Background. At present, self-objectification of females is a very common phenomenon, reflecting the desire of women to meet the standards accepted in the society and manifested in excessive (even pathological) care of achieving the “ideal” appearance. This phenomenon was under study in various foreign psychological concepts and approaches, and especially in the theory of B. Fredrickson and T.E. Roberts. However, despite similar research in Russian psychology, the phenomenon has not been disclosed within Russian psychological methodology. In this regard, it is very important to analyze foreign publications for the subsequent development of an integrative approach to the study of self-objectification in females in the context of Russian psychology. Looking into this phenomenon from the standpoint of Russian psychological methodology would be useful for developing methods of assessment, intervention, and psychotherapeutic assistance for Russian girls and women experiencing psychological problems due to negative self-objectification.
The Objective is to conduct a theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of women's self-objectification in line with the national cultural-historical and activity methodology.
Design.The paper provides a review of the publications on self-objectification in females which is analytical in its nature. In the paper, the basic approaches to the study of the phenomenon of self-objectification in females in foreign psychology are determined, and also the ways to understand the phenomenon in the context of the Russian psychological tradition proposed in the works of L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontiev, S.L. Rubinstein developed by their students and the followers are shown.
Results. The phenomenon of self-objectification in females is considered within the context of fundamental issues of psychology – the relationship of ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ contents, and particularly, within the framework of the subject-activity approach of S.L. Rubinstein and the activity theory of A.N. Leontiev. The role of the “social situation of the development” (L.S. Vygotsky) in the development self-objectification in females is shown. The mechanism of interiorization as a female’s adoption of the social ideas and attitudes is described. The process of interiorization is considered through three facets: individualization, intimization, and production of consciousness. The phenomenon of self-objectification was interpreted through the lenses of L.S. Vygotsky ideas about the intertwining of two domains of mental development in ontogenesis, i.e. the biological maturation of a person and the processes of mastering culture, and also within the notions of cultural-historical defectology.
Conclusion. The research results contribute to expanding the scientific theoretical views of psychologists working within the national methodology to shape the phenomenon of self-objectification in females, which could facilitate further understanding of this theoretical construct and increase the number of empirical works in the research area. Female self-objectification through the prism of the Russian research methodology will contribute to the methodological status of this issue, enriching the idea of female self-objectification primarily at the philosophical (worldview) level and at the general scientific level of methodology (E.G. Yudin). All these will increase the interpretative capabilities of the concept. The materials of the paper can contribute to developing an integrative approach for understanding female self-objectification. The findings can be sufficient for creating methods of psychodiagnostics and psychotherapy for girls and women experiencing psychological problems due to the negative impact of self-objectification.
Sections: Social Psychology;
Keywords: objectification; self-objectification; theory of B. Fredriksson and T.-E. Roberts; modern ideals of beauty; social attitudes; female objectification and self-objectification; Russian psychology; the outer and the inner contents; the social situation of development; interiorization; psychotherapy of self-objectification
Available Online 30.10.2020
Kashirsky D.V., Myasnikova O.V. (2020). The Phenomenon of Self-Objectification in Women: Analysis of foreign Studies and a View through the Prism of Russian Psychology. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)3, 61–74. doi: 10.11621/npj.2020.0405