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Brazilian fashion and globalization: world market and symbolic exchanges

Abstract

The process of globalization conditions the Brazilian fashion. Due the liberalization of the Brazilian market in the 1990s, foreign competition in the domestic market impelled the national industry of textiles, apparel and fashion to build a competitive edge for the county’s fashion in order to deal with the global market. This movement is permeated by complex symbolic dynamics, for although the national fashion is mostly produced and consumed in the domestic market and, in this sense, is not economically global, "globality" is now established as a worldly valid value and, consequently, the national fashion has to conform itself to organizational, qualitative and consecration standards, which become global. Because of this, "Brazilian fashion" seeks to be recognized a “global” and, therefore, tries to consecrate itself in the "fashion capitals" of the world. However, to be accepted in a global market of symbolic goods which elects diversity as a positive value, the national fashion must be offered and show itself as "Brazilian". This fashion tries to borrow the consecration of global instances that in tum need the diversity attributed to the so-called "local fashions" or "world fashions". Although nowadays-global fashion integrates agents and regions, which were not included in the earlier cartography of the sector, and even if mutual interests are covered in the new economic and cultural exchanges that constitute the contemporary fashion, the new relationships it arises are not free of hierarchies. (AU)

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