Shining a resilient light on objectification theory: a feminist intervention for emancipation

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Communication
Author Kite, Lexie J.
Title Shining a resilient light on objectification theory: a feminist intervention for emancipation
Date 2013-12
Description In light of epidemic levels of self-objectification leading to a host of negative consequences for girls and women, intervention is crucial. This study in Self-Objectification Resilience (SOR) implemented a necessary next step in critical feminist scholarship by identifying emancipatory alternatives to the chronic experiences of female objectification and self-objectification. To investigate the successful promotion and cultivation of Self-Objectification Resilience through a model and intervention designed for this study, 50 women ages 18 to 35 completed a confidential, 4-week, online study. Based on a broad meta-analysis of research in self-objectification and resilience, as well as the analysis of the present study's intervention feedback, four important resilient traits most directly combat the negative consequences of self-objectification: self-actualization, self-compassion, embodied empowerment, and feminist beliefs. The feedback gleaned from study participants proved invaluable to the SOR research agenda; it contributed to research on the dismal state of female body image, with robust, qualitative data revealing 50% of study participants "hated" or were "severely dissatisfied" with their bodies and another 34% reported to be "generally dissatisfied." Results contributed important information on the epidemic of self-objectification, with 70% of participants reporting detailed experiences of currently isolating themselves from everyday life, including school, sexual intimacy, and physical activity, due to body shame. The 9 participants out of 50 who reported positive body satisfaction reflected and reinforced vital themes of the SOR model; they had experienced extremely painful "disruptions" that worked as a catalyst to greater self-objectification resilience. More than half had overcome an eating disorder or had loved ones who were presently battling one. In all, the present study on Self-Objectification Resilience contributes important research toward understanding how positive adaptation can be possible to provide emancipation for girls and women from the bodily prison of self-objectification.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Body image; Feminism; Objectification; Resilience; Self-objectification
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Lexie J. Kite 2013
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 2,595,893 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2668
ARK ark:/87278/s62c266v
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-02-07
Date Modified 2017-10-02
ID 196243
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62c266v