Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The fashion scout and the cop: Scanning the streets with similar methods for different targets

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
University of Cincinnati research compares practices used by fashion industry casting directors to the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk program.

New York City fashion scouts and police officers often rely on a well-honed gut instinct to help make critical judgments of total strangers.

Related Articles


One group hunts beauty; the other, criminality -- all in the same concrete jungle.

But these apparently disparate groups of expert evaluators actually have a lot in common, according to research by the University of Cincinnati's Stephanie Sadre-Orafai.

"These seemingly common sense ways of evaluating criminality and/or beauty are culturally, socially and historically located, and they are connected," says Sadre-Orafai, an assistant professor of anthropology in UC's McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. "Their similarities reveal a broader cultural logic that has the potential to be shifted but is reinforced daily through the institutionalization and public acceptance of these practices."

Sadre-Orafai will present her research "Street Suspicion: Experts & Types in Post-9/11 New York City" at the American Anthropological Association's (AAA) 112th annual meeting to be held Nov. 20-24 in Chicago.

"As much as we say appearance doesn't matter, it does matter," Sadre-Orafai says. "This research is trying to link together how New York City as a space gets carved up in particular ways -- where you find the criminal elements and where you find the beautiful elements. These really aren't disparate practices, they're super connected."

This study builds upon ethnographic research in the fashion industry that Sadre-Orafai began in 2003. She mostly focused on casting directors, a very select group of mediators responsible for shaping the pool of modeling talent by scouring familiar territory for the young and beautiful. Sadre-Orafai found these casting directors had been similarly indoctrinated into the industry and the talent they'd choose often resulted in over-representation of certain kinds of people.

For this latest research, Sadre-Orafai compares what she's learned about fashion scouting to the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk program. The practice is based on the 1968 U.S. Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio. It allows police officers to stop pedestrians and frisk them for weapons or contraband based on reasonable suspicion of criminal intent. Opponents of stop-and-frisk allege it unfairly targets certain racial and ethnic groups.

"There are certain kinds of ideas about multiculturalism at play. The scouting is allegedly to bring more diversity to fashion, more 'realness.' Stop-and-frisk is intended to create a safer space," Sadre-Orafai says. "This research examines how these ideas are really dependent on the imaginations of the individual scouts or officers who don't have formal training. There isn't science behind it. It's fuzzy science, but it has huge consequences."

Sadre-Orafai is considering expanding her research to include corrections officers. For now, she hopes her presentation will serve as a provocative piece to start conversation about broader issues of surveillance.

"My core philosophical question here is, 'How do you really know something?'" she says. "We need to trouble that a little bit more."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "The fashion scout and the cop: Scanning the streets with similar methods for different targets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112819.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2013, November 19). The fashion scout and the cop: Scanning the streets with similar methods for different targets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112819.htm
University of Cincinnati. "The fashion scout and the cop: Scanning the streets with similar methods for different targets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119112819.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins