History of the fur trade

2.1 History of the Fur Trade

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The pelt trade has been in being for centuries in western states like America, Canada, UK and other European states. The Great Lakes in Canada opened its ports for pelt bargainers in the seventeenth century, participated in by autochthonal people who accepted goods such as pieces and spirits, Fe axes, knives, tomahawks, fish maulerss, trade fabrics, wool covers, linen shirts, brass boilers, jewellery, glass beads, gunpowder, alcoholic drinks, every bit good illnesses which were antecedently alien to them in exchange for pelt ( Native American Encyclopedia, 2014 ) . This extended to the native civilizations in Siberia as Russian bargainers discovered the fur trade in the eighteenth century ( Fur Trade, 2013 ) .

The Hudson’s Bay Company was the greatest British pelt trading company based in Montreal, Canada. It was dominated by Gallic and Scots bargainers. It merged with the North West Company in 1821 after being acrimonious challengers before that. In the United States, its counterpart company was John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. In 1816, British bargainers were non allowed to come in the United States unless they become US Citizens ( Fur Trade, 2013 ) .

The beaver chapeau was the most salable point of the American pelt trade, nevertheless, as manner evolved, American fur trade easy declined. This was because of the promotion of colony with the trade in wild pelts acquiring more popular than pelt of farm animate beings. The stock of beaver and other amimals was besides depleted, stoping the fur trade in the 1840’s in the United States and Canada. Traders exploited their geographic cognition of the beginnings of pelt and the cognition learned from Native Americans in the creative activity of pelt for trading ( Fur Trade, 2013 ) .

Apart from chapeaus, pelt was besides used for fixingss for frocks, chapeaus, muffs and neckbands and finally, full pelt coats became manner points in the late nineteenth century ( Ewing, 1981 ) . It was at that clip when Ag foxes and coypus were bred by husbandmans to resuscitate the glorification yearss of the big fur trade before animate beings were depleted.

By the mid-1940’s mink farming began to be known as a moneymaking concern ( Skov, 2005 ) . Other carnal pelt teguments were besides used such as “weasel, squirrel, raccoon, sable, marten, fisher, seal, cat, Canis familiaris, chinchilla, coney and several types of lamb, including broadtail. Skins from large cats such as leopard and panther cat were besides used” ( Skov, 2005, p. 20 ) .

The universe Centre of the fur trade moved to London in the 1930’s. Having organized “Empire Fur Week” since 1934, the London Fur Trade Association fostered the proliferation of trade diaries dedicated to furriery. It besides signalled the skinning of several 100s of 1000s of fox, ermine, beaver and mink furs. Experimental furriery included the skinning of animate beings which were improbable to be considered fur givers – Wisconsinite, rotter, wolf, skunk, squirrel, musk ox, monkey, nutria, raccoon, wombat, brush kangaroo and even hamsters and house cats ( Dyhouse, 2011 ) .

By the mid 1970s the International Fur Trade Federation ( IFTF ) endorsed the CITES understanding censoring the usage of endangered animate beings as a responsible action for the saving of natural resources ( Skov, 2005 ) .

2.2 Representations of Fur in History

The fur trade that began in North America became a beginning of concern and wealth to Western Europe. Native Americans who have participated in the trade were all of a sudden overwhelmed with new signifiers of exchange such as guns, boilers, tools, new nutrients and luxury points ( Emberley, 1996 ) .

However, Innis ( 1970 ) has recognized the centrality of the fur trade in the development of Canada as a nation-state. It has been understood as influential in turn toing political and economic involvements.

Not merely does it convey in money as a trade good which is in demand but it has besides become a mark of symbolic power ( Emberley, 1996 ) .

2.2.1 Function

Fur coats came into being originally to protect the wearer from the acrimonious cold. Clarke ( 1981 ) narrated that cold conditions calls for vesture with both leather and pelt. The leather garments were worn following to the tegument followed by a bed of fur screen. Extreme coldness may ask two beds of pelt, with the first bed turned hair side in, organizing air pockets that provide insularity and protection from the moistness of sweat. The 2nd bed had its fur bend outwards as a shield against the coldest conditions.

2.2.2 Status

In mediaeval Europe, there was a statute law modulating the erosion of pelt among the aristocracy, the clergy and peasantry to separate their category association and societal rank ( Emberley, 1996 ) . Cosmetic pelts such as ermine were sewn into heraldic crests and coats of weaponries of soldiers while provincials and laborers wore leather dress and on occasion, pelt, but merely as chapeaus and nil more. The more alien and excessive sums of pelt were reserved for the upper categories to bespeak their self-respect and aristocracy.

