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Sociology, Post Modernism, Art and the Handbag?

Time for a little light relief for the end of term? This new book from the French Sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann has been all over the British press this week; The Times, The Guardian and The Express. In it he collates 18 months of research looking at what a handbag says about its owner. According to Kaufmann, “I’m like an ethnologist except that, instead of observing a tribe, I observe women. It is perfectly understandable, given that the advent of the handbag coincided with the dawn of choice, so it highlights the way in which women have been able to construct their own identities.
On a similar theme the French video artist Pierre Klein simply asks women to empty the contents and explain what the contents say about the owner. So there you have it, a perfect end of term ‘Starter’ activity - get your students to empty the contents of their bags!

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