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Theories of (Management ?) Fashion: the Contributions of Veblen, Simmel, Blumer, and Bourdieu


  • Ruling, C.-C.


Recent fashion phenomena in the field of management have received growing attention by scholars and management practitioners alike. Much of the existing management fashion literature however operates without providing a clear conceptual and theoritical fonction. It tends to build on common-sense notions of fashion and overlooks the significant contributions in the sociological tradition of fashion theorizing. This paper aims at making a contributions to closing the "theory gap" in the discussion of management fashion by presenting four of the major contributions to the sociological tradition of fashion theorizing. First, I briefly outline the fashion writings of Veblen, Blumer, Simmel, and Bourdieux. I then try to integrate the different theoretical positions in a discussion of fashion's double role for social change as well as for reproduction of social structures. In the third section, I try outline, which elements from the sociological fashion theories outlined in this paper should be included in the recent discussion of management fashion.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruling, C.-C., 2000. "Theories of (Management ?) Fashion: the Contributions of Veblen, Simmel, Blumer, and Bourdieu," Papers 2000.01, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Universite de Geneve-.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:ehecge:2000.01

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    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media


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