‘Policing’ the female body: understanding how constructions of femininity are regulated via social practices

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

Abstract

Purpose: We are primarily interested in how women are continuously required to discipline themselves in ‘body work’ focusing on the areas of pubic hair removal and the regulation of tattoos, to avoid the consequences of negative social interactions. Background: The pressure on females to conform to prevailing societal norms encompassing the idealised body of beauty is largely circumscribed via dieting regimes, continuous hair and facial maintenance and visible body attributes. Arguably, these notions of idealised beauty are malleable and can be generationally specific depending upon the cultural norms and social influences at a given time in history. Methods: Drawing from qualitative methodologies, we undertook one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with women. Our analysis uses a discursive-narrative approach. Conclusions: Our research projects have raised issues concerned with the ways in which ideals of femininity are continuously constructed in contemporary society and how these notions of femininity are both embodied and self-regulated (via surveillance) by women.

Conference

ConferencePsychology of Women Section (British Psychological Society)
Period1/07/07 → …
Internet address

Keywords

  • Femininity
  • surveillance
  • bodywork
  • culture
  • patriarchy

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