Looking at Jewellery: Wearing the other

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The question of how social control is manifested through the acquisition, wearing and keeping of dress is key to understanding the role of clothing and adornment in our daily lives. While studies of this nature are well documented within the field of clothing (Woodward 2007, Entwistle 2000, Crane 2000, Cavallaro and Warwick 1998), there is little that explores jewellery as a mechanism of social control, and this paper seeks to rectify that. Drawing on the interview conversations about women’s ‘live’ and ‘retired’ jewellery that form the basis of my doctoral research, the paper begins by providing an overview of the forms of control that jewellery is put to, exploring (at one end of the arc of use and wear) gifted jewellery's associated obligations and (at the other) how retention and wear can help its owners to come to terms with significant life changes. I argue that the visual appraisal of jewellery can serve to locate the wearer within their social networks and facilitate the internalisation of social controls. In particular, I suggest that jewellery worn on the hands and wrists – because of its availability to the glance of the wearer – is effective at mobilising these controls. In conclusion, this paper explores the dynamic between different modalities of jewellery wear (between seeing and feeling jewellery) in order to see how jewellery can enable the wearer to accommodate the perspective of the other and internalise the controls of their social milieu.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2019
    EventCulture, Costume and Dress Conference 2019 - Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Jun 20197 Jun 2019
    Conference number: 2019


    ConferenceCulture, Costume and Dress Conference 2019
    Abbreviated titleCCD19
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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