Men's manifesto: construction of stereotypes and representation of "male fantasies" - clothing, appearance, typology and forms of social functioning of male power in the era of Yugoslav socialism, 2014

Initial research at the Center for Research of Fashion and Clothing (CIMO) for the needs of the Men's Manifesto project began in 2014 through an archival review of the Illustrated Journal (Ilustrirani Vjesnik) for the period 1946-1951. later used in further stages of visual exploration.

Within the current efforts to understand more complex cultural phenomena, and according to the model of interdisciplinary anthropological approach to cultural and visual studies, there is a need for research focusing identity policies of the construction of the "new man character" in the postwar socio-ideological space. the stereotype of a “social mentality”. The "new" construction of reality (socialism, industrialization, modernization) required new forms of representation of the power of homo politicus, which was built through the image of man as an iconic sign (masculinity, modernity, "body and suit", social status,…).

Ideological - institutional "redrawing" of the construction of identity ("comrade", worker, peasant, soldier, athlete,…) through clothing and appearance, in its breadth of everyday life, is shown as a continuity of masculine social power that today overlaps with neoconservative and patriarchal constructions of reality .

The proposed research project of the CIMO center will contribute to the promotion of awareness and sensibility of gender, social and cultural awareness in distinguishing between individual and social body. It is a project that "originates from a certain place" that could be included in European and wider exchange of cultural programs and projects that thematize forms of social functioning (male) power, today a very relevant area of research.

The project Men's Manifesto: Construction of Stereotypes and Representation of "Male   Fantasies" - Clothing, Appearance, Typology and Forms of Social Functioning of Male   Power in the Age of Yugoslav Socialism is planned as a research project to examine how the construction of masculine social power manifests itself as a construct of social representation. cultural identity in public space through body language and clothing.

It explores a multitude of stereotypes through the typology of dress and appearance (uniforms, work suits, "gray" suits for politicians and "officials", sports dress, suits for "festive" occasions) in the context of specific ideological, cultural, social and political circumstances of the Croatian public space (in the period from 1945 to 1991).

The first part of the research refers to the period from the early post-revolutionary period to the time of the development of living standards and the emergence of consumerism (from 1945 to 1960) when clothing design and production shifted from manufacturing and individual crafts to  mass production, and thus to the entry of ideological propaganda into the field of industry, through advertising and publicity.

The research examines and analyzes the phenomenology and visual technologies of male-looking construction using interdisciplinary approaches to cultural and visual studies.

These approaches and methodology have their foundation both in modern theoretical concepts and in empirical approaches to recording (searching archives, analyzing the content of publications, "reading" photographs, propaganda material,…).

Project leaders: Tonči Vladislavić, Sonja Briski Uzelac

Researchers: Lea Vene, Ivana Čuljak


* The project is supported by the City Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, for 2014.

* Copyright © cimo - a center for research of fashion and clothing. All rights reserved.

* Photos: private archives t.v.