Exploration of the influence of a diverse appearance course on students' transformation of self

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Heiden, Kathleen
Major Professor
Cheryl O. Hausafus
Committee Member
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management provides an interdisciplinary look into areas of aesthetics, leadership, event planning, entrepreneurship, and multi-channel retailing. It consists of four majors: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; Event Management; Family and Consumer Education and Studies; and Hospitality Management.

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management was founded in 2001 from the merging of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies; the Department of Textiles and Clothing, and the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Dates of Existence
2001 - present

Related Units

  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (predecessor)
  • Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (predecessor)
  • Department of Textiles and Clothing (predecessor)
  • Trend Magazine (student organization)

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The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of a diverse appearances course on traditional college students' transformation of self. Individuals view others' appearances according to their worldview which is influenced by beliefs and values. The rationale was that students enter college with preconceived stereotypes of individuals with diverse appearances according to their worldview, a worldview of diversity which frequently decreases their openness to individuals perceived as different.;The reflective writing responses of 17 students were analyzed using the Ground theory method. The responses were for initial reaction at the beginning and end of the course to pictures of students with diverse appearances. Students also completed reflective writings in six assignments: Pictorial Collage, Prepicture Responses, Culture Project, Trying on a New Identity Project, Transformation of Self Paper, and Postpicture Responses.;The overall influence of the course was assessed by changes in students' self-examination and worldviews. Student's stage of self-examination was categorized according to the seven stages of the reflective judgment model (King & Kitchener, 1994). All students had a change in self-examination as a result of the course. Stages of worldview of diversity developed by the researcher were used to classify students' attitudes. Sixteen of the 17 students had a change in attitude. Further in-depth analysis of transformation of self was conducted and the transformation of self model was developed.;The transformation of self model is a conceptual model of the two components required for transformation of self. These are self-examination and change in attitudes. Developing self-awareness through self-examination is the first component in the transformation of self. Students who develop self-awareness may continue in one of two directions in transformation of self. One is to achieve only a partial transformation of self by stopping the process of transformation of self after self-examination. The other is to continue the progression of transformation of self by changing attitudes. Students who completed the process by developing self-awareness through self-examination and changing their attitudes achieved a transformation of self. This complete transformation of self led to a broader worldview of diversity and an increased openness to individuals with diverse appearances.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2007