Tero Pajunen

Tero Pajunen
University of Turku | UTU · Department of Social Research


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Publications (8)
According to the general understanding, the link between physical appearance and social inequalities is well-known: attractiveness is considered an asset and plainness a hindrance in life. However, research on the subject paints a far more complex picture. The economic outcomes of attractiveness for men and for women appear to vary depending on the...
This study examines norms concerning appearance-related commenting on social media. More specifically, the focus of this study is on the approvability of positively commenting on other people’s physical appearance, commenting on other people’s dressing style and commenting on the appearance of public figures. We examined how these norms are predict...
Full-text available
Physical appearance as a form of capital has received increasing attention in sociology in recent years. The logic suggests that ‘aesthetic capital’, like other forms of capital, can be accumulated and utilised in economic and social exchange. However, previous research has not paid attention to societal norms that may regulate the accumulation and...
Purpose This article investigates the gendered double standards of exploiting physical appearance in Finland. Drawing from literature on physical appearance as a form of capital, four hypotheses on role of gender in endorsing double standards are put forth, and then empirically tested. The focus is on whether women or men are more disapproving of...
Appearance is an aspect of life with contradictions: we are told to take care of ourselves physically and for example by diminishing the signs of ageing keep ourselves good looking. At the same time we are told to concentrate on more important things than our looks. Appearance and the expectations on how people should look always reflect the overal...


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Projects (2)
Previous explanations of the economic consequences of beauty boil down to an understanding of attractiveness as a characteristic that straightforwardly confers benefits to individuals. This understanding has, however, recently been challenged. This project approaches appearance both as attractiveness and field-congruent appearance. We examine the significance of appearance in different occupational fields: female-dominated, male-dominated and non-gender segregated occupational fields. Our aim is to examine how the significance of physical appearance in economic exchange varies by gender in different occupational contexts when appearance is measured as a) attractiveness, b) field-congruent appearance. We analyse data consisting of 25,000 images of Finns working in different occupations and run a social quasi-experiment based on these analyses. The social quasi-experiment will be implemented by means of a population-level survey in Finland.
Archived project
A population level study of values, attitudes, norms and their changes. Funded by Emil Aaltonen foundation (2016-2018).