Fashion, Media and the Elite: Ethnography of the Exploitation of the Slovenian Transitional Media Promenade

  • Vlado Kotnik Faculty of Humanities University of Primorska Koper
Keywords:
fashion, elite, media, audience, ethnography

Abstract

The article is an attempt to represent a particular social practice, which has, due to its currency and ubiquity in the media as of late, gained a surprisingly naturalized legitimacy within the Slovenian mediascape. After Slovenia gained its independence in 1991, two parallel processes could be observed. On the one hand, the state itself was searching for a new identity which it could project both inward and outward, it was looking for a way to communicate the national tale of itself through numerous ruling discourses of politics, economy, tourism, sports and culture. On the other hand, the transitional ruling class and the emergent social force of postsocialist rich, chosen and owners needed new elements in the process of social differentiation. Fashion became one of the reinvented refuges or simply “discoveries” of the new Slovenian political, economic and media elite, which used the media to establish a visual order of transitional social differentiation. At the core of fashion as a mode of social distinction is a ceremonialized and spectacularized display of cultural differences within a society. Elites have been caught in the social obligation of constant invention of novelty, in order to create the necessary social difference from the non-elite or the masses. Namely, difference itself has no wider social value if there is no one to notice or desire it. This article methodologically authenticates the conclusions through the analysis of specific media perceptions and an ethnography conducted among actors on these levels: producers of fashion as social distinction (the elite) vs reproducers of fashion as social distinction (the media) vs consumers of fashion as social distinction (the audience).

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Published
2016-02-27
How to Cite
Kotnik, V. (2016). Fashion, Media and the Elite: Ethnography of the Exploitation of the Slovenian Transitional Media Promenade. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 8(2), 471-497. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v8i2.7