The studies for my PhD, titled "Comfort in Clothing: A Baumanian Critique of How Clothing Contributes to the Well-being of Women in the United Kingdom", utilized Zygmunt Bauman's concept of "liquid modernity" as a critical lens to explore the synergies between Western contemporary fashion, clothing and dress practices, and the subject of well-being. Where orthodox sociology was concerned with human obedience and conformity, sociology in modern times, according to Bauman's "Liquid Modernity" (2012), is more concerned with freedom, autonomy and responsibility. Bauman used the term "liquid modernity" where other authors use "post-" or "late-modernity." In this changeable and materialistic economy, Bauman suggests a culture of consumerism, which reflects the current fashion system in terms of speed of change (trends), ease of access (cheap, mass produced and readily available) and ease of disposal (wear once, throw-away practices). Bauman noted that many people are unhappy without being able to articulate why or what might be causing their unhappiness. Thus, the postmodern human condition is identified by Bauman as an ongoing challenge, the very meaning of "staying alive and well", suggesting that Bauman's concepts are an appropriate choice for research with a focus on well-being. The reading list presented here includes texts related to fashion, dress and well-being, focusing on the key topic of comfort from both a sociological and psychological perspective.
CROSS, K. 2021. Well-being in liquid modernity: an annotated bibliography. Fashion studies journal [online], Fashion and mental health. Available from: https://www.fashionstudiesjournal.org/fashion-mental-health-additional-resources/2021/7/1/well-being-in-liquid-modernity-an-annotated-bibliography