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Title: Dressing Up Corporate Barbie: Dress, Legitimacy, and Appearance Labor Among Interns and Full-Time Professional
Authors: Wadman, Katherine
Advisors: Frye, Margaret
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: There is an abundance of research on the subject of dress in the workplace and its use as a tool for self-presentation and impression management. This thesis expands upon the existing literature by exploring how workplace appearance is conceptualized and navigated by interns, a historically under-studied population. It investigates how professional women choose what to wear at work, and whether interns approach these decisions differently from full-time employees. Interviews and survey data reveal that when women feel that their legitimacy is threatened in the work environment, they use dress as a means to mitigate these threats and assert their value within the organization. Due to the nature of their positions, interns experience these threats more often and to a greater degree than their full-time counterparts. Despite this, results indicate that interns and full-time employees invest roughly equivalent amounts of effort in their workplace appearance, albeit in different ways.
Extent: 98 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2017

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