Fashion as factor of social adaptation of youth

Natalia Valentinovna Kalinina


Kalinina N.V.  Fashion as factor of social adaptation of youth// Psychological science and practice: State of the Art. Collected papers / Ed. Kostrigin A.A. Chicago, 2017. P. 89-92.

In modern society fashion plays an increasingly important role in human life: an increasing number of people show interest in it, follow its tendencies and seek to follow them. Orientation of society to the values of an individual and the desire of the individual to manifest their individuality create the conditions for increasing the importance of fashion in the social adaptation of modern man.

Since its inception, fashion has performed meaningful social functions: it acts as a means of involving the individual in social and cultural experience. Participation in it is associated with the development of certain social norms and values (Parygin 1999, Shubin 1987). Modern socio-psychological studies of fashion (Gofman, 2010, Zimmel, 1996, Kiloshenko, 2001, Parygin 1999) allow us to determine the resources contained in it for social adaptation of the individual. Fashion allows the individual to choose the landmarks, find his social group and emphasize his belonging to it, to distinguish himself from the social group and express his own individuality, to manifest himself in interaction with the objective world, other people and himself, can perform the functions of emotional relaxation and has psychotherapeutic effects. As a resource potential of fashion, it is also possible to distinguish the need for personal elections and for changing habitual strategies of behavior (Kalinina, 2017).

Of particular importance fashion is for social adaptation of young people. Interest in fashion reflects young people's search for their identity. Since the fashion "reflects the objective needs of the person and determines the nature of human actions to meet them" (Kiloshenko, 2001, p. 50), we associate the adaptive fashion resources for young people with the satisfaction of their leading needs ‑ self-assertion and self-determination. Fashion gives an opportunity to express themselves, to show their individuality, at the same time, it allows to show their belonging to the significant group, to emphasize a certain status. Young people are prone to novelty, to experiments on themselves, realization of which the fashionable behavior allows for.

The special importance of fashion for young people is also connected with the fact that they form their own value system. For its formation it is necessary to push away from the old, habitual, to oppose the past to a new one. Fashion often acts as a source and regulator of new values, providing the direction of social adaptation processes.

The survey, carried out by us among young people aged 15-18, aimed at revealing their attitude to fashion, the motives of fashionable behavior, the trends in choosing fashionable objects, made it possible to allocate resources and fashion risks in the social adaptation of modern youth. It is established that for most respondents fashion plays an important role in social adaptation. Following the fashion and acceptance of the values conveyed by the fashion is considered important and compulsory among the youth. Adaptive fashion resources for young people are associated with opportunities to make personal choices and freely manifest creativity in socially acceptable forms.

It is found out that the important adaptive resource of fashion for young people is its orientation to unusualness and risk. At the same time, the emphasis in the choice of fashionable objects and the motives of the fashionable behavior are shifted in the direction of the influence of virtual reality. Virtual reality becomes the most important factor determining the direction of the formation of fashionable values and determining the motives of fashionable behavior. This creates the risks of social adaptation associated with the transmission via the Internet of unconstructive fashion values and requires regulation by society.

The data obtained can form the basis for the management of fashion as the resource for social adaptation of young people.

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(c) 2017 Natalia Valentinovna Kalinina