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Los sujetos sociales se diferencian por las distinciones que realizan -entre lo sabroso y lo insípido, lo bello y lo feo, lo distinguido y lo vulgar- en las que se expresa o se traiciona su posición. El análisis de las relaciones entre los sistemas de enclasamiento (el gusto) y las condiciones de existencia (la clase social) conduce así a una crítica social del criterio se Los sujetos sociales se diferencian por las distinciones que realizan -entre lo sabroso y lo insípido, lo bello y lo feo, lo distinguido y lo vulgar- en las que se expresa o se traiciona su posición. El análisis de las relaciones entre los sistemas de enclasamiento (el gusto) y las condiciones de existencia (la clase social) conduce así a una crítica social del criterio selectivo que es, inseparablemente, una descripción de las clases sociales y de los estilos de vida. Podría comenzarse la lectura de este libro por el capítulo final, titulado «Elementos para una crítica "vulgar" de las críticas puras», que pone de manifiesto las categorías sociales de percepción y apreciación que utiliza Kant en su análisis del juicio del gusto. Pero lo esencial de esta ya clásica obra del sociólogo francés Pierre Bourdieu se encuentra en la investigación que, al precio de un enorme trabajo de encuesta empírica y de crítica teórica, conduce a una reformulación de todas las tradicionales interrogaciones sobre lo bello, el arte, el gusto y la cultura.


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Los sujetos sociales se diferencian por las distinciones que realizan -entre lo sabroso y lo insípido, lo bello y lo feo, lo distinguido y lo vulgar- en las que se expresa o se traiciona su posición. El análisis de las relaciones entre los sistemas de enclasamiento (el gusto) y las condiciones de existencia (la clase social) conduce así a una crítica social del criterio se Los sujetos sociales se diferencian por las distinciones que realizan -entre lo sabroso y lo insípido, lo bello y lo feo, lo distinguido y lo vulgar- en las que se expresa o se traiciona su posición. El análisis de las relaciones entre los sistemas de enclasamiento (el gusto) y las condiciones de existencia (la clase social) conduce así a una crítica social del criterio selectivo que es, inseparablemente, una descripción de las clases sociales y de los estilos de vida. Podría comenzarse la lectura de este libro por el capítulo final, titulado «Elementos para una crítica "vulgar" de las críticas puras», que pone de manifiesto las categorías sociales de percepción y apreciación que utiliza Kant en su análisis del juicio del gusto. Pero lo esencial de esta ya clásica obra del sociólogo francés Pierre Bourdieu se encuentra en la investigación que, al precio de un enorme trabajo de encuesta empírica y de crítica teórica, conduce a una reformulación de todas las tradicionales interrogaciones sobre lo bello, el arte, el gusto y la cultura.