Prostitutes were non allowed to have on fur and if they must, due to necessity and comfort from the cold, should have on them indoors out. This was besides meant to typify her reverse place as a ‘respectable woman’ and hence, set her apart from those considered respectable ( Baldwin, 1926 ) .

2.2.3 Power

Fur has besides been used to typify power and represent political association. The beaver chapeau was used to separate Puritans and Cavaliers in 17th century England and Charles II gave Hudson’s Bay the monopoly for the North American pelt trade in 1670. In more modern times, ex-President Nixon of the United States referred to the usage of pelt to separate honorable and dishonorable patterns in stating his married woman may non hold a mink coat but she has a respectable Republican fabric coat, but she would look good in anything ( Parmet, 1990 ) . His irony was pointed against his political oppositions to imply sexual properness every bit good as political properness, and Nixon was able to work the representation of pelt at that clip, at the tallness of contention for fur-trapping by First Nations, protests of animate being rights militants against pelt usage and the globalisation of the fur trade ( Emberley, 1996 ) .

2.2.4 Sexual Fetishism

Fur’s innate softness elicits sensualness. The sexual fetichism attributed to fur brings about a new manner of gendered deception associated to “power, erotism and exchange of women” ( Emberley, 1996, p. 440 ) . In an image of a adult female have oning pelt, it is her organic structure that mediates the symbolic exchange. It is besides the sensualness she undertakings while have oning the pelt that invests sexual fetichism in the object, giving it more value and significance to the pelt, while scratching her as a figure of titillating power.

Because the fur coat may stand for wealth and prestigiousness every bit good as titillating power for adult females, people who desire such can develop a strong desire to possess fur, as they have deciphered the codification that it is one ammo of bourgeois adult females of power over work forces ( Emberley, 1996 ) .

2.2.5 Manner

Women’s compulsion for pelt was further deepened with watching film stars flashing assorted sorts of pelt to typify glamor in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Actresss on the Ag screen wore coats with high pelt neckbands or indulged in the finest wraps and full length fox and sable coats. Movie secret plans centered on adult females lifting from poorness to populate more sceptered lives, as in the film Easy Living, a 1937 movie about a adult female named Mary Smith chancing upon an expensive new sable coat and thereafter has transformed her life into a fairy narrative narrative. Fur has become ingrained in manner that in the 1920’s, two out of three adult females in England may be found have oning fur coats or have fur fixingss of some sort in their apparels ( Dyhouse, 2011 ) .

2.3 Fur Activism Movement

The political and libidinal economic systems of pelts have come together in galvanizing ways in the modern-day minute. Constituent to the docket of the animal-rights motion is opposition to carry throughing the fetishistic desires of a governing societal and economic category, whose pleasance derives from the slaughter of animate beings. Implicitly, the human/animal resistance, which structures both unfavorable judgment and support for animal-rights activism, contributes to a new sort of fetichism, the spectacle fetichism of the mass media and its images of sadistic force and inhuman treatment to animate beings.

In the early 20th century the fur trade declined drastically and fur became, in the Western economic context, a fringy trade good which served to redouble its position as a luxury trade good: as certain fur-bearing animate beings became rare and nonextant, so excessively the pelt coat itself became a rare and reified trade good. Meanwhile, in other universes, pelt retains its economic value for Aboriginal people and its symbolic value increases as it becomes a critical support for modern Aboriginal civilizations. ‘For today’s manner, we’d instead dance with wolves than skin them’ recalls a residue of colonial dealingss layered by current ecological rightness and the spectacle fetichism of inhuman treatment to animate beings at the custodies of the businessperson female consumer. I would reason that we can red in this surplus of meanings a postcolonial fable of the history of imperialism. And farther, that the history of pelt in its assorted value-laden contexts constitutes a hoarded wealth house of marks from which to follow the gender and colonial character of early European enlargement.

2.4 Faux vs. Real Fur

In September, 1992, the New York Times Magazine featured a manner spread entitled ‘Furs in Disguise’ . Fur manners, affected by the manner tendencies of the 1980s towards bogus pelts were ‘disguised’ through dyeing and cutting techniques in order to resemble their unreal opposite numbers. This camouflage besides had the added characteristic of dissembling the usage of existent pelt and further abstracting the merchandise from its association with the referent, the fur-bearing animate being. This manner layout represents a strategic response to conflicting symbolic and material involvements.

‘Furs in Disguise’ , an fable of the fake economic and libidinal investings of pelt in our postmodern times, dramatizes the ideological operation of misrecognition indispensable to the trade good and exual fetichism of an object that is made to be known, like the prostitute’s individuality, instead than to calculate in the procedure of cognition.

2.5 Fur Manner

The autumn of pelt in the 1980s was instigated by animate being rights militants led by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA ) . They made a immense impact on their protests against the industry, selling and ingestion of pelt at the disbursal of the animate beings found to be skinned cruelly ( Dyhouse, 2011 ) . However, after more than a decennary, pelt has resurfaced in manner markets. Initially, it reappeared in fixingss on jackets and jumpers or in accoutrements such as bags, belts and places, until it re-emerged as a full length coat. Skov ( 2005 ) reports the displacement from short-haired fells of cattles, ponies and seals popularized in the late ninetiess to long hairs once more. In 2004, Ag fox and lynx were on parade on the Italian catwalk.

Contemporary manner has expanded the design of pelt from coats with conservative cuts to new pelt dress cut closer to the organic structure. New pelts were cut, shaped and dyed in assorted ways to match to the tendencies. Skov ( 2005 ) compared old and new fur manner as follows:

“Whereas the weight of the old pelt coat signified the practical intent of

maintaining its proprietor warm every bit good as her middle-class solidness, new pelt is light ;

with a minimum figure of seams, and without run alonging or interface, a mink coat

now weighs less than 2 kgs. While nucleus consumers used to be adult females over

50, adult females in their mid-thirtiess are now purchasing pelt. At the same clip, pelt is no

longer sold entirely in specialised retail mercantile establishments but through the dress shops

of name interior decorators and sole brands” ( p. 12 )

2.6 Selling Fur

2.7 Women’s Sense of Self

Fredrickson & A ; Roberts’ ( 1997 ) Objectification theory explains how a adult female internalizes how others view her to be her primary position of her physical ego. Such a position leads her to habitually supervise her organic structure, how she dresses and repair herself to look the manner she does. If she does non come near to the high criterions by which she measures her worth, it increases her shame and anxiousness, failure to make motivational extremum provinces and diminishes her consciousness of her internal bodily provinces. This means she may non be witting that in the chase of looking good, she may be hungering her organic structure of the foods it needs to last. Vulnerable to judgement of society, adult females watchfully monitor themselves with the cognition that being positively viewed by others agencies more chances. Surveies have shown that how a woman’s organic structure appears to others can find her life experiences ( Frederickson & A ; Roberts, 1997 ) . Physical attraction seem to count more to females than to males that is why they dominate the scene in manner and beauty.

2.8 Womans and Fur

Fur has been associated with glamor, manner, comfort and success. Womans in post-war Britain desired to possess fur coats, sooner mink, as it is a mark of luxury and a defining quality of muliebrity reflective of one’s gender ( Dyhouse, 2011 ) . Emberley ( 1996 ) noted that the 20th century saw adult females have oning pelt as a manner trade good to demo off the “twin marks of wealth and societal prestige” ( p. 438 ) . She besides contended that “European businessperson adult females actively take part in accomplishing their position through the accretion of the symbolic capital invested in ‘femininity’” ( p. 438 ) .

This investing in her muliebrity with cultural capital earns a adult female a societal distinction from other adult females, and a societal prestigiousness of the subjective value of a adult female eligible as an object of

exchange among the affluent category ( Emberley, 1996 ) . Having entree to the businessperson category comes with certain privileges.

In Leopold von Scher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs ( 1989 ) , fur figures as a cardinal prop in a masochistic play of willed masculine disempowerment and the creative activity of a correlate negativeness, the feminized agent of power and domination:

I went on avidly reading narratives of the most fearful inhuman treatment ; I gazed with peculiar gusto at pictures and engravings picturing such patterns, and I noticed that in every scene pelts were the property of the torturer. The most bloody-minded autocrats that of all time sat upon a throne, and homicidal interrogators who had misbelievers persecuted and burned, and all the adult females whom the great book of history has placed under the mark of beauty, lecherousness and force: Libussa, Lucretia Borgia, Agnes of Hungary, Queen margot, Isabeau, the Sultana Roxelana and the Russian Tsarinas of the last century, all wore fur garments and ermine robes ( 179-80 ) .

