I can see your Halo effect: The relationship between norms around attractiveness and social status among Bi-Co students

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2023
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Bryn Mawr College. Department of Sociology
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eng
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Open Access
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Abstract
Appearance-based inequalities are found in everyday aspects of life and shape the experiences that people have. This study explores how such inequalities present themselves at the countercultural environment present at liberal arts schools. The primary method used for this study was qualitative interviews as a way of highlighting and understanding personal experiences. These interviews were then coded for themes to quantify as data to be analyzed. Prior literature on the sociological aspects of beauty discusses attractiveness as a form of capital, attractiveness as a form of privilege, and how pretty privilege manifests itself in locations such as the workforce or large party colleges. This study found that liberal arts colleges have their own form of appearance-based hierarchies that come in the form of hegemonic quirkiness after analyzing the data from the interviews. These findings showcase how ubiquitous appearance rules are and the ways in which they are shaped by the environment.
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