30 review for Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Bourdieu is getting high praise here on Goodreads and, no offense, but did you read the whole thing? Now, don't get me wrong, if I were to teach a class on aesthetics, the first chapter, an absolute masterpiece, would be required reading. But for crying out loud, read the whole thing and read it critically. There's no point in reading philosophy or sociology if you don't read it critically. Part I, "The Aristocracy of Culture" is a masterpiece, if you ignore Bourdieu's crappy methodology. Or near Bourdieu is getting high praise here on Goodreads and, no offense, but did you read the whole thing? Now, don't get me wrong, if I were to teach a class on aesthetics, the first chapter, an absolute masterpiece, would be required reading. But for crying out loud, read the whole thing and read it critically. There's no point in reading philosophy or sociology if you don't read it critically. Part I, "The Aristocracy of Culture" is a masterpiece, if you ignore Bourdieu's crappy methodology. Or near-masterpiece as he doesn't quite follow his own argument to its logical conclusion: that there is no art as such, only class distinctions in aesthetic interpretation. As even Bourdieu points out (pg 99), you don't need his dubious data to reach this conclusion, it merely follows from the premise of his argument which you can accept or reject. Beyond that: Have you ever gotten into a barroom conversation in which someone has said something like "Statistics just tells you whatever you think you already know."? They're full of shit (ask this person to explain degrees of freedom in a chi-squared distribution and watch them stutter like Rick Perry trying to recall how them gays are evil), but there's always Bourdieu to prove that someone can design a bad survey that serves their point. Did Pierre understand statistics? No, but the man could divide by 100 and so this book is full of percentages. No estimates of error, no standard deviations, but, hey, who needs hard information when you can make broad declarations based on badly gathered data (a point he concedes in the epilogue)? Bourdieu can make pretty diagrams but there's no discussion of how visual distance illustrates the data. Just trust him, right, I mean, you already agree with him, no? And the thing is, some of his conclusions are likely solid, but who can tell? His tables are so poorly documented that you can't really tell which conclusions are dodgy and which aren't. If you ignore his brilliant thoughts on aesthetics, this book is just a restatement of Historical Materialism as laid out perfectly clearly by Marx. Look, Pierre, it's fine to believe in the idea and believe in it wholeheartedly, but to try and support it with half-assed data analysis is a disservice to the most influential philosopher of the last two centuries. To make matters worse, Bourdieu treats the well-capitalized classes (in their infinite subdivisions of social and economic capital) with the finest granularity, but the lower classes as one undifferentiable mass who can't eat fish because that shit ain't manly and distinctions between immigrants and natives aren't worth four words in the whole book. Brilliant in conception and shite in execution. Want Marx? Read Marx. Want serious approaches to Marxism? Read Friere. This is ivory tower dialectical Marxian thought: an attempt to sympathize with the dispossessed wihtout any real attempt to understand them. Just to lump them together as stupid, rude, and unrefined. Unlike those well-educated elites... be more like them poor people, we'll get you there eventually, we swear! Just as soon as we finish discussing that Mike Leigh movie about you....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    This is Bourdieu’s most famous book. And it is long, with much of part 3 probably of only passing interest even to people a bit obsessed with Bourdieu. The problem is that the data is all quite old now and so unless you are particularly interested in how various social fractions of the French class structure reacted to life in the 1960-70s … you get my point. I’ve been trying to work out how to write this review – you see, the problem is that there’s a bit of a back story to this book and I don’t This is Bourdieu’s most famous book. And it is long, with much of part 3 probably of only passing interest even to people a bit obsessed with Bourdieu. The problem is that the data is all quite old now and so unless you are particularly interested in how various social fractions of the French class structure reacted to life in the 1960-70s … you get my point. I’ve been trying to work out how to write this review – you see, the problem is that there’s a bit of a back story to this book and I don’t want to just assume you understand Kantian aesthetics before I start. So, I’m going to start with the bits of Kant that are important to understand so that this book might make a bit more sense. What is the beautiful? For Kant, the beautiful is essentially subjective. But he means this in a way that might be a bit strange to our ears. He means that beauty is something that happens in our heads, rather than necessarily being something that exists in the object we find beautiful. All the same, because we humans essentially all have the same faculties – pretty much, ways of seeing and understanding the world (god, I’m really simplifying this, so be kind with me if you are a Kantian scholar) then we all should (more or less) agree on what is beautiful. That means that beauty is both subjective (happens inside our heads) and is universal (all of us ought to think the same things are beautiful merely by the fact we are humans). For Kant the beautiful doesn’t have a purpose – and so you can’t say, ‘this is beautiful because it is really useful’. It is not a thing’s purpose that makes it beautiful, but rather what Kant called its purposiveness – what you could call its ‘disinterested purpose’. Okay, all that is a bit hard, but it has a point. Kant was trying to come up with a basis upon which to build an entire aesthetic theory – a theory of taste. And to do that he effectively said, all humans ought to think the same things are beautiful and that the beautiful is an object of disinterested interest to humans – it doesn’t have a purpose, it is just beautiful. Bourdieu disagrees and wants to show that taste is anything but disinterested – rather it a stake in the game of life, it is used by the different social classes as a way for them to assert their own distinction. Taste separates the classes and is used by them to keep out the riff-raff and to decide what is and is not ‘for the likes of us’. The point of this book isn’t just to disagree with Kant, of course, but rather to show how taste is both manifest in the various social classes of French society, and then to also seek to show that these tastes are not merely an ‘expression of free will’ – which is what we think our tastes are (I love Taylor Swift purely for her singing), but rather that our tastes are structured by our social location in society. But it is also more than this too. We don’t just adopt our tastes as a kind of ‘stuff you’ to other social classes – but rather those tastes become literally embodied in us. It is not that they are an ‘added extra’, they are part of us in ways that make them seem utterly natural and even inevitable. In fact, our tastes are literally what distinguish us from ‘the other’, and especially from the ‘class other’. People from different social classes from us, particularly from ‘lower’ social classes, have tastes we can barely understand and that we literally find disgusting. And Bourdieu makes sure that the idea of ‘taste’ isn’t missed here. He literally means ‘taste’ – and how so often ‘refined tastes’ in food mean eating things that other people find disgusting. The word ‘companion’ is from Latin and it means ‘with bread’ – that is, someone you share food with – disgust in taste is the surest means of ensuring someone never becomes your ‘companion’. But this is also true in terms of all matters of taste, from home decorations to art to music to magazines and to political parties. Taste and disgust classify us and in turn we are classified by them. This book was written on the basis of an analysis of a series of surveys regarding things as disparate as choice of magazines, likelihood of attending an art gallery, ability to name composers from their works, what you believe makes a good photograph, or what is your favourite meal. And then this data was analysed according to the social class of the people responding. Certain tastes can only be acquired after considerable effort has been expended. To be able to appreciate much of modern painting, you need to have acquired that disposition by either learning a lot about the history of art, or you need to have spent a lifetime immersed in art. This forms one of Bourdieu’s main distinctions – between the scholar and the gentleman, as he refers to them. Because the gentleman has been immersed in art all of his life, he brings a naturalness to his appreciation of art that is almost impossible for others to impersonate or fake. The scholar, who has probably come to be associated with art later in life and via the education system, always has a kind of reverence for art that the gentleman doesn’t have, and ironically enough, this makes the scholar less authentic in his appreciation of art. This means the gentleman is more ‘natural’ around art and his taste appears less forced and more free. I’m using the male pronoun here for a reason – firstly, Bourdieu’s term is literally ‘gentleman’, but mostly because he was criticised for not stressing the role played by women in the construction and reproduction of taste. The lower classes of society often reject upper class notions of taste as being more or less crazy. They often prefer their art to be realistic, consider modern art to be a complete joke, and they are the least likely to know any of the major works of the ‘canon’. That is, they are more likely to know a Strauss waltz than the Goldberg Variations. And while they might say that a play is better and more mind-expanding than a film, they are unlikely to choose to see a play over a film, not least due to the expense. Bourdieu says of the lower classes in society that they believe they are making choices, but really these are all forced choices that are made with the fewest options available. That is, in believing they are making a choice, they are really making a virtue of necessity, in choosing the only things left to them to choose. But what is particularly interesting is that the middle classes, who desperately want two things: that is, to not be associated with the lower class, and to thus seem more like the upper class – do virtually everything opposite to what the lower class does. So, where the working class are more likely to prefer a simple and hearty meal, the middle classes prefer smaller and more elegant little portions. Here literal taste is defined in a way to separate and distinguish oneself from those beneath you. And this taste is embodied – with Bourdieu discussing how ‘urgent’ so many things related to food is for the working class – particularly men, in the speed of eating, in the noises made while eating, in the portion sizes. It is hard to say just how influential this book has been. It is a stunning book of sociology and one of the key books on the subject from the 20th century. p.s. I meant to say last night, but forgot - the reason why it is important to begin with Kant is that this is a kind of refutation of his Critique of the Judgement. The point Bourdieu is making is that Kant sees as universal the very particular taste of the dominating class, that is, all other class tastes are ill-formed and a mistake of the ugly for the proper beautiful. That is, everyone ought to have access to this universal taste, but it isn't Kant's concern if certain people or groups of people do not. There is a nice bit in part 3 of this where Bourdieu says (and I don't remember the groups he mentions, but will just make them up) that the fact, say, a school teacher and someone from the elite go to the art gallery 3 times a years doesn't in the least mean they are doing 'the same thing'. The teacher is likely to have to go with the gallery is packed and will only have a very short time for their whole visit - the person from the elite can go when the gallery is empty and can stroll and contemplate and immerse themselves in the works. The attitude to time and the pace of living also being highly classed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    louisa

