This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

"This is definitely a wake-up call for our generation": A Discussion on Self-Esteem and Body Image in Sororities




Richards, Joni

Type of Degree



Communication and Journalism


This study was conducted using a thematic analysis of four focus groups. The goal of this study was to better understand the issues of self-esteem and body image from the perspectivee of sorority women and determine the factors underlying these constructs. Brief videos from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty were shown to focus groups, and discussions followed. The results emerging from a thematic analysis of these discussions demonstrate that the sorority women perceive the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty to be effective in supporting a positive self-esteem and body image. However, the results also illustrate that the subjects believe that women in the mainstream media are not an accurate depiction of what women really look like. Also, the focus group members indicate that parents and peers play a large role in creating norms on body esteem. This factor may contribute to positive or negative self-esteem and body image. Implications for these and other results in this study are discussed, and future directions in these areas are presented.