Breast implants for graduation? Parent and adolescent narratives.

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The purpose of this research is to examine through sociological and psychological theories how women make sense of the desire and attainment of breast implants for graduation. The study used a qualitative approach and focused on women ages 18-35 in the state of Texas who have received breast implants for graduation. The sample size in this study included 10 high-school graduates receiving implants as a gift and their 10 mothers. Seven theoretical paradigms provided a better understanding for why the daughters asked for breast implants and why the parent(s) paid for them. Symbolic interaction theory explained why the daughters wished ... continued below

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Fowler, Lori Ann May 2008.

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  • Fowler, Lori Ann

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Description

The purpose of this research is to examine through sociological and psychological theories how women make sense of the desire and attainment of breast implants for graduation. The study used a qualitative approach and focused on women ages 18-35 in the state of Texas who have received breast implants for graduation. The sample size in this study included 10 high-school graduates receiving implants as a gift and their 10 mothers. Seven theoretical paradigms provided a better understanding for why the daughters asked for breast implants and why the parent(s) paid for them. Symbolic interaction theory explained why the daughters wished to replace their "fake" cotton padded self with their augmented self, to become the most authentic woman possible. Social construction of reality theory explained why both mothers and daughters wanted to conform to the social construction of gender, and to accomplish their gender well. Conspicuous consumption theory demonstrated how cosmetic surgery practices allow women to appear wealthy, gain status, and "flash" their assets. Feminist theory explained why some women were motivated to capture the attention of men and others altered the body out of empowerment. Reference group and social comparison theories explained how the women in this study were influenced to undergo cosmetic surgery by ranking themselves in attractiveness against real friends and media icons. Lastly, self-discrepancy theory showed how the daughters in this study felt they needed surgery to fix a discrepancy between their real and ideal self. The majority of respondents expressed complete comfort with their gifting and receiving of breast implants for graduation, claiming it was a great decision. They also agreed surgery was worth any risk to increase their daughter's confidence. Most of the mothers expressed that they were comfortable with their decision to gift surgery to their daughters, despite knowing that their gift of augmentation would ultimately result in more surgery in the future.

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  • May 2008

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  • Oct. 2, 2008, 4:42 p.m.

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  • Jan. 16, 2014, 2:48 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Fowler, Lori Ann. Breast implants for graduation? Parent and adolescent narratives., dissertation, May 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6111/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .