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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Social Construction of Beauty: Body Modification Examined Through the Lens of Social Learning Theory
by Steinberg, Jacqueline, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 50; 1692046
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the psychosocial and cultural factors behind body modification practices of breast augmentation, female circumcision, and foot binding in order to understand the growing trend of cosmetic surgery. Body modification is examined through the lens of Albert Bandura’s social learning theory using hermeneutic methodology that analyzes quantitative and qualitative data. Cross-cultural research on breast augmentation, female circumcision, and foot binding provides insight into how body modification practices are internalized through observational learning. The findings demonstrate that women are faced with social pressures to conform to physical ideals that often require modification of the body. Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy provides insights into how women can exercise choice, personal agency, and self-direction to guide personal decisions pertaining to cosmetic surgery within the context of social pressures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jacobson, Gioia
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Behavioral psychology, Social psychology, Womens studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Body modification, Breast augmentation, Cosmetic surgery, Female circumcision, Foot binding, Social learning theory
Publication Number: 1692046
ISBN: 978-1-321-67657-0
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