Robson on “Dressing Constitutionally”

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Ruthann Robson (CUNY) has posted to SSRN the Introduction and Table of Contents of her new book Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our ShoesHere is the abstract:

The intertwining of our clothes and our Constitution raise fundamental questions of hierarchy, sexuality, and democracy. From our hairstyles to our shoes, constitutional considerations both constrain and confirm our daily choices. In turn, our attire and appearance provide multilayered perspectives on the United States Constitution and its interpretations. Our garments often raise First Amendment issues of expression or religion, but they also prompt questions of equality on the basis of gender, race, and sexuality. At work, in court, in schools, in prisons, and on the streets, our clothes and grooming provoke constitutional controversies. Additionally, the production, trade, and consumption of apparel implicate constitutional concerns including colonial sumptuary laws, slavery, wage and hour laws, and current notions of free trade. The regulation of what we wear –- or don’t –- is ubiquitous.

The book will be published by Cambridge University Press next month.

-Bridget Crawford

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