Does Age, Gender, Education and Globalization Affect Lookism with Mediation Effect of Culture?


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- Ghodrati, Zahra - подписаться на статьи автора
- Joorabchi, Toktam Namayandeh - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Volume 7, Number 2 / November 2016 - подписаться на статьи журнала

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between age, gender, education and globalization on lookism with mediation effect of culture. Across this study we found that there is significant relationship between globalization and lookism, and that there is no relationship between gender, age and education with lookism. The results of chi-square test revealed that there was significant relationship in the age groups in different culture; also there was significant relationship in the gender groups between male and female in different culture. The results of chi-square test also revealed that there was significant relationship in the globalization groups among cultures. However there was no significant relationship in the education groups among different cultures. To investigate the mediation effect of culture on the relationship between age, gender, education, culture, and globalization and lookism, regression coefficient was applied, and the result confirmed that culture mediates this relationship.

Keywords: lookism, globalization, culture.

Introduction

The efforts of people with different genders, ages, educational levels and cultural backgrounds to look attractive seem to be a global concern. To match our physical beauty and overall appearance with defined criteria is a conscious or even unconscious effort to get the social acceptance. These norms and standards are always changing, and recently they are more rapidly influenced by the phenomenon of globalization, although the influence of cultural roots cannot be ignored here. Hereon global advertising strategies in competition with local advertising strategies and marketing competition between local and international companies seem to contribute to the way people judge the beauty and appearance of each other in their daily life. The extent to which an individual is exposed to local or international environment defines to what extent he/she is inclined to the cultural values or globally defined norms and as an audience we can easily figure this out. These differentiations create a new concept of a new ‘ism’: a discrimination based on appearance and general looks of an individual that is called ‘lookism’. Both the Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary have included the word ‘lookism’ in the editions published since 2000 (American Heritage Publishing Staff 2000). Considering the fact that discrimination based on appearance may have always been there in human life, a new ‘ism’ word related to appearance shows that it is just recently that the issue is alarming (Ghodrati, Joorabchi, and Muati 2014).

Most people try to be recognized beautiful and attractive by getting help of technics, products, and tools which is always presented and dictated by global ideals. But these standards are mediated through cultural values defining the beauty in the concept of the cultural traditional norms. As Xie and Zhang (2013) stated, in today's global environment the cultural ideals of beauty and attractiveness are communicated and reinforced through mass media. Advertisings, in particular printed ads in women's magazines, provide an excellent platform for the investigation of idealized images of beauty. Evidence of cultural divergence and similarity in ideal beauty are revealed when comparing ads and magazines from different countries.

This recent controversial social competition which revolves around how globalization and culture affect the way people are judged based on their appearance is also intertwined with other factors like gender, age, and education. The reason is that these factors may affect the extent to which an individual is exposed and may be receptive to the defined norms. As Ghodrati et al. (2014) also confirms about the role of globalization on lookism, the phenomenon of ‘globalization’ had tremendous effects on homogenizing the beauty ideals of different cultures. First appeared in Webster's dictionary in 1961, the idea reads, ‘Scholars provide a persuasive account of the complex interconnection between globalization and socio-cultural values’ (Baghela et al. 2014).

As Zimmermann (2015) mentioned according to the center for advanced research on language acquisition, culture is the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. And beauty norms as a shared behavioral standard is created by each culture based on many factors including tradition, religion or individual insights. But in this era, globalization is known to have played a big part to influence societies by generating common international beauty norms and positioning people to judge each other based on those global standards, mainly by using media and advertising tools to promote cosmetic products and branded clothing. Now, to what extent one country/region's culture has succeeded to resists, depends on many factors, but among these mediating factors age, gender and educational level of people in a country and within a culture have a big part. In this study, understanding the differential impacts of globalization on lookism – the concept of a new ‘ism’ which is discrimination based on appearance and general looks of an individual – and the mediation effects of culture is the main interest, also we examine the influence on lookism of such variables as age, gender, and education. It is worth mentioning that many researchers have recently examined how globalization affects cultures (among others see Jensen, Arnett, and McKenzie 2011; Naor, Linderman, and Schroeder 2010; Yankuzo 2014). Also there are lots of researches done in the past decade to study lookism in workplaces (Spiess and Waring 2005; Warhurst, van den Broek, Hall, and Nickson 2009; Waring 2011; Witz, Warhurst, and Nickson 2003) but very few have surveyed the influence of globalization on lookism with mediation effect of cultures, especially in workplaces which is the interest of this study. In this research, considering the cultures in different geographical areas, we examine the relationship between age, gender, education and globalization with respect to lookism. Also, we found the mediating effect of culture on the relationship between independent variables.

Literature review

Globalization and Lookism

One of the main problems of lookism is to find and establish a standard of beauty. Based on Stalcup (2012) quotes from Hamermesh and Biddle ‘within a culture at any point in time there is tremendous agreement on standards of beauty and these standards change quite slowly’. In their research, they also found that regardless of respondents' age or gender, they had a consistent response of the level of attractive people they were rating. Naomi Wolf (2002) in her work ‘The Beauty Myth’ mentioned that Western culture is a ‘culture of beauty’ (Wolf 2002: 5) fed by the media's incessant barrage of images of ‘perfect’ beauty. We have become a culture that loves beauty because we have been taught to love beauty. But Tietje and Cresap (2005) stated that ‘in the absence of an uncontested standard of justice, individuals should be free to discriminate on the basis of their own values.’ Basically, human beings do not recognize all diversities and differences as beautiful, and instead they create limited ideals of beauty and assess everybody according to that criterion, contrary to the fact that beauty is a subjective matter and is based on relativity. So the problem is not to prefer the attractiveness or beauty, the concern is who identifies what is beautiful, and what factors are involved to build the criteria of attractiveness for people in different countries and cultures.

If previously every small size of groups, tribes, cities or in large scale countries could identify norms and beauty ideals, recently the phenomenon of globalization has hugely impacted the cultural values, and has created a united norm of beauty. Multinational organizations, corporate brandings, advertisements, models, movie stars and global media by accelerating interactions among societies have played a very important role here.

The diversity of race, gender, education and age and their role in different cultures cannot be ignored in the process of globalization. Each of these factors forms the pattern of societies' cultural identities. Arnett (2002) argues that ‘adolescents have a pivotal role in the process of globalization’. But younger ages are always there to receive new things, as they show more interest than other ages in global media, movies, TV, the Internet and social global media which are leading the globalization. When as a young college student you have access to global information via international media or the internet, it does not matter anymore in which city you live in this world. Although some third world countries still try to limit the flow of information, the new ways to access this information are constantly invented and makes it inevitable for young people to get inspired by celebrities, models, new brands, etc. via social media, satellite TVs and many other tools which globally become a growing desire for them to follow. No more difference where they are located either in Middle Eastern, Asian or Africa, all the youth all over the world are almost similar in many ways to each other since they have access to upper education and a variety of modern entertainment, including dating, playing games and internet web surfing.

The influence of lookism on people in different ages and genders has recently become the focus of many researches. For example Rumens (2012) found out how this new phenomenon of lookism influences individuals in all age groups and mentioned that even older men are expected to look youthful and fit for work especially when they are compared to their younger counterparts. As he stated, some male employees in certain professions get aware that the ageing body carries about one's identity and capability in the workplace, and their female peers think the same way. This shows that the influence is also significant on gender. Nowadays young women are actively participating in the society either in their own country or as expatriate. Basically, as a young person grows and lives in your home country with its own cultural identity, he or she has two sources to follow with respect to the choice of looks and appearance: the culture of native society and the global ideals and norms, of course, if these two differ in your society. However, in another study examining the gender role in applying the beauty norms, Stokburger-Sauer and Teichmann (2011) state that women on average give more value to their physical appearance than men, and that women might use luxury brands more as a means of communicating their selves to the environment. Luxury brands as a factor of both globalization and aestheticism can state the fact that women are more apt to come under the influence of globalization and lookism than men.

Globalization and Its Impacts on Cultures

Drori (2007) in his study about information society and globalization explains the transformation of social life and its change toward globalization, as well as the paths we take toward a world culture. As he claims the placement of a worldwide society with a united culture constitutes national norms and expectations, rules and regulations of diverse countries and cultures. Consequently, the issues and concerns that have previously been of national, ethnic groups' or familial groups' concern, now change toward human – and thus as universal and global – concerns. It is evident that global economy is one of the important factors influencing the regional economy as all countries are linked to each other via trade and business. There have occurred a lot of changes in the cultural patterns of life in different countries showing that social life is directly affected by global businesses.

Globalization will almost inevitably lead to homogenization of cultures of all countries. Basing on this view, the non-western countries often consider the western cultures as models to follow due to the superior positions of the latter in economic terms which thus, also makes them reference-nations in terms of cultural reforms. For example, in China, it is common to find commercial messages promoting individualism and modern life styles in popular magazines targeting the younger generation (Zhang and Shavitt 2003) which is similar to western countries. Although the western countries take some new ideas in technologies, sciences, tools and life styles from the Asian countries, these ideas and inventions are bought and embraced more from the West than from the East due to more sophisticated ways of western presentation and packaging. The global culture, which privileges consumerism, individualism, competition, and efficiency, has been characterized in some non-Western countries as a novel, modern, scientific, and results-oriented pattern (Schwarzer and Frensch 2010: 203). On entering the global market, many countries with valuable cultural traditions are distracted with what the west demands to replace their traditional knowledge and experiences.

But some other researches have a different view. For example, Lal (2000) believes that although the material beliefs in just bonding to material living within global culture will gain popularity when a country starts to integrate into the global market, still those beliefs related to social relationship and morality in local cultures are relatively resistant to be influenced by globalization. In addition, in their study of use of mobile phone in South Korea Fu and Chiu (2007) found that a rapid increase of global products and services in East Asia not only has not destroyed local cultures but has reinforced traditional moral values in local communities. Basing on social identity theory Tajfel and Turner (1979) argue that when a local culture faces the globalization, the main problem is how it is possible to acknowledge the competitive advantages of the capitalist logic and all the related values in the global market and at the same time affirm the positive distinctiveness of the heritage culture.

Along with many influences of industry's penetration on cultures including economic and political impacts, they have also imported an image of western look into societies of different cultures. ‘This was historically contingent on the unique circumstances prevailing at that time, but once the ideals were in place, the strategies of business enterprises helped reinforce it’ (Chaudhuri 2001; Jones 2011). Mathur declared that ‘The advent of the global economy and the rise in global organizational competitiveness has led to a basis for re-defining status distinctions’ (Mathur 2010) in societies. In their study, Brew and Cairns (2004) also mentioned that the global economy and rising competitiveness among the global organizations has led to an increasing number of people to cross cultural boundaries, and prefer to deal with workplace diversity. Basically, the presence of multinational companies and countries economical interaction with each other is not limited to exporting products, but it has much larger impacts especially when the expatriates from the origin of the business which are mainly the western move to host countries and interact with locals on daily basis. One of these influences is expressed in the changing image of norms and ideals in different countries. Now East and West should not be recognized on the way they look by tradition and culture. According to Jones (2008) contemporary or second global economy which emerged after 1980 represents a new and powerful homogenization or Americanization which was re-asserting local and ethnic identities in beauty ideals, as firms both globalized beauty brands and segmented markets on ethnic, psychographic, gender, age, and other dimensions. A consumer market created by the large Western industries was not limited to one or two continents or regions but spread throughout the world from a long distance village in a third world country to big capital cities of Middle East and Africa. As Ann Witz et al. (2003) also state that after the economic liberalization of the 1990s the consumer society has started to affect the workplace environments while the consumer goods appear to have become crucial attributes possessed by workers and mobilized by employers which can lead to certain discriminations for certain positions especially in service counter. The ‘asthenic labor skills’ have now become the manifestations of particular status in the society, cultural forms via gender, age, class and ethnicity. Within the local contexts of these cultures, the lifestyles are formed through involving symbolic forms of dissent such as an education, clothing, attitudes, behavior and so forth. In this situation most people of different age-groups and gender will be familiar with such cultural styles.

Methodology of the research

Sampling and Location

In our research we apply a quantitative method of data collection. The population of connections of a LinkedIn profile (of one of authors) has been selected for this survey. The first population was chosen based on language preferences and non-governmental employees. Thus, there were selected 1,460 out of 1,550 connections. Then the population was divided according to geographical distribution, there were connections from all continents in the connection list, but some countries were absent in the population. Hence, the sample was divided into three categories of Asia, Middle East and North America/Europe to best represent the geographical distribution of the available population. The connections from Africa and South America constituted such a small number that could not be considered as a region. Twenty four countries were listed. The data on the Middle East included correspondents from Armenia, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Syria, and Tunisia; the Asian countries include China, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippine, Sri Lanka and Uzbek; and in the European and Americas the countries included Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United State. Finally, 230 people were chosen basing on their availability. Out of 230 available individuals in three regions, 146 respondents were selected from the population based on Yamane's formula (Yamane 1967)

n = (N)/(1 + N 〖(e)〗^2)

where N is the population; e – is the degree of accuracy, 0.05 at 95 % confident level. Middle East (54.1 %), Asia (26.0 %), and North America/Europe (19.9 %) are represented in the current study. 68.5 % of respondents were male and 31.5 % were female. With respect to age the respondents were divided into three groups, less than 30 (30.2 %), through 31 to 40 (34.9 %), above 41 (34.9 %). In terms of education the group was also divided in three levels: bachelor and below (39.7 %), Master (46.6 %), and Doctoral and above (13.7 %).

1) n = ( 230)/(1 + N 〖(0.05)〗^2 ) 4) n = 230/1.575

2) n = 230/(1 +230 (0.0025)) 5) n = 146.031

3) n = 230/(1 +0.575) 6) n = 146 Respondents

Measuring Procedure

The present investigation included a set of questionnaire for measuring the dependent variable (lookism) and independent variables such as (age, educational level, gender and globalization) and a mediation variable – culture. The questions were designed in a way to explore respondents' beliefs about the influence of globalization on lookism in the workplace and in their own culture. Globalization, lookism, and culture are the main three variables to be measured. The survey was questionnaire-based and made up of two sections. The first section collected general information from the respondents including eight questions, asking them to provide information about their gender, age, years of experience, nationality, place of living, level of education, job level, and also industry of their current or last job. The second part of the survey consisted of a 28-statement Likert Scale. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each statement by circling a number. Twelve items addressed the globalization among respondents who were asked to respond to each statement based on a four-point Likert scale (ranging from 1= ‘Strongly disagree’ to 4 = ‘Strongly agree’). For measuring the lookism, 16 items addressed the lookism based on a four-point Likert scale (ranging from 1 = ‘Strongly disagree’ to 4 = ‘Strongly agree’). The questionnaire was designed on web; respondents could answer the questions and at the end submit it online. All responses were automatically saved in Google drive profile of the researcher with the exact date and time of the responses. Word format was also sent in case the respondents preferred to answer offline. Ninety six per cent of respondents responded online instead of filling the word format.

Data Analyzing

The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics by applying Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 21 for determining the relationship among variables. Descriptive analysis was employed to determine the globalization, lookism, culture and demographic of the respondents by using frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. Inferential analysis was employed for the correlation analysis for relationship between globalization and lookism. For measuring the mean differences between age, education groups and lookism, ANOVA was used. For measuring the mean differences between age, education, globalization, gender groups and culture Chi-Square was applied. For measuring the mediation effects of culture on lookism and IVs (globalization, age, education, and gender) regression was applied. For measuring the validity and reliability of the instrument, the questionnaires were distributed among 30 students in a pilot test. The results of Cronbach's Alpha illustrated that the reliability of the instrument was higher than 0.7. In addition, before analyzing all the data were subjected to the normality test. The result of normality test showed that data was normal.

Culture

Half of the respondents are affected by Middle East culture with 54.1 % (n = 79) followed by 26 % (n = 38) Asian and 19.9 % (n = 29) European and American culture.

Globalization

Among the items related to globalization ‘I face a lot with global advertisements in my daily life that shows a beautiful and handsome woman representing a product obtained highest mean’ (M = 3.26, S.D = 0.66), following by ‘Global media with all celebrities and advertisements has influenced cultural preferences of my origin’ (Mean = 3.14, SD = = 0.66), the lowest mean belongs to the statement ‘I wish and attempt to look like models in advertisement because those styles are more accepted’ (M = 2.14, S.D = 0.81).

Table 1

Distribution of Respondents According to Globalization (n = 146)

Globalization (%)

SD

D

A

SA

Mean

S.D

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

I face a lot with global advertisements in my daily life that shows a beautiful and handsome woman representing a product.

1.4

8.2

53.4

37.0

3.26

0.66

I think global media with all celebrities and advertisements has influenced cultural preferences of my origin in the way people dress up and make up their face and hair and body in workplace environments.

