• Hair: Styling, Culture and Fashion

Cheang, Sarah and Biddle-Perry, Geraldine, eds. 2008, Book, Hair: Styling, Culture and Fashion Berg, Oxford. ISBN 978-1184520-792-2

Abstract or Description:

This book, edited by Cheang with G. Biddle-Perry offers the first thorough examination of the social importance of the expressive, representational and material possibilities of human hair. The presentation, manipulation and daily experience of human hair are situated within the processes of inscribing cultural meaning, through a complex network of normalising standards and discursive practices. Approaching a diversity of contexts, from classical ballet to television sitcoms, and from India to the East End, this collection examines hair across age, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

In addition to co-editing the collection, Cheang co-authored wrote the substantial introductory and concluding essays, which offer an original synthesis of cultural studies and anthropological approaches to the study of hair. Cheang also wrote the chapter ‘Roots: Hair and Race’, a 6,000-word essay that analyses museum collections of hair in relation to constructions of ‘race’ (pp.27–42). In particular, Cheang worked with medical, anthropological and natural history collections that include both samples of human hair and photographs. These primary sources are analysed in the context of a critical reading of 19th-century literature that attempted to explain ‘racial difference’.

Extending this research, Cheang and Biddle-Perry co-wrote a new 10,000-word entry on ‘Hair’ for the November 2011 online update to the Berg Encylopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Other closely related activities included the organisation and moderation by Cheang and Biddle-Perry of the international symposium ‘Hair Stories: Practice, Theory, Culture’ at the V&A Museum (2009). Following publication of Hair: Styling, Culture and Fashion, Cheang was invited to comment on the meaning of hair collecting and beauty styling in the popular media, including Vogue (2011), The Stylist (2011), Observer Magazine (2013), Elle Canada website (2013), and in the television series programme Taboo (National Geographic Channel).

ContributionNameRCA ID
AuthorCheang, Sarahsarah.cheang
AuthorBiddle-Perry, Geraldine
AuthorBeard, Alice
AuthorChurch Gibson, Pamela
AuthorCole, Shaun
Author of introduction, etc.Cox, Caroline
AuthorCross, Louisa
AuthorEdwards, Eiluned
AuthorHecht, Thom
AuthorMahawatte, Royce
AuthorMcKellar, Leila
AuthorMiller, Janice
AuthorOctober, Dene
AuthorSargeant, jack
AuthorShirazi, Faegheh
AuthorSmith, Kim
AuthorTulloch, Carol
AuthorVelody, Rachel
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L320 Gender studies
Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L320 Gender studies > L321 Women's Studies
Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L330 Ethnic studies
Other > Social studies > L600 Anthropology > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Copyright Holders: Berg Publishers
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2012 15:10
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/967
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