The Impact of Hair on African American Women’s Collective Identity Formation

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Garrin, Ashley
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
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Marcketti, Sara
Morrill Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management provides an interdisciplinary look into areas of aesthetics, leadership, event planning, entrepreneurship, and multi-channel retailing. It consists of four majors: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; Event Management; Family and Consumer Education and Studies; and Hospitality Management.

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management was founded in 2001 from the merging of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies; the Department of Textiles and Clothing, and the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Dates of Existence
2001 - present

Related Units

  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (predecessor)
  • Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (predecessor)
  • Department of Textiles and Clothing (predecessor)
  • Trend Magazine (student organization)

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The Black Pride and Power Movements of the 1960s and 1970s changed the aesthetic of the larger African American community, promoting self-affirmation and reclaiming African pride. As individuals engaged in the movement, they began to internalize new meanings and understandings of themselves, leading to self-transformation and collective identity that promoted the specific political ideology and agenda of the group. In this research, the lived experiences of African American women who were emerging adults (ages 18–25) during the Civil Rights Movement from 1960 to 1974 were examined, through in-depth interviews, to understand their experiences with wearing natural hairstyles during this time. Seven participants highlighted how wearing natural hair was used in the three dimensions of collective identity formation: boundaries, consciousness, and negotiation. Participants’ counterhegemonic use of appearance constructed, created, and negotiated a collective identity that was aligned with demonstration for racial equality of African Americans.


This article is published as Garrin, A., & Marcketti, S. B. (2018). The impact of hair on African American women’s collective identity formation. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 36(2),104-118. Doi: 10.1177/0887302X17745656. Posted with permission.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017