The sociological analysis of appearance management of college students

GAO Xiujuan1

(1.School of History and Society, Anhui Normal University)

【Abstract】Currently, “appearance level is justice” is a popular idea among the youth group. Based on college students’ appearance management behavior and body concept, this paper tries to explain why appearance receives excessive attention in current society. Under the framework of body sociology, consumption society and gender studies, this paper illustrates the important meaning of appearance endowed by college students during the process of self-construction and responding to social requirements. According to the findings, the college students possess various trivial body management technologies, and they often adopt positive management way of body. The behaviors and topics regarding body management run through every aspect of college students’ daily life. College students regard appearance as the necessary component of self-construction. Controlling body and modifying beautiful body become the necessary way of self-improvement and also the key point for shaping gender temperament. Meanwhile, the college students also respond to current or future social situation by the manipulation of appearance. Hence, for college students, the body has become an effective solution to face social requirements.

【Keywords】 appearance management; self-construction; social situation;


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    [1]. (1) Materials in this article were from students below in Anhui Normal University: Tang Xiaoqi, Du Hai, Wang Yuping, Ni Haiyan, Mei Jingzhe, Zhu Haihua, Han Yifei and Zhang Xinlei majored in sociology in Class 13; and Zhao Amin, Yang Yali, Yang Qingyun and Chen Jiaojiao majored in sociology in Class 14. Here I express my gratitude to them. This article is an example of learning while teaching. During the lesson of Methods of Qualitative Research, students conducted in-depth interviews, learned interview techniques and organized materials for analysis; the teacher utilized these materials in class to teach design research, collected materials, analysis and qualitative article writing. The teacher and students abundantly discussed the topic of this article and both greatly benefited. [^Back]

    [2]. (2) High school students who study for arts or sports are not included here. [^Back]

    [3]. (3) The interviewees are coded by letters and numbers. M refers to males and F refers to females. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 06, Pages 60-69+92-93

November 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Theoretical framework and research methods
  • 2 The behavior of appearance management of college students
  • 3 Appearance management and construction of individual images of college students
  • 4 Appearance management and the social situation of college students
  • 5 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote