Jordan Foster’s new article titled "Scatter My Ashes at Saks Fifth Avenue: Boundary work and intermediation in the fashion landscape" was published in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Foster is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on consumption, culture, new media, inequality, and class politics. His new article focuses on how cultural intermediaries generate and deploy authority and expertise to bridge social boundaries with consumers of fashion. He explores the people, places, and affective strategies that bring fashion’s dreams and anxieties to life on the sales floor. The abstract of the article is posted below, and you can find the full article on Sage.
“Past research shows that intermediaries exercise a significant amount of authority and power in cultural fields. In this article, I investigate the case of cultural intermediaries who might appear to have a deficit of power and authority. Stylists and visual merchandisers in luxury fashion cater to elite clients who possess high levels of cultural and economic capital. How do these cultural intermediaries mobilize their cultural capital and expertise to bridge the social boundaries between themselves and their elite clients? Drawing on 17 in-depth interviews and 30 site visits, I find that stylists and visual merchandisers rely on a set of place-based and affective techniques for mobilizing their capital. The case of luxury fashion highlights the role of place in cultural intermediary work and the variation in how intermediaries generate and deploy authority and expertise to bridge social boundaries with consumers of fashion.”