ERIC Number: ED237239
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Viewing Attractiveness Socialization from a Social Network Perspective.
Downs, A. Chris
Providing a framework for a symposium exploring the influence of physical attractiveness on the socialization process, this paper (1) offers a working definition of physical attractiveness, (2) reviews stereotypes associated with attractiveness, and (3) discusses a social network perspective on the influence of attractiveness. Physical attractiveness is conceptualized as being a personal physionomic attribute achieving status as high, moderate, or low as a function of cultural criteria. Attractive individuals are stereotypically perceived as friendly, popular, happy, nonaggressive, well-adjusted, trustworthy, and so on. Unattractive individuals are routinely viewed as unhappy, lonely, maladjusted, aggressive, and unfriendly. Research shows that stereotypes based on attractiveness are fairly extensive, are biased in favor of attractive individuals, and are heavily endorsed by the American public. The social network view holds that socialization can be understood only when all salient socializers and the child are considered as reciprocally influential and only when the cultural context is taken into account. With respect to attractiveness, the social network view encourages the study of both the transmission of attractiveness stereotypes and differential reactions to children with varying degrees of attractiveness. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Physical Attractiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (San Antonio, TX, April 21-23, 1983).