The aim of the research program is to investigate the socio–psychological interrelations between female/male beauty and aesthetic surgery in various social groups differentiated not only as gender function and education variables (female and male, young people with university training in Arts, Informatics and Sport) in three European countries (Italy, Spain and Romania), but also on the basis of psychological dimensions, like self-rated attractiveness, level of self involvement in the topic of aesthetic-plastic surgery, self-identification with salient cultural referents (like Beauty, Body, Culture, Nature, Soul). The Social Representation framework offers a wide range of heuristic and methodological tools especially called for by both the intimate and social nature of the topics under scrutiny.
The study is part of a wider research design following an integrated multi-steps path from exploration to experimentation:
- a study concerning content, structure, polarity, imagined and emotional dimensions of the Social Representations of female and male beauty and of aesthetic surgery;
- a study focused on internet discussion forums on the topic of plastic/aesthetic surgery and aimed at investigating the construction of social discourse and negotiation among members of “virtual communities”;
- a study employing the “body map” tool, an innovative tool with a graphical referent concerning the aesthetic surgery ranking of the various parts of the human body;
- an experimental study focused on the generative activity of mental images and emotions in the S.R. of beauty and aesthetic surgery.