    God, how I hate this bastard. And, god, how smart he is. I have quibbles with his methodology and instrument and the wholesale applicability of his findings outside L'Hexagone, but fuck. I might prefer Thorsten's Midwestern flair and more straightforward style, but Bourdieu has a lot of potent things to say about the myth of the natural eye and the way taste encodes and propagates social, cultural, and educational capital. You will never look at your preferences, favorites, and consumption the s God, how I hate this bastard. And, god, how smart he is. I have quibbles with his methodology and instrument and the wholesale applicability of his findings outside L'Hexagone, but fuck. I might prefer Thorsten's Midwestern flair and more straightforward style, but Bourdieu has a lot of potent things to say about the myth of the natural eye and the way taste encodes and propagates social, cultural, and educational capital. You will never look at your preferences, favorites, and consumption the same way again.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sutherland

    Bourdieu’s distinction offers a lot. By a lot, I mean 600 pages of analyses, graphs, and studies, in some of the densest prose imaginable. Bourdieu seems to be able to expand a simple sentence’s worth of information into entire paragraphs that flow like dense molasses. Distinction does have a lot to offer, though. I am reading it as a part of a look into hipster subcultures in the United States—obviously far removed from the 1980s French society that Bourdieu analyzed; most of the figures, table Bourdieu’s distinction offers a lot. By a lot, I mean 600 pages of analyses, graphs, and studies, in some of the densest prose imaginable. Bourdieu seems to be able to expand a simple sentence’s worth of information into entire paragraphs that flow like dense molasses. Distinction does have a lot to offer, though. I am reading it as a part of a look into hipster subcultures in the United States—obviously far removed from the 1980s French society that Bourdieu analyzed; most of the figures, tables, and statistical data are irrelevant to me. The analyses, however, are as sharp as a whip and provide insight into any modern Western society. Bourdieu delves deeply into the relationship between money and culture; why the upper class is more cultured, why certain demographics have different attitudes about culture—through art, music, fashion, literature, and everything else. Bouridieu essentially states that culture is foremost influenced by social class upbringing; a person’s attitude, consumption of, and production of culture is entirely dependent on their class upbringing. Bourdieu calls this relationship of class and taste “habitas” and describes it in detail through the lenses of different subcultures. Taste is essentially a device by which classes can be stratified; attitudes about taste (like the “snob” attitude of the rich and “smug” attitude of hipsters) are used to declare class and reinforce a social hierarchy. Essentially, rather than the coat-of-arms, the upper class now has taste to distinguish them from everyone else. Bourdieu also describes a two-tone system by which to classify people in society; he argues that a person’s worth in society is determined by their cultural capital (how cultured they are) and their economic capital (how rich they are). Distinction is the type of book that must be read slowly, carefully, and with frequent breaks in between. Its ideas are relevant and insightful, but wrapped in a dense academic casing that can seem daunting to break. I was able to get a lot out of reading only parts, and while I hated Bourdieu for his style, I greatly enjoyed seeing the relevance of his analyses.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Esme

