Culture, Class, Distinction (Culture, Economy, and the Social)
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Culture, Class, Distinction is major contribution to international debates regarding the role of cultural capital in relation to modern forms of inequality. Drawing on a national study of the organisation of cultural practices in contemporary Britain, the authors review Bourdieu’s classic study of the relationships between culture and class in the light of subsequent debates.
In doing so they re-appraise the relationships between class, gender and ethnicity, music, film, television, literary, and arts consumption, the organisation of sporting and culinary practices, and practices of bodily and self maintenance. As the most comprehensive account to date of the varied interpretations of cultural capital that have been developed in the wake of Bourdieu’s work, Culture, Class, Distinction offers the first systematic assessment of the relationships between cultural practice and the social divisions of class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary Britain.
It is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationships between culture and society.
sociological reasoning against any interference from outside. In his later work, he thus identiﬁes himself with a range of avant-garde writers, such as Faulkner, Woolf, or Joyce (Robbins, 2006: 2, and more generally Fowler, 2006). He took a ‘hard-line’ position in opposition to more traditional and orthodox forms of French sociology, which were more closely allied to the other social sciences, notably political science and economics. He showed little interest in the ‘cultural turn’, which was
and if so, what kind) and also whether particular tastes (high scores) for certain genres are associated with Table 5.3 Cluster analysis of musical taste Rock Jazz World Classical Country Electronic Heavy metal Urban % in cluster % prof. % female % 18–24 % 25–44 % 45–64 % 65+ % black % graduate n 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2.03 2.08 1.50 5.96 5.06 1.31 1.22 1.41 16 16 16 0 3 22 52 11 12 215 5.08 4.25 3.16 3.00 2.27 2.49 1.70 5.26 11 16 12 11 18 5 2 7 12 146 5.89 3.12 4.11 2.94 2.60 5.80 4.41
a class-related divide, with the more educated focus groups identifying a greater range of genres within contemporary music. The unskilled workers, by contrast, have an intense discussion, but one which focuses solely on the rival merits of rap and rave. Some of the ‘educated’ white focus groups, as well as minority ethnic groups, talk about musical forms associated with minority ethnic groups as part of this proliferation, with positive mentions of Bhangra (Indian working class, Pakistani
more to a sense of exclusion than to visual art per se. Most of the 15 conﬁdent amateurs (mostly located on the culturally engaged right hand side of axis 1, as elaborated in Chapter 3 and 4 above) identify the painters, nearly all like the Turner and most of the few who like the Hockney (ﬁve out of seven) are in this group. Only one interviewee of minority ethnic origin (Susan Mirza Foot, a doctor in General Practice married to an arts lecturer) is included in this group. A range of knowledge is
and works as an agricultural sales representative. He shows 120 Cultural ﬁelds and cultural capital discomfort with the conversation, elaborating his comments as if under a school test: It’s not, I wouldn’t say I dislike it, it’s probably … an oil painting I think from times gone by. It’s – probably not what I would choose if I was walking into a gallery to buy. If anything it probably lacks detail. But other than that, I don’t know how more elaborate you want [me] to be. I don’t recognise it.