Clothing, Adornment and Human Behavior [CRN 27330]

Discipline: Apparel and Merchandising
Instructor: Littrell
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 12:10
End: 13:30
Field Work: Day 2 | April 1, 2017 | Ghana
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Clothing includes modifications made to the physical self (hair color, tanning, tattoos, scarification, perfumes, plastic surgery) and additions to the body (textile coverings, hats, shoes, jewelry, hair clips, false eyelashes, body piercing). In this class we will examine psychological, sociological, and cultural factors related to individual and group clothing choices in varied contexts. Dress and appearance will be related to development of the self and to forms of self- expression (individuality, conformity, rebellion, gender, body image). We will explore how clothing is used as a form of nonverbal communication and how appearance can contribute to or hinder social relationships and group behaviors. Among local residents in ports of call, students will carry out observation assignments to compare and contrast clothing use across the life span.  In addition, students will conduct a group research project centered on a targeted aspect of clothing use among shipboard participants. Social and psychological factors will be applied for understanding the meanings clothing holds for the wearers.


Field Work

Country: Ghana
Day: 2
Date: April 1, 2017

This full-day, field class will build on class readings and discussion about Ghanaian dress and appearance, and specifically on the use of beads in Ghana. We will travel to the Cedi Bead Industry near Odumase-Krobo where we will spend a special day planned for us by founder and director Nomoda Ebenizer Daba (Cedi), who has been producing beads for over 35 years, and his wife Mariama Djaba. Cedi’s beads are sold throughout Ghana and internationally. Cedi and Mariama will give a presentation and demonstration on bead production, including crushing of recycled glass, forming of molds, and kiln firing. They will also talk about the important functions of beads in puberty rites and wedding ceremonies. After the demonstration, students will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop for producing a small collection of their own beads. No prior bead making experience is needed. A typical Ghanaian lunch will be served during the day.

Academic Objectives:
1. Examine the functions that glass beads play in the life of the Krobo people of Eastern Ghana, from historic and contemporary perspectives.
2. Understand processes for making different types of beads, i.e., translucent recycled glass beads, painted/glazed beads, etc.
3. Participate in a bead making class for understanding the processes. Take the beads with you.
4. Analyze strategies that the founder and director of Cedi Beads employed for developing local and international markets for his beads.