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Fashion, Clothing & Self Identity Presented By: Goldyne F. Duran Northern New Mexico College Department of Integrated Humanities and Social Sciences Abstract.

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Presentation on theme: "Fashion, Clothing & Self Identity Presented By: Goldyne F. Duran Northern New Mexico College Department of Integrated Humanities and Social Sciences Abstract."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fashion, Clothing & Self Identity Presented By: Goldyne F. Duran Northern New Mexico College Department of Integrated Humanities and Social Sciences Abstract Hypotheses Theory Introduction Methods and Materials Results Ethics Discussion References Acknowledgements The research done is exploratory was performed using a mixed method approach. The data was collected by survey, from two convenience samples of students enrolled in courses during Spring 2014 at Northern New Mexico College. (N=23) Non Participant Observation of 7 individuals was done, which gave a qualitative snapshot of observable themes in body image, socio- economics, and self identity. (N=7) The theory presented is that fashion and clothing are used to express an individual’s self-identity. The way in which an individual chooses to express their self- identity is influenced by exposure to various sources such as cultural background, economic status, social situation, and through media. The self-efficacy of an individual is crucial to the development of self-identity. Clothing and fashion have an influential effect on self-efficacy and the individual self-identity and is either emphasized or hindered by cultural influence and socioeconomic status, and can also be linked to the increase in self-esteem and positive body image. A Bi-Variate analysis looks at the psychological effects on the self-identity in regards to fashion and clothing as reported by NNMC college students. Because the N size is small, (N=23), results are suggestive rather than confirmatory, as is generally the case for exploratory research such as this one. The following Chart 1 displays information about the sample. The data gathered was done in a non-invasive manner. The survey used as a method of data collection was anonymous and done with informed consent to ensure confidentiality. Non participant observations were done in public locations. There was no photographing, filming or observations of minor children. Due to ethical considerations, the survey is retrospective. NNMC college students were surveyed anonymously and confidentiality is preserved regarding their experiences. The data gathered through this research is valuable to the study of Social Psychology and has revealed insight to the various hypotheses presented in this study. Self-efficacy signifies an individual’s the personal perception of external social factors. Based on the responses received for the statement: “When I wear specific clothing I feel more confident”, the data tells that both men and women agree that clothing gives the individual a feeling of confidence. The interpretation of this data could indicate that the self-esteem of an individual is boosted by wearing the clothing, which helps in the development of self-identity. The responses to the statement: “My clothing choices are a representation of who I am.”, indicates that individuals use clothing as a tool to represent their self-identity to others. The interpretation of this data indicates that the use of clothing as a representation of self-identity is highly important to the individual. When asked to respond to the question, “How often do my clothing purchases exceed my allowed budget.” We find an evident shift in agreement between the comparison of male and female responses. The data indicates that the responses given by men vary. The leading responses were 25% each for “Never”, “Almost Never” and “Sometimes”. The leading response for women was 54.55% who indicated that they “Never” make purchases that exceed their budget. The interpretation of this data shows that socio-economic situation does have an impact on the individual’s clothing choice and purchases. It is common for individuals to buy clothing based on what can be afforded by them. When asked to respond to the statement: “My clothing choices represent my culture.” The data shows that women (N=6) “Sometimes” wear clothing to represent their cultural background. Of males (N=4) responded “Almost Never” to have used clothing to represent their individual culture. The interpretation of this data indicates clothing choices are not made to represent culture or cultural identification with clothing, the suppression of cultural expression through fashion may occur from the meshing of many cultures through fashion. The perception an individual has regarding their body image was revealed during the qualitative research which was done through Non-Participant Observation. The main theme found in the comments that were made by individuals was in reference to Body Image. Body image is ones own idealized image of what an individual believes their body should look like. This image has been distorted through media and marketing. The attack on an individual’s body image begins at a very young age, and inadequacies are extorted in both men and women. This research was exploratory and does require further investigation in order to provide