Title: Ambivalent Perceptions of Beauty and Fashion: A Qualitative Study of Chinese Female Students Studying in British Universities
Stream: Cultural Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Guan Wang, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
The research explores the experiences of Chinese female students studying in the UK with respect to fashion and beauty. We explore how exposure to social media from different countries and living in a new country shape their fashion choices and beauty regimes and reflect on how these factors influence the reshaping of their identities in cross-cultural settings. The relevant literature still focuses on the horizontal comparison of groups in different regions and countries. In the context of globalization, there is little relevant literature on how the same group with different cultural concepts can perform cross-cultural adaptation under different cultural backgrounds and social media usage patterns. This qualitative study recruits interviewees through sampling, collects data through semi-structured interviewing and conducts thematic analysis to form conclusions. This abstract concentrates on the discussion of "fashion shame". The "fashion shame" manifests the identity formation mechanism in China based on other people’s evaluation of “me” in real life and on social media. This mechanism conflicts with this female group’s idea of individualized identity construction. When the group entered the UK’s relatively free and individualized cultural environment, their identities became more compatible with the local social environment. Although their social media usage habits did not change, their mentality changed positively. It means that the role of shifts in cross-cultural contexts in identity perception may be manifested earlier and more clearly than the role of social media.
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