Twins by Diane Arbus 1967
Lauren and I have begun interviewing some participants. Personally I have found that women have been taking it more seriously than men have. We both have realized that we are both finding that women in the older generation think beauty is more of an inner quality, rather than something that is portrayed on the outside for example facial features, or body type. Women in the younger generation get their views on beauty from the media, and celebrities while women in the older generation get their views on beauty their role models who are women they actually know (like friends and family). A cute thing I found was that men in the older generation defined someone as beautiful as their wife, which shows me they think beauty is something that’s more real, rather than superficial, which I thought would be the opposite. We are eager to get back out there and see what else we learn.
here are some questions we are going to ask our participants:
1. define what you think characterizes a beautiful person?
2. Please rate the following pictures in order from most to least beautiful and explain your response to the best of your ability. [photoelicitation]
3.- what was considered beautiful when you were growing up and/or has that changed at all?
4. When do you think you became cognizant of beauty? Has it changed over time? If so, how?
5. Where do you think your ideas of beauty come from?
6. what year were you born in?
7. Please circle – Male Female
8. What kind of media do you consume most?
9. Are you from a city or a suburb?
Pictures for Photoelicitation:
1. Reel, J., SooHoo, S., Summerhays, J., Gill, D. 2008. “Age before beauty: an exploration
of body image in African-American and Caucasian adult women.” Journal of Gender
Studies 17 (4):321-330.
The main focus of this article was to see whether there was a difference in view of one’s body image between African-Americans and Caucasians. One of the other factors was whether age was a factor as well. The researchers interviewed African-American and Caucasian women ranging between the ages of 20-80 in order to see if there was a difference in view of one’s body image as one ages. The found that neither age nor race were factors in differing views of body image. They found that woman in both races and all ages between 20-80 were most likely to do some sort of activity in order to be happy with their body image, whether it be exercise or amount of food eaten. I think this relates to our project because Lauren and I want to explore whether if there is a difference in what people think is beautiful throughout the lifespan. Body image (whether it be one’s own, or another’s body image) is related to what people think is beautiful. Perhaps our results will show (like this article) that women of all ages all think one type of look is beautiful, (whether that be skinny, or curvy).
2. Keating, Caroline F. 1985. “Gender and the Physiognomy of Dominance and
Attractiveness.” Social Psychology Quarterly 48 (1):61-70.
This article I think focuses more on gender differences in beauty, which is another aspect of Lauren and mine’s project. Using special technology, researchers were able to create male and female faces that looked identical, except for the hair, which was different for each face. The faces had either what were called mature features, which made faces look more dominant, or immature features which made the faces look less dominant. Male faces that had the dominant features were hypothesized to be more attractive and if the female faces had dominant features, they were hypothesized to be less attractive. Ultimate female attractiveness was hypothesized to be when the face had the immature, or less dominant features. The results supported the hypothesis. I think this article relates well to mine and Laurens project because we will be looking at what men and women view ad beautiful. Perhaps we will find that men and women think different things are beautiful because of different features on men and women’s faces.
The methods we will use are as follows. First we will ask generally what men and women of older and younger ages find beautiful. Then we will hand out a questionnaire asking what we specifically are trying to find out about how perception of beauty is related to age and gender. We may also use pictures of different women in the questions or we will do a separate step after where we show the pictures to the participants and ask them if they think the person is beautiful and why or why not. We hope that all of these methods will help us to find out if there is a difference of perception of beauty between gender, as well as age, or even if there is a difference throughout the lifespan.
Our ethical guidelines are as follows. Firstly, we plan to use images either from the internet or magazines, therefore we will make sure that they are images we are allowed to copy, or use and that have a license that enables us to post them on our blogs. Another ethical guidline we will adhere to is anonymousness. Meaning, we plan to interview our participants and even give them questionaires. We will make sure with them that they will let us post their names and answers to the questions. However, if they feel more comfortable not having their names posted and would rather be anonymous or have a pseudonym, we will follow their wishes and do so. If for some reason we plan on taking pictures of the participants, we will make sure that we have their permission to use the pictures of them in our project. Another ethical guidline we will follow is that we will make clear to them that if for any reason they no longer feel comfortable participating or would no longer like to participate in the research, they have the option to drop out, with out consequences or with out being penalized in any way.
Indymedia stands for “The Independent Media Center”. The main objective of Indymedia is to portray the truth of what actually is going on in current events. One of their goals is to correct the distorted truths that the media puts out. In 1999, Indymedia was started by independent media organizations in order to provide the basis of various protests in Seattle. In order to publish on Indymedia all you need to do is sign up, it is open to anyone.
From the way the website is portrayed, it doesn’t seem unorganized, however it doesnt seem as if there is one person in charge. Many of the activities include rallies, and protests for animal rights, feminism, immigration, and third world countries, as well as the articles that are published on the website by its followers. I’m not sure if I would join the group. I often don’t like to voice my opinion on current issues. If I were to join, I would try to do so anonymously.
