Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Textiles and Clothing
Mary Lynn Damhorst
The research was an investigation of the effects of acculturation and cultural value orientation on individuals' body image, aesthetics of appearance, and dress involvement. The surveys were completed by immigrant Chinese Americans that consisted of women (n = 124, 59%), men (n = 82, 40%), and three participants who did not state gender. A majority of the participants were born in Taiwan (64%), China (28%), and Hong Kong (8%). The majority of respondents were classified as "unacculturated" (55%) or "bicultural" (44%); only 1% as "acculturated." With regard to their value orientation, the majority were "collectivism oriented" (32%) or "bi-value oriented" (64%);Results indicated that the Chinese Orientation Subscale predicted more of the attitudinal and behavioral differences among individuals in relation to value orientation, body image, aesthetics for appearance, and dress involvement. More highly Chinese oriented (less acculturated) respondents (1) assigned more importance to collectivistic value, (2) indicated greater body satisfaction, (3) put more emphasis on behavioral characteristics and psychological traits when assessing female beauty and male attractiveness, and (4) had greater involvement in aesthetics and conformity in dress;Body image, aesthetics for appearance, and dress involvement were significantly related to both individualism and collectivism values. Both more individualism- and collectivism-oriented individuals had greater body satisfaction and more positive attitude toward their own body. In addition, more highly individualism-oriented individuals were found to (1) put more emphasis on physical appearance when assessing female beauty and male attractiveness, and (2) had greater involvement in individuality in dress. On the other hand, more highly collectivism-oriented individuals were found to (1) put more emphasis on behavioral characteristics and psychological traits when assessing female beauty and male attractiveness, and (2) had greater involvement in aesthetics, conformity and modesty in dress;Recommendations for future research include using cultural value orientation (individualism, collectivism) constructs to examine other consumer attitudes and behaviors; studying a larger randomized sample across the U.S; including several generations of immigrants to obtain more variation on the effect of acculturation; and employing qualitative research techniques to get more in-depth information about meanings of the body, attractiveness ideals, and the acculturation process.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Cheng, Ching-Yi, "Acculturation and cultural value orientations of immigrant Chinese Americans: Effects on body image, aesthetics for appearance, and involvement in dress " (2000). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 12676.