Study Skills – Cath Davies: Applying Theory to Images and Objects

In Cath’s study skills session today she taught us something that I feel will actually be useful when writing essays in the future. It is something that I have been taught and have used in the past but today was in more depth and at a more sophisticated level.

The method she described was to use a table with three columns:

DESCRIBE: describe the components of the image/object using bullet points

ANALYSE: analyse the cultural and symbolic meanings and connotations

THEORY: backing up analysis column with evidence/research

The thought process and paragraph writing needs to go across the columns, not down them.


Protective Clothing: lecture with Sally Grant

During Sally’s lecture this morning about protective clothing, she spoke about smart textiles/wearable technology. It has never been something that I have looked into or learnt anything about so I was looking forward to hearing about it.

One thing that really took my interest was when she was talking about how perspectives change in different cultures. In terms of dignity, in Western culture clothes tend to emphasise the breast area and the legs, which are generally seen as the most attractive areas on a woman. In Japanese culture however, it is more about the wrists and the nape of the neck, and how the head is held.
This evening I looked further into this concept of what is considered beautiful in a woman and how it changes with the culture. I found an article on the Cosmopolitan website called ‘Beauty Standards Around the World’ and it features a few more examples.
Mauritian women are seen as more attractive the larger they are and are therefore encouraged to put on weight. In another article on the Daily Mail website states that this is a “sign of wealth and prestige in the country where food is in short supply”. I find it fascinating what women will go through in order to be attractive to men, even causing themselves harm – in this case being prone to heart attacks and infertility.
Big is beautiful: In Mauritania an overweight wife is a sign of wealth and prestigeAnother example in the Cosmopolitan article is that in Ethiopia’s Karo tribe, scarring on a woman is seen as attractive. Looking into this in more depth, I found an article from National Geographic which stated that: “Women with scarred torsos and chests are considered particularly sensual and attractive.”

If I get the opportunity in the future, I would like to research the idea of the definition of ‘beauty’.