Body image & female identity: A multi-method approach to media analysis

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In 2008 I undertook a three-year-long PhD project focused on the media, body image, physical activity and female identity. The methodology that I deployed involved a two-part strategy of inquiry that combined media analysis of the Nintendo Wii game ‘We Cheer’ alongside qualitative ‘workshops’ with young girls. Many studies have sought to analyse the images and narratives represented across various media and additionally many have tested the effect of the media on females’ body image, however my PhD explored the media within the context of young girls’ everyday lives and their negotiation of feminine identities. The methodological approach resulted in rich, descriptive data that is full of exciting nuances and has significant consequences for Media Literacy interventions.
This case study takes the reader on a journey through research; from the project conceptualisation to the potential impact of its dissemination, but substantial attention is given to the benefits and challenges of the methods that were utilised.
This case provides an account of a three-year-long PhD study and is designed to give new researchers an applied understanding of methodological encounters and the role of reflexivity when conducting research into body image and femininity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSage Research Methods Cases
PublisherSage Publications
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781446273050
Publication statusAcceptance date - 11 Nov 2015


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