Sociology of Fashion: Order and Change

Posted: 27 Jul 2013

See all articles by Frédéric Godart

Frédéric Godart

INSEAD - Organisational Behavior

Patrik Aspers

Uppsala University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: July 2013


In this article, we synthesize and analyze sociological understanding of fashion, with the main part of the review devoted to classical and recent sociological work. To further the development of this largely interdisciplinary field, we also highlight the key points of research in other disciplines. We define fashion as an unplanned process of recurrent change against a backdrop of order in the public realm. We clarify this definition after tracing fashion's origins and history. As a social phenomenon, fashion has been culturally and economically significant since the dawn of Modernity and has increased in importance with the emergence of mass markets, in terms of both production and consumption. Most research on this topic is concerned with dress, but we argue that there are no domain restrictions that should constrain fashion theories. We identify venues around which sociologists could develop further research in this field.

Suggested Citation

Godart, Frédéric and Aspers, Patrik, Sociology of Fashion: Order and Change (July 2013). Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 39, pp. 171-192, 2013, Available at SSRN: or

Frédéric Godart (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Organisational Behavior ( email )

Finance area, Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau 77305

Patrik Aspers

Uppsala University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Uppsala, SE-751 26

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics