Beauty School I decided to study the unique culture that comes from students attending and participating in beauty school. I was able to observe and participate in some of the services that were offered at Sherman Kendall Academy on 700 East and 2300 South Sugarhouse Utah. I observed the way students interact with each other, clients, and the instructors at the school. The purpose of ethnographic observation is to understand the culture that is Beauty School. For my field research, I used two different methods. Participant-observation and Interviews. I felt pretty out of place and like I was intruding on “their world”.
I felt that everyone knew I was watching them and writing things down in a notebook about what they were doing so they didn’t act normal at first. They soon became accustomed to my presence and were able to do what they normally did without noticing that someone was writing down everything they did and said. The first day I was there I walked in and nearly everyone had short black ‘A’ symmetric hair. They wore all black clothing and aprons. The girls wore a lot of face makeup particularly eye makeup. I was wearing jeans and a hoodie. I have long hair in my natural color and didn’t have makeup on.
This was kind of a culture shock as I have never been around so many hair stylists in training prior that had their own type of style. All of the students don’t seem to have any boundaries concerning proximity. They all stand really close to one another and are constantly touching each other. The males especially didn’t use the norms of proximity with the girls. It seemed as though because they were attracted to their same gender it was okay to smother these girls and talk really candidly and with no regard as to who was near or listening about their sex lives. Some girls would just laugh while others would tell them they were bad.
The students at the school have their own terms for things. I told someone that they had dropped their scissors, they rolled their eyes and said, “Uh, Shears. ” A lot of things they would say I had no clue as to what they were talking about until they had it in their hands or pointed to what they were talking about. For the most part the students seemed to be really friendly to everyone to their faces’. But as soon as they turned their back their true colors shined. When students would talk to clients on the phone a lot of times they would be really enthusiastic in their voices but rolling heir eyes or make hand gestures as if to say, blah , blah, blah. And when they would get off the phone everyone would laugh and they would talk about the person they just got off the phone with. A new student on the floor had longer hair and it was her natural color. The students kept pestering her to let them cut and color her hair. It seemed like this was some sort of an initiation to the school for her to be more readily accepted. They ended up cutting more than 6 inches off and died her hair black with some bleached chunks throughout her hair. The instructors and students all adored the new hair cut.
She now just blended in with the rest of the students and didn’t appear to have her own individual identity like she did prior to the hair cut and color. It seems quite the opposite though. It was as if she now had an identity as a hair stylist and that she wouldn’t be seen as the new girl at school and would be accepted. Students were expected to sanitize their hands after they touched anything. If they touched their arms they had to sanitize. If they touched they chair, sanitize. When they walked away from their station, upon return, they had to sanitize.
I felt it was a little bit of overkill especially when they were just giving someone a haircut. A girl student got her shears taken away because she was caught cutting her own hair. They told her she couldn’t have them back until she had a client that needed their hair cut. Another student then walked over and cut the previously mentioned students hair for her. In conclusion, hair school satisfies these students that feel they don’t have an identity and they join in the culture that is Cosmetology School and somehow this fills a void that they were missing in their life and they are now accepted into a culture.
They all dress alike and have similar hairstyles and color. It appears to be and effective cultural practices as these students are developing skills that they are going to take along with them for the rest of their career. Everything they practiced in their culture that is Hair School is going to be the bases for everything they do futuristically. If they didn’t build that foundation and learn through trial and error, they wouldn’t be very successful at keeping and maintaining their cliental in the real world as they probably would not be able to create and maintain someone’s hairstyle. So that client would no longer be their client.
The prices for services offered at the school are for the most part pretty reasonable. All services are given by supervised students. A lot of the older public goes to get their hair done here because the prices are more than double at salons or private institutions. The older ladies develop really close relationships with the students and cry when they find out that their favorite student that they have seen every week for the past two years is graduating. If I were to return, I would like to spend more one on one time with students and the clicks with in the culture of students. I bet there would be sub-cultures with-in the Culture.
I would like to set up time to speak with the owners of the school to see if they encourage the students to all conform to the culture and cut and die their hair. I would like to observe the instructors to see what type of pressure they may be under to teach certain criteria and see it maintained. I would like to observe the way the instructors have to deal with upset clients because a student made a mistake and mutilated the client’s hair. hecklist The outline The introduction states the main topic or idea of the outline, and the conclusion summarizes it. Each sub-topic describes the main idea for a paragraph.
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