Congratulations to section member Dr. Ashley Mears for her recent article in the Sunday Review section of the New York Times. Dr. Mears’ article, “Who Runs the Girls?” reviews her experience while researching fashion models who play essential roles at VIP clubs and social events. This publication is a fine example how sociological research can be presented to a broad audience.
The article begins:
A FEW years ago, I attended a party at a nightclub in the meatpacking district of Manhattan with about 10 young women, most of them models, and two club promoters, men whose job was to bring beautiful women to exclusive parties. Beyoncé’s hit single “Run the World (Girls)” boomed, and the girls danced to the beat, singing, “Who run the world? Girls! Girls!” One promoter joined in, with his own twist on the chorus: “Who run the girls? Boys! Boys!” The men high-fived, and everyone laughed.
Many of the models who walked the Fashion Week runways this month in New York, London, Milan and, starting this week, Paris, are the same women who pass through these clubs. The fashion shows and the international circuit of V.I.P. parties — Miami in March, Cannes and St.-Tropez in May and July, August weekends in the Hamptons — serve as case studies in an old debate. Does the celebrated display of female beauty and sexuality empower or exploit women?”
Continue reading at the New York Times.
Dr. Ashley Mears is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies at Boston University. Her first book Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model (University of California Press, 2011), examines the backstage production of the ‘look’ in New York and London fashion markets. She is currently working on a qualitative project on cultures of consumption among the new global elite, and the role of women in constructing the global VIP nightlife economy from New York, the Hamptons, and the French Riviera.
Additional publications by Dr. Mears include:
- Seeing Culture through the Eye of the Beholder: Four Methods in Pursuit of Taste
- Ethnography as Precarious Work
- Gender on Display: Performance and Performativity in Fashion Modelling