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Chapter 6

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Western University
Sociology 2259
Lauren Barr

Chapter 6 Looking Deviant Physical Appearancephysical appearance is the stimulus for the social typing we do every day and are subject to everyday our appearance is important to us in part bc we wish to express ourselves in certain waysVoluntary and Involuntary Physical Appearance some forms of physical appearance that are socially typed as deviant are voluntaryhairstyles clothing makeup etcwhich is typed as deviant depends on the sociohistorical context ex slicked back hair and jeans perceived as deviant in 1950sthtattoos were viewed negatively in 20 century but have become much less stigmatized and are commonthose voluntary associated with certain groups also may be perceived as deviant goths ravers punk rockers etcappearance is only one aspect along with political philosophical and social foundationsOther forms are involuntary height size of nose eyes etchave no choice but may still be stigmatized by society stared atlaughed at Ex Nazi Germany those who didnt meetphysical requirements were subject to genocidal effortsBoundary bw voluntary and involuntary physical appearance is blurredsome combine both ex body weightpeople choose how much to eatexercise but physiological social and biological factors all contribute involuntarywhat is considered voluntaryinvoluntary also depends on culture ex in todays cdn society tattooing and body piercing are voluntary but historically slave of ancient Greece were forcibly branded as a sign of ownership same with criminals and concentration camp prisonersbody projects the ways that each of us adapts changes or controls characteristics of our bodies and whether those characteristics are voluntaryinvoluntaryEx if you have poor eyesight you may get glasses or contact lenses if your short you may wear heels if your tall you may slouch etc4 different categories of body projects1Camouflaging normative techniques of body manipulation learned in socialization processes ex makeup clothing and hairstyling2Extending attempt to overcome ones physical limitations such as the case of contact lenses or a cane3Adapting parts of the body are removed or repaired for a host of aesthetic or medical reasons weight loss muscle building laser hair removal4Redesigning reconstruct the body in lasting ways plastic surgery tattoos body piercingWhat do peoples bodies tell uswhen looking at it from objective end of continuum bodies tell us about the characteristics of individuals involved in particular body projects such as age sex SES family structure and functioning academic performance and psychopathologysubjective end bodies tell us about the self identity formation how people come to understand themselves and attribute meaning to their physical appearance thus bodies are integral in constructing and representing identity over the life coursefrom subjective point bodies tell us about characteristics of broader society and culture
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