“Collars and Consumers: Changing Images of American Manliness and Business” by Carole Turbin

The article by Carole Turbin by the name “Collars and Consumers: Changing Images of American Manliness and Business” is centered on how social dynamics changes and diffusion of culture affect consumers tastes and preferences.

The article focuses on a transition period from the 19th century to 21st century where the writer addresses the rise and fall of Arrow Collars as men fashion.

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The article traces the origin of detachable collars to 1827 which were adapted to as a means to ease cleaning of shirts; Hannah Montague’s was credited as the woman who invented the collar. As the article develops, the author shows how the color was used by different classes of men and how it meant different to different men.

Augment about men’s collar

According to the article, men class and social standing in the society could be gauged by the collar they wore; those who wore clean, ironed, and well maintained collar were thought to be of middle or high class as they would afford the costs associated with it. On the other hand, laborers and those people who did odd jobs were believed to wearing no collars; the social-economic status of men could be established by the collar the man wore.

Social significance of the detachable collar

According to the article, the collar was invented to ensure that despite hard washing needs that the people of the time encountered, they had a better way looking clean. The collar could be cleaned and ironed alone; people wearing the collars were seen as high or middle class working men who deceived to be clean and presentable all the time.

How the arrow collar represented or added masculinity

The invention of arrow collars was made as a move to have cheaper and easily maintainable collars that the detachable collars of linen. The invention was followed by adverts using people of high social standing in the society in the move to show how superior they were. They posed to show that masculinity is superior but should be matched with a good cut material; smartness and self esteem were shown in the adverts.

How did collars perform the ideas of masculinity?

Right from the invention of the detachable collars, it portrayed Hannah cleaning for her husband; this is meant to show that men are superior to women. On the same note, Hannah was preparing his husband to appear smart in the public regardless of the difficulties encountered when laundering.

Arrow collars came to reinforce differences in social standings between women and men, according to the adverts made, flashy men was represented as the idea of masculinity and their need to have high social standing.

Compare J.C. Leyendecker and Rudolph Valentino (shown in the PowerPoint slides), how they represent different performance of masculinity

The ads by .C. Leyendecker and Rudolph Valentino shown men as people with high social standing where they have been shown as serious and focused people; in the adverts that have women, men seem to dominate the woman and stand with a high self esteem.

The adverts are in line with the issues and perspectives brought about by Carole Turbin as both portray men as superior and special human kind than women.

Why is Valentino performing masculinity, what problem did he represent? He’s beautifully groomed, idealized, male beauty, etc?

From the adverts by Valentino, he portrays how serious manhood is; when in an advert with a woman, the woman is portrayed to be bowing down to the man. When discussing issues, Valentino dominated conversations and the final decisions are subject to his approval. One problem that Valentino’s adverts had is that he posed the serious side of men and forgot that men have their own light moments (Turbin 1-14).

Works Cited

Turbin, Carole. Collars and Consumers: Changing Images of American Manliness and Business. London: Routledge. Print.