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A reflective analysis of a transformative pedagogical approach at a rural Thai University

Rush, Ed (2007) A reflective analysis of a transformative pedagogical approach at a rural Thai University. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Mass culture in Thailand creates idealizations about female beauty which cause many women to engage in destructive behavior such as starvation dieting and forced vomiting. In this dissertation I describe efforts to develop awareness among a group of predominately female students at a rural Thai university about the ideological purposes of these idealizations. Using a CD-based multimedia research template, the students reported the 'common sense' beliefs which help create the beauty ideal and the effects of these beliefs on their own lives and the lives of other women. The major finding of their research was that mass culture creates beauty ideologies to maintain social stratification, in that those women who are made to feel 'ugly' because they do not resemble the white-skinned underweight ideal tend not to be members of the elite social class which has the resources and time to achieve these ideals. The significance of this dissertation lies in the emancipatory effects that it produced; although a Critical Discourse Analysis showed that the students continued to assimilate some of the values and interests which they had identified as 'oppressive', they also demonstrated to varying degrees that they had ceased to think and behave in ways which had caused them mental and physical damage in the past.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Supervisor(s): Bell, James and Aveling, Nado
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