A Sociological Explanation of Body Management and its Relationship with Social and Cultural Factors

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Full Professor, Department of Sociology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Body management is one of the important concepts in medical sociology which has become currently prevalent among girls and women, and individuals create social bodies by changing their physical features. Relying on the theories of Giddens, Goffman, Bourdieu, Featherstone and Turner, the present article presents a sociological explanation of body management. The study has been carried out using the survey method. The research population included all the women in Ilam, Iran who were aged 19 to 44, and the data were collected using a questionnaire in 2016. A sample of 381 individuals was selected based on Cochran formula and the cluster sampling method. Four dimensions of body management were studied: weight loss and health, cosmetic surgeries, clothing type and cosmetic and health care. Overall, the mean body management dimensions was 2.978, which is moderate from the perspective of the research sample. The findings revealed that most of the subjects were married housewives and came from the middle class. Meanwhile, the findings revealed a significant relationship between the variables age, media use, religiosity, social acceptance and reference groups, on the one hand, and body management, on the other.


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