Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis

First Advisor

Tony Zschau

Abstract

Identities are an essential part of social life. They help us define how we should act and feel about ourselves in certain situations. Understanding identities and how these ideas are created can help us better understand many different kinds of social phenomena. This study was designed to help understand why women feel they should look a certain way and how their ideas about body image change after they join a sorority. Identity change theory is employed to explain how body image identity standards are modified through a complex social process. The researcher chose to focus in on how this change is produced through social feedback processes that were observed through the analysis of fifteen depth interviews with sorority members. At first, the design of the interview was focused on looking for interpersonal feedback given by individual sisters. Results suggested that there is a very strong influence coming from the sorority as an organization and not just feedback from individual sisters. The present results have the potential to make people more aware of the effects that social groups like sororities have on people's perceptions of body image.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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