The Mass Media And Body Image And The Mass Media

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Within research, the body has been investigated widely in regards to sport and physical activity (Duncan, 1994; Haugen, Ommundsen, & Seiler, 2013; Kololo, Guszkowska, Mazur, & Dzielska, 2012; Niven, Fawkner, Knowles, Henretty, & Stephenson, 2009). Sport scholars however have rarely examined the experience of our bodies which can be seen as problematic especially when examining sport in relation to gender (Duncan, 1994). Research has been suggested to often overlook the anguished relationships present between sport, physical activity and body image (Haugen, Ommundsen, & Seiler, 2013; Henriques, & Calhoun, 1999; Kololo, Guszkowska, Mazur, & Dzielska, 2012). Body image is a multidimensional construct, which has received increasing scientific study over the past few decades (Cash, 2005; Pruzinksy, & Cash, 2002; Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). Specifically research has noted a key relationship between body image, body dissatisfaction and societal agents including the mass media (Anschutz, Engels, & Strien, 2012; Balcetis et al., 2013; Cash, 2005; Knuass, & Paxton, 2008).

The mass media is viewed as the principal societal agents in many Westernised cultures (Lopez-Guimera, Levine, Sanchez-carracedo, & Fauquet, 2010; Monteath, & McCabe, 1997). Television, film, the fashion industry, advertising, magazines, newspapers and the Internet in combination with the new media technologies such as Instagram and Facebook are seen to invade and occupy peoples’ personal lives (Lawrie, Sullivan, Davies, & Hill, 2006; Lopez-Guimera et al., 2010). These sociocultural factors are seen as powerful determinants of body image development (Balcetis, Cole, Chelberg, Alicke, 2013; Cash, 2005; Hawkins, Richards, Granley, Stein, 2004; Lawri...

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...lised bodies promote the objectification of bodies through body surveillance and body shame (Duncan, 1994; Foucault, 1979, 1980).

This study seeks to examine the effects of societal agents on male body image utilising a Foucauldian framework. The study aims to assess the impact of the mass media upon male body image through the concepts of self-surveillance and disciplinary power. This will enable further understanding of how current body image pressures presented by the media impact the genders differently due to the current limited research focused on male body image. It has been hypothesised that current societal pressures from societal agents including the mass media will have a negative impact upon male body image similar to females. Furthermore the participant’s personal view of their body image will be negatively affected through negative self-surveillance.

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