Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Hocks

Second Advisor

Dr. George Pullman

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Lopez

Abstract

Fashion is a site of cultural production where issues of gender, identity and consumerism meet. While the rhetoric of the fashion industry often remains focused on innovation at the expense of women's lived experiences, independent fashion bloggers provide a necessary cultural critique of its practices. However, as the fashion industry pays more attention to bloggers in order to engage their growing readership, bloggers’ oppositional role has become more complicated. To explore the current context of these women’s writing in relation to a powerful economic industry, I analyze the role that ethos plays as a rhetorical concept and analyze how it is used by female bloggers who write about women’s fashion. In light of recent scholarship and of the current media landscape, bloggers’ use of ethos is important to their work even as it is complex and contradictory.

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