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  • Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging

    Author(s):
    Pages: 272
    Illustrations: 38 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6015-5
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6030-8
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  • Acknowledgments  vii

    Introduction. Asian Personal Style Superbloggers and the Material Conditions and Contexts of Asian Fashion Work  1

    1. The Taste and Aftertaste for Asian Superbloggers  41

    2. Style Stories, Written Tastes, and the Work of Self-Composure  81

    3. "So Many and All the Same" (but Not Quite): Outfit Photos and the Codes of Asian Eliteness  105

    4. The Racial and Gendered Job Performances of Fashion Blogger Poses  129

    5. Invisible Labor and Racial Visibilities in Outfit Posts  167

    Coda. All in the Eyes  193

    Notes  201

    Bibliography  219

    Index  247
  • "Street-style photos never cease to be a form of inspiration. Minh-Ha T. Pham takes a look at how exactly style superbloggers came to be, while celebrating Asian fashion and styling at the same time. She also takes a critical look at what mainstream media thinks of as 'Asian style,' making it both a must-read and a beautiful book."

    "[A] deeply engaging and sophisticated discussion of the race and gender dynamics that affect Asian fashion labor."

    "Pham’s book is sharp, punchy and eminently readable. It is full of shrewd visual and textual analysis of the content of blogs and puts forward a muchneeded critique of the kinds of critiques that bloggers themselves tend to have launched at them. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed reading Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet, and I would recommend it to any scholar interested in blogging, social media, personal style, creative labour or race and gender politics in fashion today."
     

    "With Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet, Pham makes a significant contribution to scholarship on fashion, race, gender, and online media by eloquently demonstrating the ambivalent outcomes when Asianness becomes productive of economic and cultural value. While Asian superbloggers serve as evidence that the previously marginalized can gain entry into fashion’s highest status venues, Pham deftly shows that behind the veneer of this apparent democratization lies an unpaid or underpaid, racialized labor force."

    Reviews

  • "Street-style photos never cease to be a form of inspiration. Minh-Ha T. Pham takes a look at how exactly style superbloggers came to be, while celebrating Asian fashion and styling at the same time. She also takes a critical look at what mainstream media thinks of as 'Asian style,' making it both a must-read and a beautiful book."

    "[A] deeply engaging and sophisticated discussion of the race and gender dynamics that affect Asian fashion labor."

    "Pham’s book is sharp, punchy and eminently readable. It is full of shrewd visual and textual analysis of the content of blogs and puts forward a muchneeded critique of the kinds of critiques that bloggers themselves tend to have launched at them. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed reading Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet, and I would recommend it to any scholar interested in blogging, social media, personal style, creative labour or race and gender politics in fashion today."
     

    "With Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet, Pham makes a significant contribution to scholarship on fashion, race, gender, and online media by eloquently demonstrating the ambivalent outcomes when Asianness becomes productive of economic and cultural value. While Asian superbloggers serve as evidence that the previously marginalized can gain entry into fashion’s highest status venues, Pham deftly shows that behind the veneer of this apparent democratization lies an unpaid or underpaid, racialized labor force."

  • "Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet is a fiercely imaginative and inspiring book. Minh-Ha T. Pham's discussion of the garment industry's racialization and the details she provides about bloggers' lives and the conditions of their labor is impressive. She acknowledges and debunks the writing on overly utopian and breathless views of digital media as 'participatory culture' while giving full credit and agency to the bloggers she writes about. Stunning!"  — Lisa Nakamura, author of Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet

    "Theorizing an unstudied yet influential cultural archive, Minh-Ha T. Pham offers an engaging and sophisticated analysis of personal style blogs that breaks new ground in our understandings of the intersections of technology, aesthetics, racial formation, and cultures of consumption. An important and timely contribution to Asian American studies, media studies, fashion studies, and critical race studies."  — Denise Cruz, author of Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina

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  • Description

    In the first ever book devoted to a critical investigation of the personal style blogosphere, Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the phenomenal rise of elite Asian bloggers who have made a career of posting photographs of themselves wearing clothes on the Internet. Pham understands their online activities as “taste work” practices that generate myriad forms of capital for superbloggers and the brands they feature. A multifaceted and detailed analysis, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet addresses questions concerning the status and meaning of “Asian taste” in the early twenty-first century, the kinds of cultural and economic work Asian tastes do, and the fashion public and industry’s appetite for certain kinds of racialized eliteness. Situating blogging within the historical context of gendered and racialized fashion work while being attentive to the broader cultural, technological, and economic shifts in global consumer capitalism, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet has profound implications for understanding the changing and enduring dynamics of race, gender, and class in shaping some of the most popular work practices and spaces of the digital fashion media economy.
     

    About The Author(s)

    Minh-Ha T. Pham is Assistant Professor in the Graduate Media Studies Program at the Pratt Institute. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, NPR, Jezebel, and the Huffington Post.
     
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