A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value

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Bourdieu - simple explanation

Many case studies have shown that eclectic repertoires are more likely to be embodied by the educated middle classes. Peterson himself argued that the employment market has begun to seek this kind of wide-range awareness and cultural inclusiveness. It seems that being a true omnivore requires certain skills, investment, and prior cultural knowledge, which can be translated into advantages in other social fields.

The debate has progressed quite successfully.

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Many different types of omnivorousness have been discovered since the term was first coined; not every eclectic repertoire holder follows the same trajectory of boundary crossing. For instance, some omnivorous consumers cross the highbrow-lowbrow boundary by adding highbrow genres to their profile after having experienced upward mobility, while others include lowbrow genres to their once exclusive highbrow taste repertoires. Different forms of omnivorousness—and their degree of cultural tolerance—allow us to see more clearly the current status of the association between cultural hierarchy and consumption.

Recent research on contemporary forms of cultural capital and cosmopolitanism also engages closely with the omnivore debate. It is important to note that arguments still remain with regard to methods and analysis; not every contributor agrees on a common definition for measurement—operationalization—of the omnivore profiles.

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Book review: A sociology of culture, taste and value by Simon Stewart - LSE Research Online

Some researchers take participation, while others take taste or knowledge, as proxies to measure omnivorousness. Other disagreements methodological and theoretical with regard to other aspects of the debate have been briefly referred to above. These disagreements not only make the debate more lively and dynamic, but also ensure that interest in the concept does not decrease over time. Peterson and Kern first coined the term in their studies of audience segmentation in the United States Peterson , Peterson and Kern These studies stand in close dialogue with discussions in Gans on mass culture and the relationship between the elite and the masses in the cultural sphere.

However, the thesis later received the attention of researchers, in works such as Bennett, et al. Bourdieu uses the terms capital, field , and habitus to show the correspondence between cultural and economic hierarchy. To place specific case studies on omnivorousness into a larger context, including issues of tolerance, class, distinction, privilege, fields, and capitals, one needs to go back to these theoretical and empirical reference texts.

3.1. What Is Culture?

Accounting for tastes: Australian everyday cultures. New York: Cambridge Univ.


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Explores Australian cultural tastes. Culture, class, distinction. New York: Routledge. Discusses how these new trends should inform our understanding of taste, culture, and inequality.

What Is Cultural Capital? Do I Have It?

Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Chan, Tak Wing, ed. Social status and cultural consumption. DOI: Readers will be thoroughly engaged by this comprehensive and original integration that breaks new ground for the discipline. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Publishing With Us.

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The sociology of cultural participation in France thirty years after

But as far as being able to explain or even describe the raptures and disappointments of the person who loves to cook or who loves opera despite the obnoxious social scene that surrounds it, Bourdieu has little to say. It is a clunky phrase but you get the picture. It is much harder to describe how our sensorium changes as those saxophone squawks and bleeps are transformed from noise to sensual forms. It offers a critical account of some of the central ideas of the discipline and opens up a space for new sociological enquiries that may be more attentive to the phenomenal forms of taste.

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