- 共立女子短期大学生活科学科紀要 = Annual bulletin, Department of the Science of Living
- vol.58, pp.29-55, 2015-02
This paper presents the ethnography methodologies that situate collections of fashion photographs as their subject. In particular, the focus herein is on concrete examples of fashion photography collections that have, in recent years, gained new meaning as ethnographic case studies in the realm of fashion. We explored the various research methodologies that are used on these subjects. If we consider that ethnography developed as a means of understanding the worldview of other cultures and peoples, exploring said issues via the lens of fashion is a valid ethnographic technique; we also established that said technique is a fruitful ethnographic tool not only when used towards other cultures, but within one's own cultural sphere as a means of considering both the rationale for the wearing of different attire and the changes seen in one's own fashion, as well as the circumstances contributing to those changes. In addition, rather than emphasize the diversity of ethnographic methodologies, namely, the researchers' perspective, we emphasized the importance of exploring the plurality of viewpoints that the readers themselves can have. Japanese street fashion's drawing attention overseas originates from the fashion blogs and photograph collections that long captured interest abroad before the fashions themselves reached those shores. This “proto-ethnographic” media has had a much larger impact than academic research paper, and we emphasize that it is, to some extent, a contemporary form of “visual ethnography,” whereby the reader/viewer can freely interact with and interpret such media. For this reason, as a newly emergent domain, it should increasingly be made the subject of future research.