Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Individual and Family Studies.


Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor,




The visual media's impact upon body image has only recently become an area of study. Research in this area has focused mainly on sports and its emphasis on the female body ideal, and the impact of female body image upon the development of eating disorders. The main purpose of this study was to explore women's attitudes and opinions concerning the effects of the visual media's presentations of the ideal female body size. The study was designed using a social constructionist perspective focused on how four of the theoretical assumptions of symbolic interactionism, and central to social constructionism, can help in understanding women's interpretation of the ideal image presented in the media, and what they do or do not do to emulate this image. Focus groups were used to explore women's opinions and ideas concerning the visual media's presentation of the ideal female body. Forty fourth-year female students, from the was University of Guelph, participated in seven focus groups. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0416. Adviser: Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.