The "Fashion-Form" of Modern Society and Its Relationship to Psychology

By Fuentes, Juan Bautista; Quiroga, Ernesto | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

The "Fashion-Form" of Modern Society and Its Relationship to Psychology


Fuentes, Juan Bautista, Quiroga, Ernesto, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


In this work, we present a new way of understanding psychology, which emerges as a result of relating it to the three principles of the theory of fashion of Gilles Lipovetsky: ?the principle of the ephemeral,? ?the principle of the marginal differentiation of individuals,? and ?the principle of seduction.? We relate the first principle to the plurality of the diverse and changing ?schools and systems? that have existed throughout the history of psychology. We apply the second to the figure of the psychologist, considered individually, revealing his or her leading role in the generation of the changing plurality of the systems. By means of the third principle, we point up that the diverse psychologies are forms of seduction. We conclude by stating that psychology has the form of fashion and we analyze how this form can help us to better understand it.

Keywords: Lipovetsky, fashion, history of psychology, genealogy of psychology, psychological theories, psychologists

En este trabajo presentamos una nueva forma de entender a la psicología que surge como resultado de poner a ésta en relación con los tres principios de la teoría de la moda de Gilles Lipovetsky: «el principio de lo efímero», «el principio de la diferenciación marginal de los individuos» y «el principio de la seducción». El primero de ellos lo ponemos en relación con la pluralidad de «escuelas y sistemas» diversos y cambiantes que ha habido a largo de la historia de la psicología. El segundo lo aplicamos a la figura del psicólogo individualmente considerado, poniendo de manifiesto su papel protagonista en la generación de esa pluralidad cambiante de sistemas. Mediante el tercero ponemos de relieve que las diversas psicologías son formas de seducción. Concluimos afirmando que la psicología tiene la forma de la moda y analizamos en qué sentido esa forma permite comprenderla mejor.

Palabras clave: Lipovetsky, moda, historia de la psicología, genealogía de la psicología, teorías psicológicas, psicólogos

This paper proposes that fashion and psychology are closely related. From this perspective, we present a new idea about psychology which can refresh the way of understanding its particular abundance of theoretical and practical alternatives, and its meaning as a social science.

It is well known that fashion is an extensive and unavoidable social phenomenon of modern life. Another characteristically modern social phenomenon is the appearance and expansion on a wide scale of psychology, which is precisely our field of work and research. Fashion and psychology are both part of the long series of interrelated social phenomena that configure the Modern Age, which would also include the appearance of the modern State, the rise of Christian Protestantism, the founding of democratic nations, the development of the free market, the unceasing growth of natural and social sciences, and the technological-industrial revolution, as a consequence of science. The multitude of diverse social phenomena that constitute the Western Modern Age do not occur independently, but rather make up a network of mutual relationships in which they transform and conform the social present of each historical moment of society. In view of this interdependence, our own discipline must logically be related in some way to each, or at least many, of the abovementioned developments of the Modern Age.

This work attempts to specifically address a possible relationship between fashion and psychology. However, in case the reader is expecting something else, we should clarify that this text is not about the "psychology of fashion," that is, it is not some kind of theoretical or applied psychological study about fashion-related behavior, such as analysis of the personal or situational variables that determine consumer behavior or following a certain fashion. Along another completely different line of thought, which attempts to understand psychology from a historical-cultural viewpoint, we defend the hypothesis that there is an analogy between the form of fashion and the form of psychology, i. …

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