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The Significance of Beauty Consumption: The gaze of performing and observing beauty
Södertörn University College, School of Business Studies.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Innebörden i skönhetskonsumtion : Synvinkeln i att utföra respektive i att observera fenomenet skönhet (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Beauty is a phenomenon situated within society that everyone is subjected to. A lot of people perform activities of beauty everyday and when interacting socially they observe how other people have performed beauty. Previous research on the topic of beauty declares how beautiful people get more out of life and are treated better in schools and by employers. People even trust beautiful people more compared to the individuals that are argued to not be attractive. Research also claims consuming beauty is an experience in expressing once self but also physical consumption has transformed into physiological experiences where for example the corset has developed into dieting.

The author’s aim is to discuss the relationship between the consumption of beauty as an activity of performance and the activity of observing. Both men and women have been incorporated in the study, creating a better understanding of the society in total and also in declaring differences and similarities between the genders.

The study has a deductive approach and is based on a literature study including theories by Bourdieu, Foucault and Evans et al.. These authors are involved in topics such as dominant structures within society, the power situated in surveillance and the cause of motivation in consumption referring to Freud and Maslow. The investigation was performed using focus groups and had a qualitative method approach including interviews and questionnaires.

The collection of data was divided into four main areas of where the base was the literature study. The data was analysed on the bases of the theoretical framework, and further the results were summarized.

The results of this study demonstrate that for women the activity of performance and the activity of observing are just as important. Men also perform beauty but are less observant of others compared to women. Men having a higher level of education invest more time and money on beauty compared to those having less education. This division was not obvious among women who performed beauty more homogeneously. The gaze in the activities of beauty is female according to both men and women. The power within the context of beauty is situated within the dominant culture where the power is trickled down to the individuals. However, the norms changes depending on what social place and part an individual has in a specific social context. The results are in line with previous research on the topic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
beauty, consumption, activities, performance, observation, value, social interactions, power
Keyword [sv]
skönhet, konsumtion, aktiviteter, uppträdande, observera, värde, sociala interaktioner, makt
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-10576OAI: diva2:434705
Subject / course
Business Studies
2011-06-08, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2011-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Borgström, Charlotte
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