A Feminist Visual Content Analysis of College-Level Textile and Apparel Textbooks 1970s-2010: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Size
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The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.
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No scholars have examined the imagery or representations within our textbooks; therefore, with a feminist lens, this study asks who is represented or not represented in our textile and apparel textbooks? How are individuals represented? Have these representations changed over time? Lastly, how are gender differences portrayed? It is our goal to unearth and expose how scholars in our field chose to represent individuals in the texts, which are integral components to textile and apparel majors’ learning experience in the classroom. We ask these questions because these are the students who will enter the fashion industry to create and recreate images of beauty within fashion, media, advertising, and/or design. Our study is informed by the “feminist perspective” as we are “critically interrogating the texts” produced for our discipline to understand and disentangle representations that may influence how gender and beauty are recreated or redefined within the industry in the future (Leavy, 2007, p. 224).