Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sociology/fashion design project – a plea for assistance

Apparel design students at UW-Stout are required to take one sociology class. I find the class interesting, although I am not sure if as a designer I will ever use what I learn in the class. My final project is to use the concepts from the semester to construct a sociological argument about a problem at UW-Stout. In order to make this class more relevant to my major, I decided to find a topic that relates to apparel design. I have noticed that as a man I am part of a very small minority in my program, so my paper will be about gender disparities in the apparel/fashion field.

The paper is due on April 29, but we were given the assignment last week so that we will have ample time to collect data. I found graduation numbers for 1988 through 2009 (data were not available for 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1999). In that time UW-Stout awarded 351 bachelor’s degrees to apparel design students. Only 13 of those degree recipients were men.

Are these data typical of fashion design programs at other schools? I would like to hear from students at other schools about the make-up of their design programs. What percentage of the students are men? I am interested in both quantitative and qualitative data. Men, how do you feel about being a student in a predominantly female field? Do you experience any problems because of your gender? What are they, and how do you overcome them? Women, what do you think about men in fashion design?

Any input about this matter will be greatly appreciated. Please post your comments to this blog or email me at Thank you.

The identity of all respondents will remain confidential.

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