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I began with a half dozen depth interviews and a small scale student survey involving ideas about footwear.I subsequently enlisted 96 university students (32 in 1990 and another 64 in 2000) to examine their wardrobes and write-up an autobiography of their shoes in a manner suggested by the work of Kopytoff (1986) and Lofgren (1990).The poignancy and meaning attached to this purchase is evident in reports such as this one: I was in 6th grade when I decided I was ready to venture into the world of womanhood; I needed to bless my virgin feet with their first pair of high heels. I even charged one of my father's houseguests rent for staying in my room.Every time my family went shopping, I begged to go see if "my" shoes were still there, to make sure that nobody had stolen them away from me.Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.Shoes figure prominently in stories and fairytales, including Cinderella (a highly sexualized tale in it's more original versions-e.g., Bettleheim 1976), Puss n'Boots, Seven League Boots, The Wizard of Oz, The Red Shoes, and The Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe, as well a more contemporary tales (e.g., Bird 1998; Mc Murtry 1982; Nicholson 1997; Wolfe 1987; Vonnegut 1987).Shoes and our desire for them are the objects of art (e.g., Cotton 1999; West 2001; Warhol 1998), satire (e.g., Alderson 1998; Pond 1985), museum exhibitions (e.g., Michell 1997; Pratt and Woolley 1999; Ricci 1992), films (Turim 2001), and expos Ts (e.g., Goldman and Papson 1998, Vanderbilt 1996).
Not only is footwear an extension of self, it also acts as a repository of memory and meaning in our lives.SHOES AND IDENTITY Rites of Passage In other times and places including Scotland (Wright 1922) and Mexico (Heyman 1994), the mere possession of shoes was enough to confer status, with the rich being known as "people with shoes." In other contexts, including American adolescence, the type of shoes worn is the more critical marker of age and economic status.One of the more common rites of passage involving shoes, is a young girl's symbolic transformation to womanhood through her first pair of high heeled shoes.While the shoe autobiographies come from university students primarily in their early twenties, the interviews include a wider set of people ranging in age from 16 to 74.Just under 10 percent of the 288 interviews and autobiographies were from people born outside of the U.Interviews and autobiographies also revealed that while no male reported owning more than 30 pairs of footwear, several women had over 100 pairs and a dozen owned between 50 and 70 pairs. * There is at least one pair of my footwear that I will probably keep forever.The survey also found that women were significantly more likely than men to agree with statements that: * I often look at what shoes women wear. Nevertheless, both sexes overwhelmingly rejected the latter statement.They stand for everything you've ever wanted: glamour, success, a rapierlike wit, a date with the Sex God of your choice, Barbie's wedding dress. study the impression is accurate-buying, wearing, caring for, and disposing of shoes is for them a necessity with which they concern themselves as little as possible.Shoes hint that attaining those things is just as easy as slipping them on your feet. An initial impression might well be that there is no more ordinary and unremarkable consumption object than shoes. But far more commonly, shoes are seen as highly significant articles of clothing that are regarded as expressing the wearer's personality and perhaps as even capable of magically transforming them into beautiful, handsome, happy, confident, or heroic people.Men, however, paid approximately more for their most expensive footwear. * I have a difficult time throwing out old footwear.The depth interviews and shoe autobiographies conducted in 2000 support these findings, but only after excluding two women who paid more than 00 for their most expensive shoes or boots. * Some of my footwear has sentimental meaning for me.