Annette Lynch

Dress and Human Behavior

Dress and Human Behavior

Spring 2016

Annette Lynch

Faculty Office:  237 Latham, 273-2358 office hours 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM T TH, and by appointment


Required Texts:

Holt, D. and Cameron, D. (2010). Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

Required Events:

Students are required to participate in the Fashion 4 Action runway show on February 6. Commitment will include rehearsal times in the afternoon in advance of the show that will be included in the assignment handed out the first week of class. Fashion show will take place at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Course Objectives

1.  Recognize that dress is a complex social process and a revealing form of human behavior.

2.  Approach dress as a means of understanding self, social interaction,  and society.

3.  Identify factors within the social context that influence dress choices and affect the meaning of the dressed body.

4.  Become attuned to the symbolic functions of dress and its importance within the communication process.

5.  Observe how people use dress and appearance in daily life to organize and give meaning to social experiences.

6.  Recognize cross-cultural diversity and commonality of dress patterns and consider implications of globalization of dress practices.

7.  Apply feminist theory and concepts to the study of dress and appearance styles.

8.  Become acquainted with research focused upon social and psychological aspects of clothing and textiles. 

Course Requirements and Grading System

Exam 1 20% of grade
Exam 2 20% of grade
Fashion for Action: Brand as Empowerment Runway Project 20% of grade
Brand as Empowerment Project  20 % of grade DUE: April 28 (Stages 1-5)
Final Exam Portfolio Pages and Presentation of Cultural Strategy                                           20 % of grade DUE: Beginning of Final Exam


Class Policies

Attendance Policy: Students are expected to be at all class sessions. It is the instructor's philosophy that classes should be attended to receive full credit for a college level course. Attendance roll will be taken and penalties assessed for excessive missed classes, medically excused or not. The following penalty schedule will be applied in the class:

More than 5 classes missed: Loss of One Full Letter Grade

More than 7 classes missed: Loss of Two Full Letter Grades 

More than 9 classes missed: Failure (F) in the course.

 Assignments - Assignments are due in class on the due date. Any work not turned in on time will be marked one grade lower. After the first late week, two grades lower.

Exams - Students who must miss an exam due to extreme illness or other emergency must contact me in advance of the exam in order to arrange a make-up assignment.  Your make-up assignment will be a 20 research paper in the content area of the exam. 

Students with Special Needs:

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides protection from discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities. Students with a disability, who require assistance, will need to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for coordination of academic accommodations. The ODS is located at 213 Students Services Center. Their phone number is 319-273-2676. Students should also feel free to contact the professor if there are accommodations that can be made.



Tentative Schedule

January 12


Introduction to course and Projects

Psychology of Dress and Appearance, cognitive pyschology



January 14

Anthropological Approaches to Studying Dress and Appearance 

Meaning Manufacture and Movement in the World of Goods

Consumption, Change and Continuity

Assignment: Styling/Designing for Change

 Grant McCracken, Chapter 5 & 9 (distributed for reading first day of class)


January 19

Stylizing Empowerment: Formation of groups, Group discussion and Report Back

Davis, Chapter 2

January 21

Sociological Approaches to Studying Dress and Appearance

Identity Ambivalence and Embodied Resistance as Fashion Fuel - Exploring theory and Case Studies

Holt, Chapter 1


January 26 Group Work Time with Feedback from Dr. Lynch  
January 28 Performance Rehearsal 1  


February 2 Performance Rehearsal 2
February 4 Final Rehearsal and Concept Paper Due


February 6 - FASHION and STEM Workshop (am), rehearsal (afternoon), Fashion for Action Runway show 8 - 10 PM


February 9  Class Release - Fashion for Action Fashion Show
February 11  Exam Review


February 16  Exam 1
February 18

Cultural Branding Strategies to Create Change, Introduction to Text and Project

Holt, Chapters 1 & 2


February 23

Mythologizing a Company: Jack Daniels

Ben & Jerry's: Provoking Ideological Flashpoints

Introduction to Project

Holt, Chapters 3 & 4
February 25

Starbucks: Trickling Down Cultural Codes


Boxed In Identity In Class Project


Holt, Chapter 5 and 6


March 1

Applying the Cultural Strategy Model,

Crossing the Cultural Chasm In Class Project

Holt, Chapter 9
March 3

Applying the Cultural Strategy Model,

Cultural Capital Trickle Down in Class Project

Holt, Chapter 10 (Clearblue Pregnancy Tests)



March 8

Applying Cultural Tactics:

Resuscitating Reactionary ideology & Mythologizing the Company in Class Project

Holt, Chapter 11 (Fat Tire Beer)

March 10

Applying Cultural Tactics:

Challenging Incumbants with Cultural Jujitsu in Class Project

Holt, Chapters 12 (Fuse Music), 13 (Freelancers Union),

and 15 (Levi's 501s in Europe)


March 15 Spring Break
March 17 Spring Break


March 22 Presentations: Mapping the Cultural Orthodoxy & Documenting a Social Disruption In Class Project

All Class Powerpoints due in class (print off)

Presentation Day 1

March 24 Presentations: Mapping the Cultural Orthodoxy & Documenting a Social Disruption in Class Project
 Presentation Day 2


March 29

Assign: Unearth Ideological Opportunity: Detail how this disruption is impacting a specific category of consumers

In Class Group Project

March 31

Cull source material, research your subcultural group

In Class Update and Share with Class


April 5

Apply Cultural Tactics.

Craft the Cultural Strategy

April 7

Individual Meetings: Brand as Empowerment Project



April 12 Individual Meetings: Brand as Empowerment Project
Apirl 14  Exam 2, Exam Review


April 19 Exam 2  
April 21 Individual Meetings: Brand as Empowerment Project
April 25 Individual Meetings: Brand as Empowerment Project 
April 28 Brand as Empowerment: Stages 1 - 5 Due in Class 


Final Exam: Wednesday, May 4 - 8 to 9:50 AM - Porfolio Pages Due, Formal Presentation in Class