    This book...is not easy in the slightest. As one reader previously wrote: "sometimes I wish Bourdieu knew what a simple sentence was." Or something like that. The point is, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste is ridiculously dense and stuffed the very brim with analyzation and graphs and information, and reading it can be hell, but also really interesting. Just a few pages is enough to give the reader perspective and allow them to think a little differently about things. The This book...is not easy in the slightest. As one reader previously wrote: "sometimes I wish Bourdieu knew what a simple sentence was." Or something like that. The point is, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste is ridiculously dense and stuffed the very brim with analyzation and graphs and information, and reading it can be hell, but also really interesting. Just a few pages is enough to give the reader perspective and allow them to think a little differently about things. There isn't much I feel I can say about Bourdieu, other than he is obviously very, very smart. Distinction explores the word of taste within individuals and what social class they come from. He looks into art, literature, sports, music, education, everyday living, fashion, etc. It is mostly inferred that the upper classes have more respectable taste in such things, and it seems that they believe they "deserve" it more than the bourgeoisie or the working class. This kind of prestige has been developed and thriving throughout the ages, and now, it seems the modern hipster carries the same attitude. There is a certain snottiness that comes with having 'good taste' in most cases, and as I have now learned from reading bits and pieces of Distinction, this stems from the fact that no one other than the high classes could afford good taste. I sort of enjoyed this book. I liked the graphs, I liked that it wasn't totally impossible to get through, I like that it had a lot to say no matter what page the reader opened up. I didn't like that Bourdieu never took a break. He kept going and going and going, without many commas throughout. Perhaps someday I'll finish Distinction, but until then, it has definitely got me thinking about what separates us human beings in terms of taste and preference.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Damn, it's better than you'd think to have someone tell you how bullshit the way you and everyone you know does life and how you need to watch out for internal fascism! Damn, it's better than you'd think to have someone tell you how bullshit the way you and everyone you know does life and how you need to watch out for internal fascism!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    "Tastes (i.e., manifested preferences) are the practical affirmation of an inevitable difference. It is no accident that, when they have to be justified, they are asserted purely negatively, by the refusal of other tastes." This book had a sickening impact upon me, an insidious trembling, and it really shouldn't have. It's dense and technical, and as much as one is tempted to reflect upon Bourdieu's ideas and wonder how they manifest in one's immediate society, Distinction is not the most effectiv "Tastes (i.e., manifested preferences) are the practical affirmation of an inevitable difference. It is no accident that, when they have to be justified, they are asserted purely negatively, by the refusal of other tastes." This book had a sickening impact upon me, an insidious trembling, and it really shouldn't have. It's dense and technical, and as much as one is tempted to reflect upon Bourdieu's ideas and wonder how they manifest in one's immediate society, Distinction is not the most effective tool to go about doing so. France in the late 70's doesn't seem much like Ireland in 2019, or even Ireland in the late 70's. The layman will likely find many of Bourdieu's graphs as mystifying as I did, their sociological rigour a leap of secular faith. And the writing style leaves something to be desired, though I, distantly admiring French intellectuals of all stripes, find the density to be something of an initiation ritual. Still, it's likely to keep me up at night. Bourdieu did not introduce me to a method of perceiving the world as never before, but forcefully adjusted the lens, to make what was indistinct painfully there. The indictment of pretentiousness was like a vulture circling above my adolescent self. I thought I was smart, but I knew I couldn't say so. That was a fact about myself entirely dependent on my relationships with others, and through lots of clumsy conversation with friends, I tried to reify my intelligence by getting them to complement me. Maybe oscillating wildly between arrogance and severely low self-esteem is broadly general to the teenage experience, but I still confuse myself thinking about the significant effort I put towards finding convoluted methods to solve simple problems. Know thyself is easy advice to give, Socrates, but once one asks 'what does it mean to know?' and 'what does it mean to have a self?' philosophy takes 2000 years to come to mixed conclusions. I think I can say confidently, thanks to Bourdieu, that the fear of being called pretentious I had / have (for these things rarely completely disappear) is tied into my background and social circumstances. One can use the term 'iconoclast' or 'black sheep' to describe the same sort of person, but the former is a person doing, the latter being. I shared little interests with my family or most people around me since I was very young, and was an awkward child as a result. Eventually one must conform or lean further into their distinctions. Everyone does a little of both - I got into anime and manga as a thirteen-year old mostly because I wanted friends, and nerds can't be choosy with those. At fifteen I began reading more, and slowly, over the course of a few years, what I was interested in and what I could talk with others about diverged. Various things I liked before repulsed me now, inspired a unique kind of rejection. I almost completely stopped watching television or films, and rarely read comics anymore. Am I a snob? Yes and no. Am I pretentious? Probably yes and no as well. Let me share another anecdote. I went to Dublin last week to visit a friend for a few days. He was working, so I wandered around the city centre from 9 to 6, into art galleries and museums. In many ways I have more of a theoretical appreciation for art than a manifestly aesthetic one, because I have scant education on such things. The average person looks at a piece of abstract art and thinks it is ugly and that there is no difference between the particular painting and any random splashing of a canvas a child might do. I looked at some abstract art and...mostly found it unremarkable and ugly too, though I wanted to like it. I wanted to see more than I could see, because I believe there is more to schools of abstract painting than a rebellious act of making anything 'art'. The most significant difference between me and the layman is that I'll want to see the painting again, regardless of whether or not I'll find anything to appreciate. To be honest, I forget what my overall point is in sharing these anecdotes, assuming I had one. My wandering around Dublin was in the shadow of Bourdieu. Everywhere I went, one could buy a copy of Ulysses or even Finnegans Wake, a crueler tourist trap I can't imagine. I love Ulysses, but it's a strange commodity. What book could give someone more cultural capital today than that? And yet it was so ever-present in Dublin it seemed like a capitalist's practical joke. The city itself latches onto Joyce to distinguish itself amongst other European cultural havens. If I didn't think the book was incredible, I'd hate its symbolic pretension. I'd like more people to read it, but only if you're used to stream-of-consciousness, and if you've read Portrait, and if you don't take it too seriously and recognise its humour, and...then I see all the copies of the book on sale in Dublin, think 'there's no way people are actually reading it as much as availability of the book suggests' and become something of a snob again. I can't look at Bourdieu's surveys and see how Life Is Now. Even presuming he encapsulates his society perfectly, the internet has thoroughly changed how tastes are shaped and cultural distinctions are made between classes. I've seen homeless people with smartphones. Still, there is too much that is interesting here that I can't help but ponder, as I have self-indulgently done so here. Is my love of Ulysses shaped in part from my desire to use the book as an intellectual cudgel against the people around me? That would make me awfully pretentious. But it's probably a little more true than I'd like to admit. Distinction might force you to examine yourself more honestly too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Moh. Nasiri