1.4

11.6

58.9

28.1

3.14

0.66

I believe global advertisements impact on the way I dress up or change my look, especially in social environments like work environment.

4.1

21.2

61.0

13.7

2.84

0.70

To get a good job people should have a global accepted look in the country of my origin.

2.7

31.5

60.3

5.5

2.68

0.61

Most of workplaces in my country advantage a global dictated appearance rather than cultural norms.

4.8

37.7

50.7

6.8

2.60

0.69

There has been a big difference between the way people appearing in global visual advertisements and media and my own origin culture before, but the difference is very low now

6.2

35.6

51.4

6.8

2.59

0.71

There is not difference between the way people dress and make up in global advertisement and the culture of my origin country.

11.6

43.8

36.3

8.2

2.41

0.80

My workplace environment directly or indirectly demands that employee's appearance to be in line with globalized appearance style that is communicated by media and advertisement.

6.8

50.7

38.4

4.1

2.40

0.68

When I look back I see my appearance has changed a lot during past 5 years in line with what media and global advertisements show up.

2q

44.5

32.2

10.3

2.40

0.84

I have consciously changed my appearance and style from cultural preferences of my origin towards global preferences to get more benefits in society and my workplace.

11

47.9

34.2

6.8

2.37

0.77

I have unconsciously changed my appearance and style from cultural preferences of my origin towards global preferences to get more benefits in society and my workplace.

11

51.4

32.9

4.8

2.32

0.73

I wish and attempt to look like models in advertisement because those styles are more accepted.

21.9

47.9

24.7

5.5

2.14

0.81

Note: SD = Strongly Disagree, D = Disagree, A = Agree, SA = Strongly Agree

Lookism

Regarding measuring lookism, the findings showed that the highest mean related to the statement ‘It is not surprising that if all other things were equal, those who dress professionally are consistently given better interview rankings’ (M = 3.17, S.D = 0.60), followed by the statement ‘When meeting new co-workers, I look upon them more favorably when they are dressed in a professional manner’ (M = 2.90, S.D = 0.67), also ‘It should be legal to consider a person's appearance as one of many factors for job requirements in some special industries like outward facing jobs’ (M = 2.86, S.D = 0.77). For this question however Zakas (2005) found a low mean outcome and related the reason because of neutral responses. The lowest mean is the statement ‘I have been discriminated because of my appearance in my workplace’ (M = 1.75, S.D = 0.68), the findings are consistent with the study have been done by Zakas (2005) findings, followed by ‘I prefer to work in a place where everyone is dressed up and looks like models and celebrities’ (M = 2.07, S.D = 0.80), which is lower than what Zakas (2005) found in his study when asked the same question.

Table 2

Distribution of Respondents According to Lookism (n = 146)

Lookism (%)

SD

D

A

SA

Mean

S.D

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

It is not surprising that if all other things equal, those who dress professionally are consistently given better interview rankings.

0.7

8.9

63.0

27.4

3.17

0.60

When meeting new co-workers, I look upon them more favorably when they are dressed in a professional manner.

2.7

19.9

62.3

15.1

2.90

0.67

It should be legal to consider a person's appearance as one of many factors for job requirements in some special industries like outward facing jobs.

4.8

23.3

53.4

18.5

2.86

0.77

If I had a choice, I would prefer my workplace have more people who I find attractive.

6.2

29.5

42.5

21.9

2.80

0.85

I feel most comfortable conversing with people who look and dress like me.

4.8

39

41.8

14.4

2.66

0.78

People's appearance which reflects their ethnicity origins has impact on the way they receive attention and benefit in my workplace, whether positive or negative.

1.4

39.7

51.4

7.5

2.65

0.63

I need to change my appearance based on global preferences to impact my work situation because my job is not solely assessed based on my technical skill but also my appearance counts.

8.2

42.5

38.4

11.0

2.52

0.79

There are many people whom I know and was either not hired or fired solely because of his/her appearance. (For example, I know people who are not hired only because their appearance is not good, OR I know some people who are not fired only because they are good looking).

5.5

46.6

39.7

8.2

2.51

0.72

I have to change my appearance in line with what the society demands not to be discriminated.

7.5

44.5

41.1

6.8

2.47

0.73

Changing my look towards global need is inevitable; otherwise, I will lose my good job opportunities.

