Review: Alexandra König (2007). Kleider schaffen Ordnung. Regeln und Mythen jugendlicher Selbst-Präsentation [Clothing and Social Order: Rules and Myths of Juvenile Self-Presentation]

Yvonne Niekrenz


Alexandra KOENIG's book analyses juvenile clothing behaviour and the development of individual taste using BOURDIEU's theory of class distinctions. By means of qualitative single and group interviews with adolescents the author reconstructs how aesthetic practice is related to social order and unmasks the freedom of choice in developing preferences and styles as a myth. In fact, she argues, clothing reproduces social inequality and establishes social order. Using theoretical concepts developed by Erving GOFFMAN the author sheds light on the stages of self presentation. Although the adolescents in the sample are heterogeneous in terms of their social background—on the one hand pupils of a secondary modern school (Hauptschule), on the other hand of an international private school (Privatschule)—the empirical work produces an answer to the question of how "individual styles," social inequality and a juvenile habitus are produced by clothing. The book shows how social order gets transformed into class-, gender- and age-specific self presentation.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100190


clothing; fashion; sociology of youth; social inequality


Copyright (c) 2009 Yvonne Niekrenz

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