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Grabbing Back: The Form and Meaning of the Pussy Hat
International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
  • Kristy Janigo, Target Corporation
  • Theresa Lastovich, Iowa State University
  • Marilyn DeLong, University of Minnesota
  • Eulanda Sanders, Iowa State University
DPD: Design/Product Development

The purpose of this study was to understand motivations for participating in the Women's March. We used symbolic interaction theory, specifically, the essay "Appearance and the Self" as a guideline to analyze the data (Stone, 1962). We also interpreted the meaning of the pussy hats as symbols through the form, viewer, and context aesthetic analysis framework (DeLong, 1998). The study used an inductive approach with observations and audio recorded interviews of the event attendants 18 and older. Authors collected data in Washington, D.C., and in St. Paul. The goals of the ethnographic process were to observe dress as a tool of nonverbal communication and to understand referent meanings of the pussy hat. Pussy hats provided salient visual communication representing women's empowerment and support. The making of the hats became a form of activism, which mobilized supporters of the movement.

Citation Information
Kristy Janigo, Theresa Lastovich, Marilyn DeLong and Eulanda Sanders. "Grabbing Back: The Form and Meaning of the Pussy Hat" (2017)
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