A Linguistic and Literary Analysis of Discourses of Fashion: A Foucauldian Analysis of Karen Russell’s Flash Fiction


  • Mohammad Muazzam Sharif Lecturer, Department of English, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan
  • Mujahid Shah Assistant Professor, Department of English, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan
  • Amjad Saleem Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Peshawar


Consumerism, Flash Fiction, Subject and Power, Capitalist Power


This paper aims to explore how discourses of fashion are shaped by capitalist power structures and how as a corollary they tend to enforce capitalist practices of consumerism. The study attempts to identify and understand the nature of fashion discourses and question the purpose they serve. All this is done by linguistic analysis. The analysis is carried out on Karen Russell’s fashion flash fiction, published in Vogue magazine in March, 2012. The nature of the study is qualitative guided by Foucault’s theory of “Subject and Power”. The findings of the study substantiate the claims made in the research hypotheses, that is, fashion is a construct shaped by power which is exercised through relationships and serves to fortify consumerist practices, both at individual and communal levels.