Ethnologia Fennica 48:2 ”Politics of Dress and Appearance” is published!


Dress has been a typical subject of ethnological research since the establishment of the field. In recent years, new theoretical discussions, and concepts such as performativity, materiality, and body as well as studies inspired by gender theories and textual, visual, and affective approaches have renewed the study of dress in ethnological research in many ways. At the same time, dress, fashion, and appearance have also become very topical themes in the study of culture and society in fields outside traditional dress and fashion studies. The articles of this theme issue discuss the politics of dress and appearance. They analyse the role of dress and fashion in expressing, formulating, and contesting various political ideas and ideologies, social norms, cultural ideals, and social statuses.

The issue contains two article texts: Ildikó Lehtinen’s article discusses teacher’s attire as a political phenomenon in the context of the Mari people, a Finno-Ugric minority living in Central Russia. Joanna Weckman’s article ‘Creating a “Lapp” character – Sámi dress utilised as costume in early Finnish theatre’ explores the ways in which the indigenous Sámi were represented in late 19th and early 20th century Finland. The two thematic review articles discuss the politics of dress in the fields of folklore and diplomacy. In addition, the issue features two reviews of recent dissertations in the fields of ethnology and folklore.

The guest Editor-in-Chief of the theme volume was Dr. Arja Turunen, and the responsible Editor-in-Chief Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto. This volume marks the ending of the three-year period of Koskinen-Koivisto and Tytti Steel as Co-Editors-in-Chief of Ethnologia Fennica.