8.2

50.7

33.6

7.5

2.40

0.74

I have faced the employee or interviewee claims of appearance discrimination before.

13.1

44.1

35.2

7.6

2.37

0.80

I believe unattractive people should be a protected class, having the same legal protections as homosexuals, ethnic and religious groups, and those with disabilities.

16.4

45.9

24.7

13.0

2.34

0.90

To draw the attention to myself and receive more benefits like promotion, higher salary, I need to be concerned with my clothing and appearance to be more accepted and attractive.

14.4

42.5

37.7

5.5

2.34

0.79

I am more concerned about discrimination based on my look than my age, gender, or race.

15.1

47.9

27.4

9.6

2.32

0.84

I prefer to work in a place where everyone is dressed up and looks like models and celebrities.

24.7

47.9

23.3

4.1

2.07

0.80

I have been discriminated because of my appearance in my workplace.

37.7

51.4

9.6

1.4

1.75

0.68

Note: SD = Strongly Disagree, D = Disagree, A = Agree, SA = Strongly Agree

Mean Differences between Age, Education and Lookism

The One-way ANOVA procedure was applied to test for the significant differences between age, education groups and lookism among respondents. The mean differences between age groups and lookism were not significant (F = 1.846, p > 0.05) and also the mean differences between education and lookism were no significant (F = 0.257, p > 0.05).

Table 3

Differences between Age, Education groups and Lookism (n=146)

Age groups

Mean


Sum of Square

df

mean2

F

p

< 30

2.5824

Between Groups

0.594

2

0.297

1.846

0.162

31–40

2.5245

Within Groups

23.014

143

0.161



> 41

2.4267

Total

23.608

145




Education group







Bachelor and below

2.4894

Between Groups

0.085

2

0.042

0.257

0.774

Master

2.5331

Within Groups

23.524

143

0.165



Doctoral and above

2.4750

Total

23.608

145




Note: P < 0.05.

The Relationship Age, Gender, Globalization and Education and Culture

The comparison of the age, gender, globalization, education groups and culture was done to find out how culture influence differently in age, gender, globalization, education groups. The results of the chi-square test revealed there was significant relationship in the age groups in different cultures (x2 = 31.317, p < 0.00) also there was significant relationship in the gender groups between male and female in different cultures (x2 = = 13.496, p < 0.05). The results of chi-square test revealed that there was significant relationship in the globalization groups among cultures (x2 = 15.389, p < 0.05) however there was no significant relationship in the education groups among different cultures (x2 = 13.872, p > 0.05)

Table 4

Chi-square test for age, gender, globalization and education groups and culture (n=146)

Age groups

Middle East %

Asia%

European or American%

Chi-square

df

p

18–21

50.0

50.0

0.0

31.317

8

0.000

22–25

16.7

50.0

33.3




26–30

55.6

38.9

5.6




31–40

74.5

15.7

9.8




Over 40

37.3

23.5

39.2




Gender groups






Male

44.0

33.0

23.0

13.496

2

0.001

Female

76.1

10.9

13.0




Globalization







Low

55

5.0

40.0

15.389

4

0.004

Medium

56.6

24.2

19.2




High

44.4

48.1

7.4




Education Groups







High school

100.0

0.0

0.0

13.872

8

0.085

Bachelor

51.8

21.4

26.8




Master

51.5

35.3

13.2




Doctoral

72.2

5.6

22.2




Associate

0.0

50.0

50.0




P < 0.05

T-test between Gender and Lookism

The mean differences for each group of respondents' gender and lookism were measured by independent t-test. The results indicated that there were no significant mean differences between male and female and lookism.

Table 5

T-Test between Gender and lookism (n = 146)

Gender

Mean

t

p

Male

2.5250

0.759

0.449

Female

2.4704



Note: P < 0.05

The relationship between globalization and lookism

Based on the finding of correlation test revealed that there was significant and positive correlation between the two variables (r = 0.717, p < 0.05). According to Gilford rule of thumb table this relationship was moderate.

Mediation effect of culture on IVs and lookism

To investigate the relationship between age, gender, level of education, culture, and globalization and lookism regression coefficient was applied. Moreover, regression coefficient was used to explore whether the relationship was significantly positive or negative; and the relative percentages of the dependent variables that can be predicted by the independent variables. An R-square value of 0.759 revealed that the globalization explained about 57.5 % of the variance in lookism. Findings revealed that based on the reported value of the F-statistic (f = 37.958, p < 0.05), the model fits the data. This means that the slope of the estimated linear regression model line was not equal to zero, thus confirming that there was a significant linear relationship between globalization and lookism.

Table 6

Regression Analysis (ANOVA) between IVs and lookism (n = 146)


Df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

R Square

R

Regression

5

2.717

37.958

0.000

0.759

0.575

Residual

140

0.072





Total

145






Note: p < 0.05.

The coefficient showed the importance of globalization in predicting lookism by the mediation of culture. The beta coefficient was (ß = 0.705) at the level of 0.05 therefore, 70 % of lookism can be predicted by globalization. Culture has a negative significant effect on lookism with (ß = –0.208) with –20 % prediction. The beta coefficient for gender was (ß = –0.107) at the level of 0.06, with 10 % of age can be predicted by the culture.

Table 7

Regression coefficient (n=146)

Regression results in TBP factors

Lookism

B

Beta

T

Sig

Gender

–.079

–.092

–1.538

0.126

Level of Education

.043

.080

1.441

0.152

Age

–.046

–.107

–1.842

0.068

Globalization

.710

.705

12.656

0.000

Culture

–.106

–.208

–3.634

0.000

Discussion and Conclusion

The aim of this study was to comprehend the influence of globalization on lookism and the mediation effect of culture, also examining the influence of variables like age, gender and level of education on lookism. The total 146 respondents were selected from three regions of Asia, Middle East and North America/Europe as target population of this study.

The current study has six main findings; 1) the relationship between culture and globalization and lookism is significant and positive; 2) the relationship between age groups and lookism was not significant but there is significant relationship between age groups and culture; 3) the relationship between education groups and culture and lookism is not significant; 4) there is significant relationship between gender and culture but this relationship is not significant with lookism; 5) the relationship between culture and lookism is positive and significant; 6) the mediation effect of culture is approved by the result.

Our first main finding is: there is a significantly positive relationship between Lookism and Globalization. In his study of Globalization and Beauty Jones (2011) also states that growth of the world beauty market is closely linked to the waves of globalization which began in the nineteenth century. As he confirms, globalization of the beauty industry involved the globalization of what was considered to be attractive, the societal, cultural and individual impact was profound. In other studies also there was found positive relationship between globalization and lookism, by finding the impact of some elements of globalization like media on the appearance and body image which promotes lookism (Legenbauer, Rühl, and Vocks 2008; Park, DiRaddo, and Calogero 2009).

Our second main finding is that there is a significant positive correlation between globalization and culture. Consistent with Jones (2011) who emphasizes that the beauty culture was transferred all over the world through television, the latter transforming the ideals in terms of life style, fashion, and beauty. Among all, the United States became a major source of television programming for other countries, with programs dubbed or subtitled into local languages. Although many scholars believe that this cultural transition had been very fast, Stalcup (2012) believes that in spite of much diversity in taste across and within cultures, there are many agreements on standards of beauty within a culture, and these standards change quite slowly. Legenbauer et al. (2008) in their study about the influence of media exposure on body image found that ‘media exposure can act as a trigger for body-related schemas’ and also that media exposure acts as a stimulus that triggers body-related schemas. Also, according to Park et al. (2009) internalizing media appearance ideals and feeling pressured to meet such ideals were related to Appearance Rejection Sensitivity for both women and men (Park et al. 2009). The findings of this study confirms previous researches that media and visual advertisements as features of globalization, influence on the way people choose to look, what is the added value here is that they do this to not face discrimination.

Thirdly, the mean differences between age groups and lookism is not significant but there is a significant relationship between age groups and culture. The findings confirm that no matter in what age, all people are under the influence of lookism. But considering cultural bonding, each culture has its own level of influence on younger or older people. There are limited findings on this study of the influence of lookism in different ages, but some more on how different ages are bond to their cultural feeds. For instance, Fu and Chiu (2007) state that traditional moral values are still very important for young people in China, regardless of the cosmopolitan society of the country; however, this might not be the same for other western countries. Younger age is always looking for icons in their cultural society as it has been before. But now these cultural icons may have been changed to global icons due to easy access to global icons. In older age it was not so easy to find one's desired ideal icon in another country, however, one could easily be attracted to the ones who are represented as icons by global media and the internet. This icons which are almost all from western countries, or better to say with a global looking and appearance, are often displayed extensively in the place of living of the young people, whether about a football player or Hollywood actress. Like what Morris, Menon, and Ames (2001) state, changes in the form and structure of social practices may alter the distribution and significance of certain exemplary persons in the culture.

