Journal Article — Obsessed with Impression Management: A Critical Sociology of Body Image in Capitalist Society — by Michelle B. Jacobs




The issues with impression management that we have in society today are perpetuated through the media and how it portrays body image. Just as my family affected me, society and media are influenced by the capitalist/consumer society. It is made so that we all have a certain role to play and a certain way to look and if we do not fit into that then we do not get as far in the social world as one who may be ideal in the looks department. They reap the social rewards that society has to offer. Big corporations feed on this and make the public even more needy of the ideal body image by throwing it in their faces everyday on the television and the magazines. Writer Allen Ginsberg once said; “Whoever controls the media— the images—controls the culture” (Maclean’s 1). This is a very true statement. Society is based on looks and the capitalist society that we live in does not promote realistic beauty ideals or cater to the average woman. We all have issues with our bodies whether it comes from being bombarded with these wafer thin images portrayed in magazines or from the family we were raised in. At both micro and macro social levels, obsession with body image is a social dilemma we will all face in our lifetime.

Recommended Citation

Mohammad. 2003/2004. “Obsessed with Impression Management: A Critical Sociology of Body Image in Capitalist Society.” Pp. 66-71 in Students’ Critical Theories in Applied Settings (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume II, Issue 2,  2003/2004). Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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