to others is fashion. Getting dressed and showing the outfit to others are an important part of everyday life of each of us. Clothes serve a crucial roles in our lives – they open up a vast area of thoughts, habits and choices that influence us. Broadening the category of fashion to include all the intriguing aspects of clothes makes it even more ambiguous and liquid.

On the other hand, whatever we wear in public spaces carries a certain significance. There exists an important asymmetry: researchers have paid much attention to fashion while relatively little to everyday clothes and getting dressed. Perhaps it stems from the banality of clothes/getting dressed, or from the lack of an appropriate methodology for studying this sphere of social life. It is therefore worth recapitulating our knowledge and posing questions about what we already know about fashion, how to address the category of clothes/getting dressed as a socio-cultural phenomenon, without limiting it to fashion. What are the functions performed by fashion and clothes? What dynamics characterise each of the phenomena? Are they the same for different social groups? What is the impact of fast fashion on high street? What sort of clothes do we wear on an everyday basis? Does there exist a connection between processes in fashion and our long-term behaviour, and if so, what is it based on? Is it possible to detect differences in the way inhabitants of various countries or cities dress? Are the clothes worn by people in informal situations capable of providing us with information about their ways of coping with tensions such as individuality-conformism, local-global, egalitarian-elite, individual-mass?

We are going to address these issues during our conference. It will consist of speeches in thematic blocks (20-25 min.), followed by Q&A sessions, and presentations of projects (45 min.). The detailed list of subjects and the schedule have been prepared on the basis of the submitted papers.