What Would Jesus Wear?: The Fashioning of the Cross




Sotolongo, Michelle M.

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The use of the Cross in a non-religious, dress-related context has been the norm in contemporary society for the past several decades. However, the Cross is a historically sacred symbol of Christianity. The conflict presented by these divergent uses of the Cross in dress suggests that individuals choose to redefine the nature of this symbol from sacred to secular. Public figures, such as Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, Naomi Campbell, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Hurley, and Paris Hilton, have all attracted attention by their wearing of the Cross. The transitional use and connotation of religious symbols is not novel. A review of related research details the purpose of dress and symbols in appearance management. Having an understanding of prominent researchers in this field and their respective work provides a milieu for investigating the use of the Cross by college-peers in a public, dress-related context. The data collection procedure for this study was a semi-structured interview. Information from the interviews emphasizes the perceptions these college peers have about themselves and others regarding the Cross and what role that symbolic interaction plays.



fashion, dress, cross, symbol, symbolic interaction, fashion statement, Madonna, accessories, Honors College


Sotolongo, M. M. (2007). What would Jesus wear?: The fashioning of the cross (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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