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作者 Cummings, Margaret
書名 "Looking good": Women's dress and the gendered cultural politics of modernity, morality, and embodiment in Vanuatu
國際標準書號 9780494516911
book jacket
說明 265 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 70-09, Section: A, page: 3514
Thesis (Ph.D.)--York University (Canada), 2009
This dissertation explores the contingent and contested boundaries of looking good for young women in Vanuatu, and the ways that they negotiate these boundaries. I use women's dress as a lens through which to focus on the relationship between gender, modernity, and morality, and I show the ways in which all three are condensed and embodied in the moral and aesthetic imperative for women to "look good". The main thrust of the dissertation is that the dominant national imaginings of Vanuatu and of women's place in the nation are over-determined by several culturally significant oppositions: man/woman, tradition/modernity, local/foreign, Christian/secular, black/white, rural/urban, and looking good/looking nice. I demonstrate young women's struggles to achieve recognition, to re-imagine their place in the nation, and to create a way to "look good" beyond the constraints of these dichotomies. My goal is threefold: First, I map the shifting terrain of "looking good"; secondly, in doing so, I show that these contingencies are the result of (and result in) what I call "the precariousness of looking good"; a precariousness through which women come to embody the ambivalent relationship between morality and modernity. Finally, I suggest that this precariousness means that young women experience their lives, and especially modernity, as frustrating, and I show the ways that they experience this frustration and how they act upon it
My dissertation is based on a year of field research carried out in Vanuatu in 2001-2002. The main field site was the national capital, Port Vila; a month of research was conducted on the southern island of Erromango. Throughout the dissertation I draw upon data collected through interviews and during video-training workshops conducted in collaboration with the Vanuatu Young People's Project. My theoretical framework and contributions address four main areas of analysis: Re-imagining the nation and ni-Vanuatu womanhood; dress, fashion, and modernity; nation, modernity and time; and structures of feeling and modernity. I argue that young ni-Vanuatu women occupy a precarious position within dominant imaginings of the nation, but I also suggest that their often-frustrated efforts to look good are productive of new, provisional yet hopeful, imaginings of Vanuatu
School code: 0267
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 70-09A
主題 Anthropology, Cultural
Literature, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
Gender Studies
0326
0356
0733
Alt Author York University (Canada)
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