Ted Polhemus

Honorary Doctor of Arts (Southampton Solent University)
PopAnth Author

When, in the early '70s, Ted decided to focus his efforts on exploring the anthropology of style, one of his professors took him aside to suggest that, instead, he should study something "serious and important." For 35+ years now – by means of books, lectures, exhibitions and consultancy – he has demonstrated that, far from being superficial and frivolous, style, fashion, design and other forms of our visual popular culture are a crucial key to understanding where we are "at." And where we are going.

Ted's latest book, "BOOM! A Baby Boomer Memoir, 1947-2022," spotlights the key films, TV, fiction, fashion, streetstyle, and music of the late 20th and early 21st centuries to show how the simple demographic blip of the post-war baby boom has and still is shaping our culture in the broadest sense.


Bibliography

Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll . . . Straight from the fridge - I Love Lucy meets The Sopranos in The Twilight Zone. From Elvis to Johnny Rotten, Neptune, New Jersey (with Greetings from Asbury Park) to Swinging London. Some say 'it all happened in the 60s' but in Boom! anthropologist and social historian Ted Polhemus shows how the roots of our (post) modern age go back to the heady years just …


Exploring adornment and dress from an anthropological perspective - a classic text from 1978 revised with a new introduction and postscript for the 21 century.


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In high fashion a cycle of New Looks dictated what we should wear from season to season; similarly in the style wars of the streets you were a zootie, a beatnik, a punk. Post-punk, fashion itself went out of fashion. This study reveals the liberation of being able to dress how we please.



PopAnth Articles

Why "youth" is an outdated myth

Why "youth" is an outdated myth

Thanks to the Baby Boomers, fashion markets today are youth-obsessed. But are the youth really still where it's at? Do they resent being labelled "youth"? Maybe it's time to re-think our marketing–and our understanding of society.Read on »