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Fugging Theory

September 21, 2007

Finally! I have a way to rationalize my love for Go Fug Yourself, the hilarious blog commenting on poor fashion choices by the elite. No, I don’t love it because I’m a secret fashionista, or even because I like celebrity gossip… it’s because I can relate it to sociological theory, in terms of impression management. Yeah… that’s it…

It does relate though. Symbolic interactionism (particularly Goffman’s Dramatugy) theorizes that we manage the impressions that we make in order to have some control over how we are perceived. We generally aim for consistency between our performances as our performances reflect (and create) our selves. When a performance is badly done, or differs from our expectations, the definition of the situation is shattered. How are we supposed to take our celebrities seriously when…? Er I mean, how can we respect and admire celebrities if…? Hmm, how about, how can we idolize people who…? Oh, never mind. It’s just fun and self-affirming in a nasty sort of way to see that even though you have a great body, millions of dollars, and people paid to wash and dress you, you can still end up looking like this, this, or this. I guess that means my lack of style is completely my own fault.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. alottaerrata permalink
    September 21, 2007 5:07 pm

    Hmm. I wonder what Mead would say. I think it would be something along the lines of “their fashion choices are a gesture, the meaning of which is revealed in the reaction of the organism that the gesture is received by” or something equally obtuse.

    Mead is not my friend right now.

  2. September 21, 2007 5:29 pm

    Obtuse social theorists? Naw, what are you talking about? 🙂

    I think you’re dead on about what Mead would say though. But what kind of meaning could atrocious fashion choices have? I’m not really a Mead-ite either…

  3. alottaerrata permalink
    September 21, 2007 6:05 pm

    I’m working through the works of Mead, vol. 1.. “mind, self, society”

    it is painful. Lord help me if I ever have to read volume 2

  4. September 21, 2007 6:09 pm

    I feel your pain. Week after next I have to present on Habermas.

  5. Dr. Jim permalink
    September 21, 2007 11:23 pm

    Does my head look big in this theory?

  6. September 26, 2007 5:43 pm

    stumbled in here from maff’s blog (i’m his brother in law) – couldn’t help but notice the article mentioning performance and the make up of self. You would probably enjoy Richard Schechner and Victor Turner’s work on performance and identity. Turner was a pioneer in that field out of the anthropology school (he’s dead now). Schechner is a performer/director and approaches it from his theatrical background. The two developed some interesting theories about our social performances. You can find some books on their ideas here and here.

  7. September 26, 2007 7:34 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll definitely look them up. I am quite interested in identity formation and the performance/drama angle is really neat.

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