Chapter 3


3.1 Qualitative Research

Qualitative or the interpretivists believe that the universe is a societal topographic point and is created by the shared apprehension of state of affairss. ( Roberts – Holmes, 2005 ) . The qualitative research worker tends to utilize schemes such as narrations, instance surveies or phenomenologies, and employs methods such as observation and open-ended interviewing. Qualitative attack focuses on a individual construct, and attempts to convey personal values and positions into the question. In coaction with participants, the research worker interprets the information in order to make an docket for alteration or reform. ( Cresswell, 2003 ) .

Since this survey shall set about research on women’s penetrations about the usage of pelt as an dress, it will be a qualitative method of question during which personal sentiments will be sought so that significance and apprehension could be derived in a holistic, natural model. Peat ( 2002 ) states the strengths of a qualitative survey as being able to obtain information from the position of the participant. This can increase how worlds understand a construct or phenomenon. However, there can be legion restrictions, for case the fact that it can non prove a hypothesis. Besides there can besides be more ethical issues related to qualitative surveies, due to the fact that the participants are giving personal sentiments about the subject being studied or investigated.

3.2 Research Methods Used

3.2.1 Questionnaires

Campbell, McNamara, and Gilroy ( 2004 ) described questionnaires as “a really various data-gathering method ; they are inexpensive, easy to administrate, whether it be to three people or 300, and can be used to garner a great assortment of informations of both quantitative and qualitative nature” ( p. 146 ) . Cohen, Manion, and Morrison ( 2000 ) besides praised the usage of questionnaires for their efficiency. Surveies and questionnaires allow the research worker to roll up a important sum of information in one effort, instead than carry oning interviews over a period of hebdomads. Gillham ( 2000 ) wrote that questionnaires make efficient usage of the respondent’s clip, because the study participant can finish the questionnaire at a clip that is suited, and the study procedure does non necessitate the research worker and respondent to fit free periods of clip to carry on the research. However, a disadvantage of utilizing questionnaires is that the lone informations collected are assortment of tick boxes and brief responses, which means the information tends to hold more comprehensivenesss than deepness ( Watzlawick et al. , 1967 ; Oppenheim, 1992 ) . This result consequences from the deficiency of an interviewer to motivate for farther information or more item in the replies. The questionnaire or study can non construe inquiries for participants who may be ill-defined about what is being asked, so each participant has to decode what they are being asked independently. Participants may fall back to their ain subjective apprehension of the inquiries ( Oppenheim, 1992 ) .

Interviews and questionnaires provide a method of straight arousing a response by inquiring specific inquiries of research involvement. There are a scope of different types of interview methods ; such as journalistic, employment and curative ( Drever. E, 1995 ) Robson ( 2002 ) draws attending to the three different manners of interview ; to the full structured ; semi-structured and unstructured. In a to the full structured interview, the interviewer has predetermined inquiries and uses them in a pre-set order. The semi-structured interview utilizations predetermined inquiries where the order can be modified or adapted as necessary. In an unstructured interview, the interviewer has a general country of involvement, yet allows conversation to develop freely.

Interviews serve the intent of enabling participants to be able to discourse their readings of a construct, every bit good as giving participants the chance to show their ain point of position with respect to certain state of affairss. ( Cohen et al, 2000 ) . The interview method involves oppugning or a treatment of issues with one or more people. It is utile to roll up informations which may non be accessible through observation or questionnaires. ( Blaxter et al, 2006 ) .

  1. Analysis of Datas

The questionnaires shall be analyzed qualitatively with the background of the information taken from the literature reappraisal. Verbatim transcripts of the focal point group interview shall besides be be analyzed qualitatively. Bowen’s ( 2005 ) analysis of interview transcripts identified forms in the information by agencies of thematic codifications. This means there will be subjects in the interview informations that may come up. Patton ( 1980 ) explains “Inductive analysis means that the forms, subjects, and classs of analysis come from the informations ; they emerge out of the informations instead than being imposed on them prior to data aggregation and analysis” ( p. 306 ) . Bowen’s analysis of informations entailed analyzing the forms that emerge, doing logical associations with the interview inquiries and mention to the reappraisal of literature. He inside informations the procedure of deducing his research findings as therefore: “At consecutive phases, subjects moved from a low degree of abstraction to go major, overarching subjects rooted in the concrete grounds provided by the informations. These emerging subjects together with a substantive-formal theory of ‘development-focused collaboration’ became the major findings of the study” ( p.306 ) .


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