The Role Of Self Presentation On An Individual 's Experience

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The human body is constantly communicating with its surroundings, thus it becomes its own mediator within social settings. It has become a site of display for social norms; sociologists aim to determine the effect that self-presentation has on an individual’s experience. Hancock et al. (2000, p.2) note that the body has become a place that reflects the “major political and personal problems” present in society. In this the body becomes a symbol of the image that it represents. Where, for example the ‘typical’ body of an athlete becomes a template for the rest of society. Here it is understood that individuals embody, or attempt to embody societal values. While this has traditionally been studied through behaviour, the contemporary forces of a consumer-driven world have labelled the body as the sole product, or identifier of its internal person. The confirmation of self-identity in relation to these labels is exemplified in gendered relations, and divisions within society. In Gilleard and Higgs’ (2013, pg.33) work on age and embodiment, the notion of sex as separate to gender and sexuality emphasises that the body is “a source and signifier of socially constituted forms of ‘difference’”. Such social differences have long been the subject of sociological scrutiny, however the body provides a platform on which such differences can be examined as both causing, and caused by social interactions. It is not to say that men do not experience social pressures that prescribe desirable

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