    A theory of relationship between taste and social class. Why do we like the things we like? We associate different tastes with different social classes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ch

    This book is rather shoddy in many respects. The sociological methodology is poor in several aspects and presented even more poorly - unintelligibly, at times. In general it seems that Bourdieu actually doesn't know what he's talking about. He doesn't seem to be able to pin down any classifications and when he elaborates he relies on his own shifting impressions rather than the (paucity of) data that he presents. He starts by identifying the aristocratic social order as aesthetes but seems to dr This book is rather shoddy in many respects. The sociological methodology is poor in several aspects and presented even more poorly - unintelligibly, at times. In general it seems that Bourdieu actually doesn't know what he's talking about. He doesn't seem to be able to pin down any classifications and when he elaborates he relies on his own shifting impressions rather than the (paucity of) data that he presents. He starts by identifying the aristocratic social order as aesthetes but seems to drift away from that after the first chapter and by the middle of the book he has continually referred to the "dominant class" (which he never defines but which seems to be the "upper" class of his charts) who are not necessarily aesthetes but the modern "nobility:" the French haute bourgeoisie (an assignment which is historically suspect). He also seems to be lumping academics in that category at times as well, in that they create and reproduce cultural capital (although in the first chapter he calls them - with some accuracy - "pedants.") For anyone who really wants to understand distinction (discrimination) and taste - how sensibilities are naturally identified, communicated, cultivated, presented, and pursued in the formation of culture - this book will not yield much. In fact, it is misleading, in that the true practice of distinction and taste is presented as grossly oversimplified and even contradictory to the data he uses, since dichotomies such as coarse:fine, heavy:light, clumsy:adroit are repeatedly presented. (Patina, creme fraiche, and brutalist art are thereby - incorrectly - relegated to the lower classes.) One contribution of the book is the matrix approach to class based on economic and cultural capital. The treatment of the lower classes flirts with social darwinism. I couldn't figure out what Bourdieu was hoping to achieve here and was increasingly disgusted by the sloppiness and inaccuracy of the work.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Loubna Mckouar

    When I first read this it gave me a trauma from how smart a man can be and how stupid I could get struggling with every sentence, graph, example trying to understand it within an everyday context. But hey, it's not any "everyday life" it's a Middle Eastern one. I used this guy to theorise the power of a Saudi media Mogul, his empire, his prince field, and the "others" around the same empire. Distinction is about the individual and his strategies in every single field of life. In defining the ter When I first read this it gave me a trauma from how smart a man can be and how stupid I could get struggling with every sentence, graph, example trying to understand it within an everyday context. But hey, it's not any "everyday life" it's a Middle Eastern one. I used this guy to theorise the power of a Saudi media Mogul, his empire, his prince field, and the "others" around the same empire. Distinction is about the individual and his strategies in every single field of life. In defining the term Habitus and developing his field theory Bourdieu focuses a lot on class but I find the power of his anthropological and sociological terms beyond a class classification. Class definitely impacts the illusio, the Habitus, the capital but the fact that all individuals are cable of 'being' in their own predictable and unpredictable ways makes class a structuring power not a defining one. In fact, not even class can predict the way an individual makes use of his own field in the positive and negative sense alike. It's helpful to read Bourdieu along Hegel, Lacan (the other confusing genius) and while keeping in mind Decerteau's "tactics" and "making do". Not an easy read but one that gives a strategic way of thinking about being within the structured society of different fields and powers. It's insane how this man developed these over the 600 sthg pages of this masterpiece I keep thinking that this is a group work. If a book gives you headache (an enjoyable one of course!!!) it's worth reading. I recommend even to non academics :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    DoctorM

    Bourdieu looks at cultural productions--- art, music, books ---and asks which social groups regard particular authors or painters or composers as "theirs": in other words, defining points for membership in a certain class. Aesthetic sensibility, he argues, is the means by which educational and cultural capital are converted into class markers. An aristocratic bloodline has been replaced by the 'aesthetic sensibility' as a way to define entitlement to deference in society. "Distinction" thus has Bourdieu looks at cultural productions--- art, music, books ---and asks which social groups regard particular authors or painters or composers as "theirs": in other words, defining points for membership in a certain class. Aesthetic sensibility, he argues, is the means by which educational and cultural capital are converted into class markers. An aristocratic bloodline has been replaced by the 'aesthetic sensibility' as a way to define entitlement to deference in society. "Distinction" thus has an edge to it that lighter and comic treatments like Fussell's "Class" lack. Taste, Bourdieu argues, is a social weapon. The ability to 'know' what is aesthetically, culturally defined as 'superior' is a way of excluding outsiders, of reminding those without access to cultural and educational capital that they are outsiders.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tony Gualtieri

    It's dated, overlong, and the prose is convoluted; however, the insights into the social construction of taste are thought provoking. Why do we like what we like? How much of our preferences are due to class envy, education, or economic circumstances? The final chapter, on Kant's Critique of Judgment, shows how even so-called pure aesthetics is "grounded in an empirical social relation," how pleasure itself becomes part of the way "dominant groups...ride roughshod over difference, flouts distin It's dated, overlong, and the prose is convoluted; however, the insights into the social construction of taste are thought provoking. Why do we like what we like? How much of our preferences are due to class envy, education, or economic circumstances? The final chapter, on Kant's Critique of Judgment, shows how even so-called pure aesthetics is "grounded in an empirical social relation," how pleasure itself becomes part of the way "dominant groups...ride roughshod over difference, flouts distinction, [and] reduces the distinctive pleasures of the soul to the common satisfactions of food and sex." Bourdieu also makes prescient comments on the tendencies of statisticians and sociologists to create artificial dichotomies and ends up suggesting that intellectuals may not be best placed to comment on bourgeois and working class taste.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste offers an ethnography of 1960s French taste. Largely, based on interviews, the research illustrates how taste is inherently judgemental and a product of, to use, Bourdieuan terms, the habitus and individual agency acting within the ‘cultural’ field. Intervieews answered questions based on preferences in taste, opinions, and something close to Bourdieu’s heart- institutional pedadgogies and knowledge, regarding movies, Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste offers an ethnography of 1960s French taste. Largely, based on interviews, the research illustrates how taste is inherently judgemental and a product of, to use, Bourdieuan terms, the habitus and individual agency acting within the ‘cultural’ field. Intervieews answered questions based on preferences in taste, opinions, and something close to Bourdieu’s heart- institutional pedadgogies and knowledge, regarding movies, art, fiction, music, theatre and film. However, the book offers more than a placid positivistic survey analysis. Bourdieu uses empirical quanitative data to think epistemologically about how particular (French) classes discern and distinguish themselves between others. The overarching argument asserts the bourgeois- or dominant class- is able to maintain economic and social hegemony by way of a deeply-rooted class inheritence. To Bourdieu, capital is accumulated within and outside of the economy. He conceptualizes the notion of cultural capital, which values non-economic and immaterial accumulation: education, language, judgement, and values. The acquisition of cultural capital occurs within the family and social insitititutios. Inequity and the continuation of, is recreated in the reception of cultural capital, where the dominant class through ‘aptitude’ appropriates a ‘high culture’ as hegemonic. Notions of ‘gifted’ and ‘inborn’ brilliance are assumed to be embodied within the individual; Bourdieu argues these ‘gifts’ are pre-determined and dictacted on evaulation criterias that favour the bourgeois. Ultimately, particular ‘high-brow’ cultural practices are codified in activities like going to museums, reading traditional literature and engagement with the arts. I think that Bourdieu’s intentions were the best when writing this book. However, in the theorization of everyday life, taste and how the bourgeois maintains dominance, he (almost) re-creates a T.S. Eliot version of culture perfected and marked by religion, formal education, and tradition. Where is Raymond Williams when you need him?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book is a classic for sociologists, but not many have been able to read the entirety of it. Bourdieu's ideas on the concept of 'taste', and the driving force behind it (spoiler: the economic field and the struggle of the classes within), were (and still are) quite revolutionary, despite the clear influences he refers to (Marxism, Robert Merton, etc). Bourdieu sprinkles many examples throughout the book to help you grasp his deeply theoretical book. Despite these many examples, you might have This book is a classic for sociologists, but not many have been able to read the entirety of it. Bourdieu's ideas on the concept of 'taste', and the driving force behind it (spoiler: the economic field and the struggle of the classes within), were (and still are) quite revolutionary, despite the clear influences he refers to (Marxism, Robert Merton, etc). Bourdieu sprinkles many examples throughout the book to help you grasp his deeply theoretical book. Despite these many examples, you might have trouble getting through the book. This is because the book is written in typical Academic French, and thus only helps to obfuscate rather than elucidate his ideas. The translation from French to English does help a tad if you're not a native French speaker, but a good translator can only go so far in his translation. The way Bourdieu introduces foreign concepts (habitus, doxa, logic of practice) is through jumping straight and enthusiastically into his deep thoughts, instead of clearly and logically defining them first. What helps in this regard is to read a clear synopsis written by someone else (I wish I were kidding!) to grasp the main ideas behind his theory and its concepts. Once you reach an understanding of his simple and elegant theory, you go back to this book and wrestle through the book, and submerge yourself into its details; you will encounter many 'aha'-moments about the relationships you have or have seen, as Bourdieu's theory of distinction has a vast explanatory power. A final remark: Do not let his stale titles keep you from actually reading the chapters in detail; for example, chapter 4 entitled "The dynamics of the field", is one of the most important chapters in the book which you would never guess while yawning over its title and glancing over it while debating with yourself whether to read it or not. Conclusion: The book presents terrific ideas and many examples about a detailed theory, but the writing is an outstanding illustration of the modern need of a good editor.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Feliks

