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So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.ABSTRACT - Based on questionnaires, observations, and interviews in 19, it is clear that to most Americans, their footwear is an extension and expression of themselves.Each student subsequently conducted semi-structured depth interviews with two non-students and prepared transcriptions.The students in the 2000 study also conducted and wrote-up observations of shoe buying behaviors.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.
For adolescents, shoes are a key signifier of their identities, and the shoes they desire often conflict what their parents regard as appropriate.Shoes appear as a key vehicle through which adolescents and young adults work out issues of identity, individualism, conformity, lifestyle, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and personality.This paper draws on portions of two studies conducted in 19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.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.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 average American woman is said to own 30 pairs of shoes and 88 percent of women buy shoes that are a size too small (O'Keeffe 1996).Americans buy approximately a billion pairs of footwear a year and 80 percent of these are estimated to be purchased for purposes of sexual attraction (Rossi 1993).The study finds strong gender differences, with women being more alert to the symbolic implications of shoes than men.Shoes affect our perceptions of others and our perceptions of self, including our passage into adulthood.