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Exploring the role of fashion in identity creation for Generation X women

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, May 13, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Project reference number: GSBS-2019-124

Perceptions of femininity have evolved significantly over the last fifty years, and fashion has played a role in the trajectory of feminism and autonomy. In the 1980’s when Generation-X were entering adulthood, societal expectations of femininity were evolving from domesticity, professional roles (and indeed the country was led by a female PM). Supporting this transition, fashion acts as a visual signifier of multiple constructs of femininity. As Generation-X enters maturity (50 years plus), medical advancements and fitness trends have increased life expectancies; there are greater prospects for living longer in better health. However, ‘ageism’ is still experienced within society, especially the fashion industry. Many women struggle with the aging process and, for example, seek to mask grey hairs with hair dye, maintain a slim figure and purchase beauty products to minimise wrinkles and sagging skin. There has also been a rise in medical interventions to mitigate the aging process. As such, patriarchal assumptions of femininity as aesthetically pleasing continues, despite progress in the feminist movement. Little is known of how this is experienced in identity construction, particularly as fashion research and brands focuses on younger generations. We would argue that Generation-X females are neglected by both, despite this cohort having a considerable disposable income. Consequently, this research aims to explore the relationship Generation-X women have with fashion. Assuming a paradigm that identity is socially constructed, how do this cohort reflect back on the role of fashion to create an identity that represents their sense of self, femininity and autonomy, as well as representing their current sense of self in mature women-hood?

We welcome a more detailed proposal with research objectives supporting the research aim that engages with pertinent research themes, to be sent as part of the application process. Maximum 1500 words.

Supervisor Research Profiles

Director of Studies:Dr. Elaine Ritch
GCU Research Online URL:

2nd Supervisor: Dr. Noreen Siddiqui
GCU Research Online URL:

3rd Supervisor: Prof. Norman Peng
GCU Research Online URL:

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2019

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

For further details on funding see View Website

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