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Study Kant's Aesthetics
Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest. Article Purchase - Online Checkout. Issue Purchase - Online Checkout. People also read Article. Published online: 25 Oct The constraints are not simply because members of different classes have varying amounts of economic resources at their disposal. Bourdieu argued that there are also significant non-economic resources and their distribution effects social stratification and inequality.
One such resource is cultural capital , which is acquired mainly through education and social origin. It consists of accumulated knowledge and competence for making cultural distinctions. To possess cultural capital is a potential advantage for social action, providing access to education credentials, occupations and social affiliation. By assessing relationships between consumption patterns and the distribution of economic and cultural capital, Bourdieu identified distinct class tastes within French society of the s.
Upper-class taste is characterized by refined and subtle distinctions, and it places intrinsic value on aesthetic experience. This particular kind of taste was appreciated as the legitimate basis for "good taste" in French society, acknowledged by the other classes as well. Consequently, members of the middle classes appeared to practice "cultural goodwill" in emulating the high-class manners and lifestyles.
The taste of the middle classes is not defined as much by authentic appreciation for aesthetics as by a desire to compete in social status. In contrast, the popular taste of the working classes is defined by an imperative for "choosing the necessary". Not much importance is placed on aesthetics.
This may be because of actual material deprivation excluding anything but the necessary but, also, because of a habit , formed by collective class experiences. Theories of taste which build on the ideas of status competition and social emulation have been criticized from various standpoints.
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Firstly, it has been suggested that it is not reasonable to trace all social action back to status competition. That is while marking and claiming status are strong incentives, people also have other motivations as well.
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Secondly, it has been argued that it not plausible to assume that tastes and lifestyles are always diffusing downwards from the upper classes. It has also been argued that the association between social class and taste is no longer quite as strong as it used to be.
For instance, theorists of the Frankfurt School have claimed that the diffusion of mass cultural products has obscured class differences in capitalist societies. That is that products consumed passively by members of different social classes are virtually all the same, with only superficial differences regarding to brand and genre. Other criticism has concentrated on the declassifying effects of postmodern culture ; that consumer tastes are now less influenced by traditional social structures, and they engage in play with free-floating signifiers to perpetually redefine themselves with whatever they find pleasurable.
Varying from society to society and from time to time, bad taste is generally thought of as a negative thing, but also changes with each individual. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the short story by Isaac Asimov, see Good Taste. Abrams, "Vulgarity. Arsel, Zeynep; Jonathan Bean Journal of Consumer Research. Bourdieu, Pierre London: Routledge. In Richardson, John G ed. Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood Press. A History of Economic Theory and Method. Gronow, Jukka Sociology of Taste. Friedman, Sam; Giselinde Kuipers Cultural Sociology.
Hennion, Antoine London: Sage. Holt, Douglas B. Horkheimer, Max; Adorno, Theodor W Dialectic of the Enlightenment. New York: The Continuum publishing Corporation.
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