An exploration into the role of appearance during identity formation for young people age 13-25

Whitehead, Samantha (2016) An exploration into the role of appearance during identity formation for young people age 13-25. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Traditional and contemporary theories of identity formation suggest that adolescence is a critical time in life whereby identity crises are experienced. However, identity has become an increasingly individualised and subjective construct due to recent changes to society and the growth of technology. Written from a largely psychosocial perspective, this dissertation critically explores how appearance is used by young people to visually represent elements of self-identity. This dissertation also suggests the importance of youth subcultural group membership for young people who construct identity outside of mainstream culture. Youth subcultures have seemingly changed over the last 60 years; group membership and identity have become more fluid with the period of adolescence extending to young people in their 20s. On the other hand, youth appearance has acted as a constant in symbolising aspects of the self including attitudes, values and beliefs. As youth subcultures traditionally represent a marginalised group of young people, this dissertation recognises the need to promote inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents. This paper therefore discusses identity in terms of gender, acknowledging trends in appearance and issues that LGBT young people face. As identity achievement is the output of crises resolutions, particularly in relation to gender, it is questioned whether identity commitment is realistic or obtainable for contemporary young people.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Education and Childhood Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 12:33
    Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 12:33

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