Our fourth main result is the following: there is a significant mean difference between gender and culture, but this relationship is not significant with lookism. This result confirms the fact that no matter what gender one might be; one is influenced by lookism. In other previous studies, some have found that attractiveness might influence judgments of women more than it does for men (e.g., Li and Kenrick 2006) which are different from this study. However, the current findings are consistent with other evidence, suggesting that attractiveness is valued in both men and women (Agthe, Spörrle, and Maner 2011; Maner et al. 2003, 2007; Stalcup 2012). Also based on Hamermesh and Biddle (Biddle and Hamermesh 1998), men and women suffer equal in society as a result of standards of beauty, if we ignore impact on men. Furthermore, Jones (2011) mentions ‘both males and females, for example, have made extensive use of cosmetics in certain contexts. Indeed, in some societies it was the male body, rather than the female, which was held to represent the ideal beauty.’

Based on our findings there was significant relationship in the gender groups between male and female in different cultures, which we found in this study, showing that gender is profoundly under different levels of influence in different cultures. As Hoffman (2006) suggests in a research about women and gender identity ‘being a woman may generally have been a more salient component of Asian women's identities than of White women's identities’ for example.

Fifth, the relationship between education groups and culture is not significant and this relationship is not significant for education and lookism, either. Based on our findings, it does not matter if you are in your bachelor degree or holding a higher education, you are taken by the flow of globalization and you cannot avoid judging people based on global norms of appearance. Although highly professional and educated, people might be recognized as the biggest influenced population of each country and may be more likely to think of themselves as ‘citizens of the world’ and also judge more based on global norms of appearance. But being more national or regional with lower educational level does not mean you keep your tradition as norms, because you need also to escape from discriminative judgments.

Lastly, culture has a mediation effect on the relationship between globalization and lookism, meaning that different cultures are under different levels of influence of lookism. Coefficient showed the importance of globalization in predicting lookism by the mediation of culture. In another study performed by Cleveland, Laroche, and Hallab (2013), they found that a negative relationship exists between ethnic identity and acculturation to global consumer culture for Lebanese Muslims, whereas for Christians the two cultural forces were independent. Also, based on Bekhuis, Meuleman, and Lubbers (2012), globalization affects cultural protectionism negatively, providing support for the diversification interpretation. Based on our findings, although globalization affects the lookism in all cultures, this impact is not the same in all countries with different cultures.

In conclusion, the rapid rate of globalization has impacted different cultures to shift from cultural norm of appearance to a more global norm. Although these impacts are not the same for all cultures, they oblige people in different geographical areas in the world to judge each other based on the extent to which they look like the globally accepted norms.

The perspective of globalization and its positive and negative influence on people of different cultures, ages, gender, and education still need a further thorough study by researchers considering the pace of globalization in the world. According to Mohammad Ali Taheri (2013) all human beings are born with an appearance-viewing eye, ‘Erfan (Moving toward Human Completion) [can] change the appearance-viewing vision into an essence-viewing vision. [This is a movement from seeing appearance to seeing substance. Seeing substance is ‘discovering the final Kamal [completion of human kind] of things in the universe.’ When one achieves this Godly vision, one understands the grandeur of creation in every single constituent of the universe. Having substance-seeing vision reveals three aspects of everything: appearance, substance, and essence. (For details please refer to ‘Human Insight’, by M. A. Taheri.)

Limitations and Recommendation

The present study has several limitations. The spread of respondents is not even in the three geographical areas. Also there was greater representation of male (versus female) participants in the studies. Future studies may consider larger population of respondents in all geographical areas with an even spread of population in all cultures. Moreover, a future study with relatively balanced distribution is needed to assure the generality of the results. These results may lead researchers to find out how cultural roots and values may intrude this phenomenon of globalization and higher discrimination based on appearance and lower the negative impact of lookism based on global norms in different cultures and based on what Mohammad Ali Taheri (2013) calls it transform it to ‘having substance-seeing vision’, movement from seeing appearance to seeing substance and quality as a ‘theory of substance-seeing vision’.

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