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Code switching, Baggy Pants & Contextualizing Behavior

 

 

My professor walked into class today wearing a 3XL white tee, black timberlands and blue jean pants that were sagging down under his but. His underwear revealed a checkered red and white pattern that possibly symbolized the color of a local gang. Can you, no…would you believe that a tenured University of Chicago professor would walk into the classroom (or anywhere else for that matter) dressed in such a way?

Well my professor did not actually dress in urban style clothing. The majority of my professors actually wear business casual or professional clothing, however, I think it would present a challenging and important political question if a professor did decide to present him or herself like that.  Do cloths delegitimize someone’s position, prestige, or power? Many would not even be bothered with this question and move to simply dismiss this “act” as inappropriate. Yet, I would like to know who decides what is appropriate? Who makes a shirt and tie represent educated and professional? And who deems the sagging of pants a manifestation of ignorance?


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