more specific conclusions. The limitations to this study were that the sample size (N=23) which were surveyed, was much too small to make any determination that proves the hypotheses presented here. Trends in the data indicate that with a larger sample the hypotheses may be confirmed. The use of fashion and clothing as a form of expression is based on cultural and economic influences and can affect the self-efficacy of an individual. The importance of research in this topic is relevant to the study of Social Psychology, due to variations in socioeconomic status and cultural identity. Clothing and fashion have an influential effect on self-efficacy and individual self-identity and is either emphasized or hindered by cultural influence and socioeconomic status, and can also be linked to the increase in self-esteem and positive body- image. Clothing and fashion are used to express the personification of an individual’s identity. The use of clothing as an expression of individuality is an enhancement to the self- identity of an individual. Culture does have influence on an individual’s clothing choices as a representation of self-identity. Socioeconomic status has an impact on clothing selection which can affect self- esteem. Wearing clothing that fits properly increases and individual’s positive perceptions of body-image. Null Hypotheses Clothing has no relationship to self- efficacy Culture does not influence an individual’s clothing choices as a representation of self- identity. Socioeconomic status does not have any effect on self-esteem. Socioeconomic status does not have any effect on self-efficacy. Socio-economic and other factors affect an individual’s clothing choices as a representation of self-identity. The theory presented is that fashion and clothing are used to express an individual’s self-identity. The way in which an individual chooses to express their self-identity is influenced by exposure to various factors; such as cultural background, economic status, social situation, and through media. Hanson, Karen, Dressing Up Dressing Down: The Philosophic Fear of Fashion. Aesthetics: The Big Questions. Ed. Carolyn Korsmeyer. Blackwell Publishing Ltd Kilbourne, J., Jhally, S., Rabinovitz, D., & Media Education Foundation. (2010). Killing us softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation. "Dress for Success: Mission Statement." DressforSuccess.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec Babbie, E. R. (2007). “The Practice of Social Research”. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. I would like to express my appreciation to: The Department of Integrated Humanities and Social Sciences, Stephanie Amedeo-Marquez, Tim Crone, John Hasted. The qualitative data is represented in the following Table 1. The data represented in this table is qualitative, as the data gathered was through non-participant observation. The purpose of this study is exploratory and this data is used to determine themes that may exist between self- identity, body image and socio-economic factors. The non-participant observation was done in various stores in the Santa Fe Place Mall and at the department store, Ross. N=6 of the individuals that were observed were Female and N=1 of the individuals was Male. The most common theme was references made about body image with N=5 comments. There were N=1 comments for each the socio- economic and self-identity theme. GenderAgeCommentTheme Female18-20 “I don’t like the way these pants make my butt look.” Body Image Male35-39 “Can you come with me to find something, I don’t know what I’m looking for.” Self-Identity Female35-40“I like both of these pants, the blue ones are less.”Socio-Economic Female30-33 “I can never find anything in this store that fits me.” Body Image Female37-40 “I can’t wear something like that, I’m too self- conscious about my stomach.” Body Image Female22-25“I can’t find any pants in my size.”Body Image Female27-30“This shirt makes me look like a grandma.”Body Image TotalN=7Theme Totals *N= equal to total sample size (N=25) **Source Data Non- Participant Observation Body Image Socio- Economic Self- Identity N=5 N=1 N=1 Results The quantitative data regarding 4 questions relevant to the hypotheses is presented in the following Charts 2-5. The data in Chart 2 reveals of N=23 respondents, N=6 males and females agreed “Sometimes”, to statement: “When I wear specific clothing I feel more confident.” The response to this statement suggests that clothing does influence the self-esteem of an individual which contributes to the development of self -identity. The data in Chart 3 shows the responses to the statement: “My clothing choices are a representation of who I am.”, in which N=6 males stated “Always”, and N=5 females stated “Sometimes”. The data in Chart 4 shows a comparison between males and females in response to the question: “How often do my clothing purchases exceed my allowed budget.” Of males, N=3 individuals agreed at 25% each, for the response, “Never”, “Almost Never”, and “Always”. N=2 males responded “Sometimes”, N=1 responded “Almost Always”. Female gender responses indicated that 54.55% or N=6 women responded “Never”. The following Chart 5, indicates the responses to the statement “My clothing choices represent my culture.” N=6 females responded “Sometimes”, and N=4 males responded “Almost Never”.


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