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Tuesday, March 31 • 2:05pm - Saturday, March 15 • 2:20pm
Melissa Erin Smith: Gendered Peer Pressure on Conspicuous Consumption

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The purpose of this study is to explore whether women and men respond differently to peer pressure to conform to the social norms around consumption and adornment. I will attempt to explain this relationship by observing whether there are gender differences in regards to spending habits on nonessential material items (e.g., shoes, clothing, cars, alcohol, etc.). I will also examine whether women and men perceive the social sources of peer pressure to conformity differently. The topic of peer pressure within any developing group of individuals, including college students, is one of major importance. Peer pressure shapes both positive and negative behavioral patterns and, as such, has consequences for the individual, their networks, and larger social groups. Because gender is a socially constructed phenomenon, I expect that there will be gender differences in the consumption norms but wish to empirically examine this in a small group of college students. Ultimately, studying the possible sources of pressure might provide insight into key agents of socialization that might be enlisted to encourage positive and productive behavior in women and men. In order to assess this issue, I will conduct intensive interviews with college students of both genders. The interview will consist of questions concerning class background, gendered behavior, ratings of perceptions of peer pressure, and spending habits. I will code interviews by key theme to analyze gender differences in the processes under study.

Tuesday March 31, 2015 2:05pm - Saturday March 15, 2031 2:20pm EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room A-1 - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

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