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Abstract

Physical appearance -related social inequalities are receiving increasing interest in sociology. Accordingly, among other social scientists, sociologists have paid particular attention to socio-economic outcomes of attractiveness as one dimension of physical appearance. In this seminar presentation, I will provide an introduction and overview of these findings and then discuss their potential extensions for social stratification researches interested in appearance-based inequalities. I will draw not only from previous studies but also from my ongoing research. First, based on a systematic literature review, I will show that research on socio-economic outcomes of attractiveness is far from consistent; attractiveness is not a universal asset and seems to be more consistently beneficial for men than for women. Second, my ongoing research on the so-called occupation-congruent appearance suggests that sociologists should develop complementary measures of physical appearance and move beyond studying attractiveness only. I argue that this would enhance the understanding of physical appearance -related social inequalities.