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The theological approach that I have employed is that of the interpretivists. My research needs to be an in-depth study, as I want to discover the participant’s perception of the media. In order to opperationalise my concepts I intend to employ a main research method of semi structured interview, allowing elaboration to employ a more qualitive approach. I did consider using a survey or questionnaire but this seemed unrealistic considering my current position.

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I have in take into account when choosing my method factors such as time and money, access to data, situational constraints such as the fact that I am an A-level student and previous research. Most of the research I have looked at has been done on a large scale or over along period of time. I have decided to choose my sample systematically randomly, from my sample frame, young girls aged 14-18. The same amount of girls will be chosen from each age group randomly from registers.

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My research will be constructed in school. There will be an overall of 25 participants, 5 girls chosen from each year group (years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13) from the register, this ensure that the girls chosen are not from the same background or share the same interests or priorities, and of the same body size. I will interview the girls individually and each interview will last from 20-30 minuets, I will conduct a pilot study to confirm this. Assuming this goes to plan I will be able to complete the study within 2-3 days.

The main aim of my research is to find out how and in what ways the media influences young girls idea of the ideal body shape. I will present them with pictures of celebrities from magazines, of different sizes and ask which they prefer and their why. I will ask the girls how they feel about their appearances, whether they have attempted to diet and find out their opinions on the increasing obesity rate. Furthermore I will ask what they regularly read or watch and also their female idols and why.

I intend to take note on both participant’s answers and reactions. I will respect the girls privacy the interviews will be confidential, and the participants will be informed of this before the interview. The subject of this study is sensitive and so some participants may refuse to give consent to the study as they may find it too intrusive. I intend to employ a certain element of deception as I will not inform the participants of full details what the study is for until after the interview.

Reliability is an issue as the girls may restrain from telling me what they really think because of interview bias. They may not answer truthfully but answer the way they think that they should. The method I have chosen may prove time consuming. If the participants don’t give consent and so I would have to start sampling again. The participants are minors, and so therefore I would have to have parental consent before carrying out the study. I may also be criticized for only using females.

Bake r 1924 said “Men’s self consciousness about their appearance is probably greater now that ever before … given the massive exposure of men’s bodies in the media”. I have chosen females as the religious desire to be thin is much more extreme in women than in men proven by the fact that eating disorders are ten times more common in women than in men and the ideal of slimness is much more forceful toward woman than to men (Striegel-Moore). 1997).

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Kylie Garcia

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