    I'm casting this one away into my 'abandoned' shelf. I admire Bourdieu, and would like to know more of his career and his theories, but this specific title is not for me. It's just about as dense a work as I've ever encountered; unrelieved density without any reward for persevering along with it. Even Hans-Georg Gadamer is more pleasant reading. From what I can make out, Bourdieu surveyed a large cross-section of French citizens about their 'tastes in the arts'. Individuals from all every class I'm casting this one away into my 'abandoned' shelf. I admire Bourdieu, and would like to know more of his career and his theories, but this specific title is not for me. It's just about as dense a work as I've ever encountered; unrelieved density without any reward for persevering along with it. Even Hans-Georg Gadamer is more pleasant reading. From what I can make out, Bourdieu surveyed a large cross-section of French citizens about their 'tastes in the arts'. Individuals from all every class and all walks-of-life were polled. He then uses the results to concoct a swirling nebula of conclusions about people's taste and the-judgments-we-make-based-on-our-tastes. I wasn't aware this is front-page news. Yes, we all make judgments. But Bourdieu would have it that, 'we are all snobs'. Still, I ask: what of it? 'Educated citizens have more discrimination and discernment towards culture, than the uneducated'. Well? So? And your point is...? Is there some urgent social problem here? Some crisis? Is there anything we ought to do differently? Maybe someone can explain to me, why this fantastic amount of verbiage for something that is (1) self-evident and (2) not causing any problem. For now, I've had enough ...I'll return to Bordieu some later time and hopefully with some better strategy for absorbing what he has to say. He has a fine reputation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Thai Divone

    This book is the reason that I started learning sociology. I read a small part of it, in a class during a school visit to the university, and I fell in love. Five years later and I'm in my last year of my bachelorate studies in sociology, hoping to get into a position in the sociology department of some university. In other words, this book is my childhood, I grew up on it and with it. Although, for this reading, it was rather long, it did live up to the expectations. I can't recommend this book This book is the reason that I started learning sociology. I read a small part of it, in a class during a school visit to the university, and I fell in love. Five years later and I'm in my last year of my bachelorate studies in sociology, hoping to get into a position in the sociology department of some university. In other words, this book is my childhood, I grew up on it and with it. Although, for this reading, it was rather long, it did live up to the expectations. I can't recommend this book enough.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

    It's impossible to read this book and not see the social world differently. You'll find yourself thinking about the world around you in terms of the book's analytical imagination. Its effect is deep and lasting, and sometimes revolting. The reading has the consistency of peanut butter-sticky and dense. The abstractions come fast and the clunky prose is unrelenting. But the effort is rewarded many times over in deep disclosures of the social world around. It's impossible to read this book and not see the social world differently. You'll find yourself thinking about the world around you in terms of the book's analytical imagination. Its effect is deep and lasting, and sometimes revolting. The reading has the consistency of peanut butter-sticky and dense. The abstractions come fast and the clunky prose is unrelenting. But the effort is rewarded many times over in deep disclosures of the social world around.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zo

