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Clothing as Symbol and Meaning in A Houston Bar: What clothing choice for bar goers reveals

10 октября 2016 года в 16.00 в рамках регулярного семинара НУЛ СОН Марика Шарашенидзе представит результаты своего исследования "Clothing as Symbol and Meaning in A Houston Bar: What clothing choice for bar goers reveals". Семинар состоится в 313 аудитории, ул. Седова 55, корпус 2

Unlike the typical bar in the Midtown area of Houston, Texas, notsuoH does not turn anyone away. People who have been to the bar might say notsuoH does not turn anything away as the bar is claustrophobically full with trinkets, gizmos, statues and furniture. For Houston locals, notsuoH is known to be a "hipster" bar, where "hipster" describes a type of person who believes they exist outside the mainstream norm, but in fact, only reproduces mainstream values in their consumerist tendencies. Original hipsters might also claim that the term and the identity surrounding it have been mainstreamed, or adapted by major companies, popularized and used to create profit, although because the identity exists by staying outside of the mainstream, some would argue that simply avoiding products by major companies would make a person "hipster" . Both to explore consumerism in nightlife and the idea of being outside the mainstream, I conducted ethnography of notsuoH. I wanted to see how well notsuoH fit in with its "hipster" label by becoming a regular at the bar and gaining enough of people's trust in order for them to reveal how they make their decisions. Mainly I wanted to explore two questions:

  1. What do people think about their choice to wear clothing, how much autonomy do people think they have?
  2. How the decision to come to notsuoH affects the desire to wear a particular outfit and what that decision reveals about the type of environment notsuoH created.

After my four month ethnography, I used three main symbol making processes to conduct my final analysis of my observations and interviews. I used the symbol making process espoused by symbolic interactionists and I used Manning's (1995) symbols of racial-cultural identity and symbols of tone. Although I did not conduct the study long enough to make a conclusion, I did observe that almost all regulars at the bar wore clothing that had a personal significance to them and that both patrons and bartenders have far more autonomy to create the atmosphere of notsuoH than other bars.