Rereading of Iranian Clothing System with Post-Structuralist Approach of Barthes
Clothing has been one of the essential necessities of human being and it is a powerful communicative tool. Due to the cultural diversity of different nations and races, different sorts of dresses are prevalent in various nations and people. In addition, differen treligions cause the development of various dresses which represent a part of their identity. Clothing system is provided by the expansion of societies, formation of beliefs, different social and cultural activities. In this paper, we try to express that clothing system has passed different transformations and accepted cultural rule and symbolic meanings. In explaining its meanings, the specific cultural values of each and every nation can be observed in different social contexts. Therefore, the possibility of meaning multiplication in clothingsystem is provided, in spite of different readings of audiences in various discourses.The main goal of this paper is to express the factors active in the meaning-formation of clothes –in general- which are under the influence of phenomena like globalization, culture, religion, social organizations, media, economy and politics. The fundamental question is how different audiences apprehend clothing in different contexts and with regard to their personal experiences. Hence, the author has considered the concept of clothing(in particular, Iranian dress) as a text which lacks a single expressive form and its meaning varies under different factors and this view is in conformity with the concept of multiplication of meaning in poststructuralist approaches (especially Barthes’ approach). According to poststructuralist viewpoint, every text is created inside its discourse and so never stops. In this regard, Barthes equates clothing system with a text which takes different meanings in different social and cultural discourses. Thus, the emergence of different sorts of clothing causes the expansion of meaning. Moreover, the clothing fashion industry itself is in search of recreation of different meanings in this area. The acceptable values for every individual as well as personal ideology and religious discourse cause different types of meanings. Different kinds of religious, occupational and customary effects cause clothing transformations. The role of social organizations, including family and educational institutions, which act to expand the local or foreign culture, is also very important in this regard. The economical power of individuals and social forces is also effective in meaningfulness of clothing. Policy of Iranian government is also effective in developing special kinds of clothing and related meanings.
Journal of Pazhuhesh-e Honar, No. 3, 2012
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