(OPE-L) to what extent does physical appearance and age affect the demand for labour-power?

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Oct 15 2003 - 09:06:37 EDT

The following studies concern the rating of college faculty by
students based on physical appearance.  Some unexplored
issues include:
a) the extent to which other faculty and management evaluate
professors in the hiring and promotion process based on their
physical appearance;
b) the extent to which in the labour-power market age and
physical appearance are perceived to be related;
c) the extent to which there are different perceptions in
the labour-market and the labor process related to age and
beauty based on gender. [e.g. older male faculty might be
viewed as looking "distinguished" whereas older women faculty
might be perceived as looking "old"];
d) the extent to which these forms of discrimination affect the
appearance and behavior of workers [e.g. I have a friend in
her 40's who dyes her hair because she believes that if she
didn't and her natural gray hair showed, then she wouldn't be
granted tenure];
d) the extent to which there is age discrimination across many
different branches of production;
e) the extent to which there are international variations in this
process based on differing cultural understandings.

Are there Marxist studies on these topics?
Any thoughts?

In solidarity, Jerry

> SET-Study Suggests Physical Appearance is a Factor
> http://chronicle.com/jobs/2003/10/2003101501c.htm
> GOOD-LOOKING PROFESSORS consistently outscore less attractive ones on
> student evaluations of teaching (SET), a new study finds.
> Chronicle of Higher Education; Oct 15, 2003
> ---
> http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Hamermesh/Teachingbeauty.pdf
> College Teaching:  "Beauty in the Classroom: Professors' Pulchritude and
> Putative Pedagogical Productivity," July 2003
> Daniel S. Hamermesh and Amy M. Parker.
> ABSTRACT: Adjusted for many other determinants, beauty affects earnings;
> but does it lead directly to the differences in productivity that we
> believe generate earnings differences? We take a large sample of student
> instructional ratings for a group of university professors, acquire six
> independent measures of their beauty and a number of other descriptors
> of them and their classes. Instructors who are viewed as better looking
> receive higher instructional ratings, with the impact of a move from the
> 10th to the 90th percentile of beauty being substantial. This impact
> exists within university departments and even within particular courses,
> and is larger for male than for female instructors. Disentangling
> whether this outcome represents productivity or discrimination is, as
> with the issue generally, probably impossible.
> ---
> Physical appearance may influence faculty teaching evaluations, study
> says. July 15, 2003

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