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Dressing Constitutionally
Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from our Hairstyles to our Shoes

$36.99 (P)

  • Date Published: July 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521140041

$ 36.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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 implicates 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. From a noted constitutional scholar and commentator, this book examines the rights to expression and equality, as well as the restraints on government power, as they both limit and allow control of our most personal choices of attire and grooming.

    • Discusses how the government regulates what we wear and how we look - and how the Constitution influences this
    • Examines how the Constitution itself was shaped by fashion
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Dressing Constitutionally is an important book on an important subject: how the law affects how we look and what forms of self- expression are protected. Combining thorough research and engaging stories, Robson’s account should make us rethink the role of constitutional doctrine, and its affect on personal liberty and social equality." - Deborah L. Rhode, E.W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford University

    "Dressing Constitutionally offers a dazzling and a dizzying array of constitutional doctrine, ranging from whether students have the right to wear arm bands as a protest against government policies to whether criminal defendants can be required to wear leg shackles in courts, from whether the Fourth Amendment permits strip searches when persons are stopped for minor offences to whether the First Amendment protects strip teases. Examining topics cutting across personal and public life, Ruthann Robson teaches us that we are all cloaked in the mantle of the law." - Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

    "The book is fantastic … Each chapter is thickly layered with individual stories, historical moments, and case reviews. The connections between and amongst the identified parts are beautifully drawn. The writing is lucid and mature. The book is Robson at her best."
    Kim Brooks, Jotwell

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521140041
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Dressing historically
    2. Dressing barely
    3. Dressing sexily
    4. Dressing professionally
    5. Dressing disruptively
    6. Dressing religiously
    7. Dressing economically.

  • Author

    Ruthann Robson, City University of New York School of Law
    Ruthann Robson is Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York School of Law. She is the author of Sappho Goes to Law School (1998), Gay Men, Lesbians, and the Law (1996) and Lesbian (Out)Law: Survival Under the Rule of Law (1992), and the editor of International Library of Essays in Sexuality and Law (2011).

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