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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Maria Kudryavtseva
Wearing Beard for Social Status: Men and Boys in Moscow Barbershops
Sociology
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
Have you noticed that a lot of men nowadays started growing more and more facial hair? They start to care more about their beard and their appearance in general. Why is the beard making a comeback in modern Russian society? Barbershops are becoming more popular in Russia and their numbers are growing really fast, they do not allow women to use their services which creates an environment where men can feel unique and not ashamed to care about their looks.

There is a probable link between having a beard and having a high social status which leads men to invest money and time into their beards as a symbol of financial stability and social status. This phenomenon can be a reflection of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory “Forms of Capital”. Through this we see how physical and bodily aspects become a special tool to get certain benefits in society by changing how a man looks.

During the current research it became noticeable that having a beard is not just a fashion statement, it has deeper social meanings and is a part of a men’s journey to managing their body and how they look. Moreover, for a lot of men having a beard is not an easy decision, people who are close to them may not approve, plus it leads to new responsibilities like going to barbershops and taking care of your beard. On the other hand, a man can get a certain amount of respect in different circles and become a part of new identity groups. It can also help with strengthening your position in society and how people perceive you.

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