By Ann Hill Beuf

Examines the stigmatism of youngsters who deviate from applicable American criteria for actual visual appeal. Beuf analyzes either the results of this stigmatization on little ones and the recommendations used to deal with it.

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Extra info for Beauty Is the Beast: Appearance Impaired Children in America

Sample text

Thus, we can see that even which body parts are taken into consideration in evaluating appearance is culturally determined.

For example, a person might feel kindly toward a stigmatized social group and hold no negative stereotypes about its members, but maintain a large social distance because such action is supported or required by the norms of the community. We are familiar with examples of this phenomenon in many areas of the world. Conversely, a person may hold strong negative stereotypes about a group, but find him- or herself in living quarters with a member of the group while in the armed forces or at school or on the job.

In doing this, it is my intention to bring to the analysis of impaired physical appearance in children the theory and the research findings of both the sociology of deviance and the social psychology of stigma, as well as developmental theory and the notion of coping resources. From deviance theory as it is now understood by sociologists, we can gain an understanding of the stigmatization of the appearance-impaired child by others, and of some aspects of victim response. From the work of those in social psychology and developmental psychology, the effects of stress on the psychological lives of those who experience it can be studied in a more complex fashion.

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