Jean Stevens

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Linda Alcoff

Honors Reader

Janet Dodd; Glenda Gross

Capstone Major

Women's and Gender Studies

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Journalism Studies | Political Science | Women's Studies


This thesis explores different disciplinary studies and discussions of dress, and more specifically, the use of dress in constructing a gendered identity and sexual identity. To conduct this research, I performed a literature review and referenced various social psychological, sociological, and/or feminist theoretical frameworks. I argue that dress cannot serve as any sort of innate or accurate indicator of sexual identity; rather, the meanings associated with dress are socially produced and vary across time and place. Evidence for this argument emerges only after a literature review, as one can recognize a common theme linking the literature, or perhaps a commonly overlooked theme in some works of the literature review. In arguing this, I hope to better peoples’ understanding of how dress is feminized, the role of identity in the production of dress, how it works to reinforce and/or resist gender (in relation to race, class, and sexuality) binaries, divisions, categories and inequality. I also hope to address how people use dress as a form of social resistance and as a means to form community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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