Academic journal article International Education Studies

Glamorous Education: Main Features and Manifestations

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Glamorous Education: Main Features and Manifestations

Article excerpt


Being a powerful social trend glamour culture has significant effect on a high education that results in the phenomenon of glamorous education (glam-education). Prerequisites of this type of education are democratization of high school that introduces stereotypes of glam-culture in educational environment; commercialization of education that uses glamour as marketing instrument. The aim of this article is to reveal specifics of content, communicative, value, existential components of glam-education. In content dimension glam-education is characterized by reduction of fundamental component of education. Communicative practices of glam-education are filled with the spirit of hedonism, they articulate entertainment and recreational components of education as it is revealed in the article. The authors prove that in value dimension glam-education has the character of image benefit: the value of knowledge is replaced by its symbols (diploma, certificate). Glam-education is one of manifestations of existential crisis of personality in modern society because individual tries to compensate for his/(her) alienation from real qualifications and competencies by glam-image of his/(her) education.

Keywords: brand, glamour, education, consumption, symbol

1. Introduction

The term "glamour" is a polysemantic. According to its etymology, it still includes such original meanings, like magic, enchantment, bewitching power (to cast a glamour over-to charm, bewitch). Other values are "charm", "charisma", "fascination", and "attractiveness". In modern English a verb "to glamour up"-to embellish, praise-is used. In the mass consciousness the concept of "glamour" is associated mainly with the image of vie belle, delighting person with its brilliance, amazing its luxury, impressive extravagance and shocking incident.

However, it soon became evident that glamour is not just an aesthetic phenomenon or a kind of fashion. It has become a dominant type of culture-glamour culture (glam-culture) that manifests itself as a particular practice, psychology, ideology and lifestyle (Rudneva, 2010).

As a particular practice glam-culture, being generated by a global market society, is focused on the markets of entertainments, pleasures, show-performances, luxury and fashion. The main efforts of every glam-culture consumer are oriented on the acquisition of a set of the image benefits promised by the advertising of the glamorous production. Seeking a brilliant and attractive appearance (image), created on the basis of corresponding brands, is the main concern. A person is urged to show publicly eternal youth, sexuality, perfectness, sportiness, brightness and luxury (Rusakova, 2009).

With regards to its psychological aspect, glam-culture influences people by consumer temptation that constantly enforces the individual to design his/(her) own image by acquisition of goods belonging to famous brands. So every glam-oriented consumer dreams of becoming a brand himself, i.e., a self-brand (Rusakova, 2009).

In the ideological sense glam-culture is noted by absolute indifference to the values involving people in society, such as basic moral values (Ivanov, 2008, p. 4).

The main characteristics of a glamorous lifestyle are narcissism, hedonism, show chic, irony in "cool" style, eroticism, and image intellectualism, deficiency of authenticity, aestheticism, and rank thinking (thinking focused on top lists and nominations) (Ivanov, 2008, p. 4).

Maturing and escalation of glam-culture are promoted by three main factors. The first is consumer attitude of today person to life-consumerism (Baudrillard, 1998). Psychologically it results in reluctance of individual to personal efforts to active development of the world, tendency to "effort-free life" (Schelkunov & Nikolaeva, 2010, p. 83). The second factor is symbolization (simulation) of life that erases difference between the reality and signs that define it. …

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