I found the following article interesting: http://www.indymedia.org/en/2010/02/934216.shtml
In the reading by Schwartz: Pictures at a Demonstration, the author eased her way into the activists group in a way. I thought it was interesting because the way she started taking her photographs was similar to an idea we learned in class. We learned that when doing research on another culture, it would be wise to sort of go in slowly and explain what you are doing to the group, and not just start doing your research right away. At first I thought this would only be applicable when working with pther cultures. However after I read this article I realized that you have to get consent like this even from groups in our own cultures. I thought the whole article was interesting from her perspective as well because it is very rare that you hear of someone who actually wants to portray the truth of what is actually going on in the world (which is what she did).
For our final project Lauren and I came up with a few ethical guidlines we will follow. Firstly, we plan to use images either from the internet or magazines, therefore we will make sure that they are images we are allowed to copy, or use and that have a license that enables us to post them on our blogs. Another ethical guidline we will adhere to is anonymousness. Meaning, we plan to interview our participants and even give them questionaires. We will make sure with them that they will let us post their names and answers to the questions. However, if they feel more comfortable not having their names posted and would rather be anonymous or have a pseudonym, we will follow their wishes and do so. If for some reason we plan on taking pictures of the participants, we will make sure that we have their permission to use the pictures of them in our project. Another ethical guidline we will follow is that we will make clear to them that if for any reason they no longer feel comfortable participating or would no longer like to participate in the research, they have the option to drop out, with out consequences or with out being penalized in any way.
I found this picture through google images. I typed in the word beauty and came across this photo. It was posted on http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/04/03/weird-beauty-products/ and its origin is from an issue of Popular Science from February of 1933. It depicts a machine that supposedly measures the beauty of someone’s face. This relates well to mine and Lauren’s topic for our project. We want to study the idea of beauty and how men/women and people of different ages view something that is beautiful. I think it is fitting that this photo comes from a published work from 1933, as part of our project we may be able to contrast this photo to the ideas of “measuring beauty” and determining what is beautiful to what is beautiful today. It is also interesting to note that the researchers in the photo are men. Perhaps their perception of beauty is different than what women in general think is beautiful. This photo may be depicting specifically what men thought was beautiful back then (after our research we may fine that men still consider what was beautiful back then to be beautiful today).
Lauren N. and I had a new thought for a final project. We want to do a project on the perception of beauty and whether or not that differs with gender and age. We plan to use our “sociologial lens” and compare the perception of beauty between men and women of a yougner age (such as college students or teenagers) and older people such as parents or grandparents, and whether or not the perception of beauty has changed through out time for the elder people. What is beautyful today may not have been beautiful in the past. Perhaps they still do think what was beautiful in the past is still beautiful today. Another interesting path to go on would be to ask the participants what they think may be baeutiful in the future. Will it change or will it stay the same?
When speaking with out participants we were thinking of first giving them a questionaire (either open ended or closed ended) just to see what they think is beautiful. After perhaps we will do some sort of photoelicitation by giving them advertisements of women (specifically) and seeing what they have to say about it.
Veronica and I were able to switch roles and experience being both the researcher and the experimenter. While I played the researcher, I asked Veronica what she felt needed to be changed at Queens College. One of the things she mentioned was about the snow removal. This was something I had never thought of before. Although I walk through the snow quite often (pretty much everyday this past month) it never occurred to me how poorly it was taken care of around school. We walked around Kiely Hall and she showed me how the snow still covered much of the pathways. She went on to tell me how it is impossible to find parking (even on school property) with the snow still around. I asked Veronica if she had any personal experiences with the poorly plowed snow, and what she thought could be done to change the situation. Veronica also mentioned that she felt the Academic Advisement office could be a little more helpful as well. Personally, she said she sometimes had no idea what was going on around campus and often she would be the one to help her transfer friends with questions that they had.
When I was first listening to what I would have to do for this assignment I was nervous, confused, and thought, “How am I going to be able to come up with questions to be a researcher”. I thought that for sure being the subject would be much easier. All I would have to do was just answer the questions asked to me. I first experienced being the subject. Answering the questions wasn’t as easy as I thought. I often have a hard time explaining myself and trying to tell the person what I am trying to say. I was worried that Veronica wouldn’t understand what I was trying to say. However, she kept asking further questions about what I was saying so I became hopeful that she understood my answers. I was a little nervous at first when I had to be the researcher. Veronica did such a good job I felt that I had no idea how to do as well. I was nervous my questions wouldn’t be good enough and that I wouldn’t have enough questions. I quickly realized that although I had set questions I wanted to ask, I came up with other questions on the spot that had to do with what Veronica was saying. I didn’t expect this to happen but I’m glad it did and I realized there was nothing to be nervous about. I learned that you don’t know exactly what will happen in an experiment, or what the subject may say so it’s hard to have a set plan of everything you want to ask. Some things will come naturally, questions will enter your mind easily and there is nothing to be nervous about. I think this experience was very helpful. I am a very shy person and being paired up with a new classmate definitely helped a lot. For the final project I know not to be nervous when asking my questions, sometimes you just need to “play it be ear” and see where it will take you. The possibilities are endless.