The Rise of Fashion: A Reader

By Daniel Leonhard Purdy | Go to book overview

“Customs” (1909)

FERDINAND TÖNNIES

Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936) was the son of a wealthy farmer in the northernmost part of Germany, Nordfriesland. As a professor at the University of Kiel, he formulated the famous distinction between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, which translates roughly as the difference between “community” and “society.” Tönnies elaborated upon this distinction, building each out to show how the terms represented two different forms of lives, representing traditional rural community on the one hand and modern urban society on the other. In the late nineteenth century, the two terms were seen as being much at odds with each other, with society threatening to eliminate community. Tönnies sought to bridge the opposition by finding examples of community within modern societies. However, this proscriptive side of his work did not overcome his diagnosis of the opposition between cities and the dissolving institutions of rural life.

Clothes were an excellent means of explaining Tönnies's point. The German word for fashion was the same as in French and Italy, mode; however, the word tracht had a specific German tone to it. Tönnies, like many other nineteenth-century writers, set tracht in opposition to mode. Whereas mode carried a cosmopolitan tone, tracht embodied the costume of peasant culture. Peasant dress in the nineteenth century was important not only to nationalists eager to find a political identity in local traditions of dress, but it also provided a stable alternative to the fluctuations of city style. The European urban elite have always enjoyed wearing rural garb when escaping the pressure of their enclosures. Much of the Enlightenment's enthusiasm for comfort grew out of an appreciation of country clothes. What city dwellers took as a sign of backwardness, Tönnies explained, was a manifestation of a fundamentally different culture. He provides a much richer theory than Herbert Spencer does with his distinction between ceremony and fashion. The difference between mode and tracht reflects differences in sociability, economy, and religious beliefs, as well as political

-333-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Rise of Fashion: A Reader
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 357

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.