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Fashions in Shaving and Trimming of the Beard: The Men of the Illustrated London News, 1842-1972

Dwight E. Robinson
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 81, No. 5 (Mar., 1976), pp. 1133-1141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2777558
Page Count: 9
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Fashions in Shaving and Trimming of the Beard: The Men of the Illustrated London News, 1842-1972
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Abstract

This research note presents sample-derived measures of comparative frequencies over time (1842-1972) for changing modes in men's facial barbering. Students of the dynamics of taste have been slow to follow up A. L. Kroeber's pioneering demonstration that shifts in the comparative proportions of women's dress design over time have generally tended to follow alternating directions over long periods which are notably consisten and regular in their recurrence. The remarkable similarity of the chronological patterns emerging from my measurements to those found by Kroeber strongly suggest that they are common expression of underlying conditions and sequences in social behavior. The hypothesis that stylistic changes are subject to common behavioral influences is reinforced now that the two sets of data are available for comparison.

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