Academic journal article Global Media Journal

The Influence of Globalization on "Lookism" in Workplace Environment of Different Cultures

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

The Influence of Globalization on "Lookism" in Workplace Environment of Different Cultures

Article excerpt

Abstract

The practice of discrimination on the basis of physical appearance in the workplace has attracted a good deal of academic interest in recent years. They all found evidences that appearance can have a different effect on one's career, depending on the occupation. In many organizations, appearance is rewarded either in increased productivity or by consumer discrimination. In his research about globalization and beauty, Geoffrey Jones (2011) confirmed that the growth of the world beauty market was closely linked to the waves of globalization. The aim of present study is to explore if there is any relationship between globalization and lookism in workplaces. Furthermore, there is an attempt to understand how these two phenomena of globalization and lookism vary in different cultures which in return can influence working conditions.

Keyboard: Globalization; Lookism; Workplace; Meaning of Beauty

Introduction

According to Taheri (2012) if we could take out human being from the universe, there will be no meaning of beauty or ugliness for all existences in the universe. It is us, as human being, who determines and interprets everything in this world to be beautiful or ugly, and it is much related to the theory of relativity. Otherwise, the whole universe with every particle in it is living together without any exception or protestation. But human are stricken to absolutism and forget that the meaning of beauty is a matter of relativity. He is true is saying that it is us as human being who determines what is beautiful or not and then we start to discriminate based on our own criteria. It is not very surprising if you hear a beautiful, attractive, and fashionable person is treated very well and gain extra attention and the other one who is not that attractive, is not attended in the same way in different occasions (Taheri, 2012). Lookism was first recognized as a term for discrimination based on looks in 2000 by dictionary writers. Both the Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary have included the word "lookism" in the editions published since 2000 (Ayto, 1999). Considering the fact that discrimination based on appearance namely lookism (see also(Tietje & Cresap, 2005) 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. The concern is that we do not see all diversities as beautiful and we instead create limited ideals of beauty and assess everybody according to that criterion, unaware of the fact that beauty is a subjective matter which is based on relativity. So the problem is not in preferring attractiveness or beauty, the concern is the people who identify what is beautiful, and what factors are involved to build criteria of attractiveness of 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 play a very important role by accelerating interactions among societies around the world. Also for Schaeffer (2009), globalization has many positive and good benefits for people around the world and is sometimes inevitable. But does it have the same positive influence on the lookism as well?Among many elements of globalization, global media and visual advertisements are consciously or unconsciously specifying the norms of beauty and these two elements are hugely used by corporations for their advertising purposes. Some may be true in saying that a person's look is not only a personal decision but it should consider many norms and values. As industries know the importance of this appearance norm, they indirectly educate people to judge based on the norm that they define for the societies. …

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