    Hoping to try and write my thoughts up in a longer form, but I will say this for now: There is a lot to criticize about this book. Bourdieu's writing is oftentimes needlessly, and painfully, complex. His "use" of statistics is embarrassing. His failure to consider issues like genetic explanation and to what extent sociological explanation discounts "intrinsic" explanations are a real blight on a book that aims for such comprehensiveness. Yet, this is a masterful work. When he's on a roll his lon Hoping to try and write my thoughts up in a longer form, but I will say this for now: There is a lot to criticize about this book. Bourdieu's writing is oftentimes needlessly, and painfully, complex. His "use" of statistics is embarrassing. His failure to consider issues like genetic explanation and to what extent sociological explanation discounts "intrinsic" explanations are a real blight on a book that aims for such comprehensiveness. Yet, this is a masterful work. When he's on a roll his long sentences and variety of terminology have their own aesthetic power (which I would be curious to see him analyze), and his insight into social behaviors and attitudes is marvelous. He really reminds me of Proust in his feel for describing the way people manifest their preferences, and how those preferences are grounded in class and "habitus." Also like Proust, he is at his best in his dissection of the "elites" of society. He does a phenomenal job fitting together so many different elements of people's "taste" in to a coherent framework about cultural vs. economic capital and the fundamental bourgeois/common "distinctions" in taste. I am not at all sure to what extent I agree with Bourdieu that taste can be effectively "reduced" to what he's saying -- my inclination is that rather than "reduced" it is an overlapping explanatory model with others (but then how does the book "change" anything how we think about aesthetic discourse?) -- but the book is worthwhile as a prod to thinking about the issues and as a great description of social society either way. Definitely made me want to read more Bourdieu in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Guerra

    This huge work is indeed a true masterpiece of sociology but I think is way too difficult in terms of style and language. Each sentence requires a second reading if you want to fully capture its meaning, and the more you read, the deeper and more challenging it gets. It is a quality, for sure, but also spoils the pleasure of reading. Although, the first chapter, which is the most theoretical, is also the most beautiful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Spiegel

    Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste is a both dense and interesting book. Due to how long the book is it covers a lot of good points, as well as go into great detail. This could be seen as both positive and negative. It was nice because while reading this you won't feel cheated from any information but in my opinion, it was a little much. Usually out of a whole paragraph, I feel that everything could be summed up in just a few sentences. Surprisingly it wasn't as hard to rea Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste is a both dense and interesting book. Due to how long the book is it covers a lot of good points, as well as go into great detail. This could be seen as both positive and negative. It was nice because while reading this you won't feel cheated from any information but in my opinion, it was a little much. Usually out of a whole paragraph, I feel that everything could be summed up in just a few sentences. Surprisingly it wasn't as hard to read as I thought it would be. I was originally very discouraged to read it because of how long it was but the concepts were interested and the author truly knew what he was talking about. One especially useful tool he used was charts. The book is full of charts that relate to the text. It was nice to have a visual to more simply explain everything he was saying. Overall I would recommend this book. It had many points that I could relate to and I found it quite fascinating at some points. It is very factual and pretty much strictly informational but never seemed too boring.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Irene Wang

    In the course of everyday life people constantly choose between what they find aesthetically pleasing and what they consider tacky, merely trendy, or ugly. Bourdieu bases his study on surveys that took into account the multitude of social factors that play a part in a Frenchperson's choice of clothing, furniture, leisure activities, dinner menus for guests, and many other matters of taste. What emerges from his analysis is that social snobbery is everywhere in the bourgeois world. The different In the course of everyday life people constantly choose between what they find aesthetically pleasing and what they consider tacky, merely trendy, or ugly. Bourdieu bases his study on surveys that took into account the multitude of social factors that play a part in a Frenchperson's choice of clothing, furniture, leisure activities, dinner menus for guests, and many other matters of taste. What emerges from his analysis is that social snobbery is everywhere in the bourgeois world. The different aesthetic choices people make are all distinctions - that is, choices made in opposition to those made by other classes. Taste is not pure. Bourdieu finds a world of social meaning in the decision to order bouillabaisse, in our contemporary cult of thinness, in the "California sports" such as jogging and cross-country skiing. The social world, he argues, functions simultaneously as a system of power relations and as a symbolic system in which minute distinctions of taste become the basis for social judgement.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vern Glaser

    This is my second exposure to Bourdieu...the writing is a little rough, but the ideas are really quite provocative and interesting...his general way of looking at the world is to suggest that we have dispositions that come from our class upbringing (he calls this the "habitus") and that these dispositions define our tastes. This is interwoven into his two-by-two matrix that talks about the difference between cultural capital and economic capital. So in the book he is describing the results of a m This is my second exposure to Bourdieu...the writing is a little rough, but the ideas are really quite provocative and interesting...his general way of looking at the world is to suggest that we have dispositions that come from our class upbringing (he calls this the "habitus") and that these dispositions define our tastes. This is interwoven into his two-by-two matrix that talks about the difference between cultural capital and economic capital. So in the book he is describing the results of a massive survey of French society, and talks about how tastes in items such as music, food, etc. systematically vary by social class.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Allison Keilman

    A little hard to get into at first, but it speeds up as you delve into Bourdieu's research. You will likely question the relevancy of his theories in modern society, and at times feel uncomfortable with what he is saying. He really does come off as a smug elitist, but - for better or worse - some of his points still hold true today. A little hard to get into at first, but it speeds up as you delve into Bourdieu's research. You will likely question the relevancy of his theories in modern society, and at times feel uncomfortable with what he is saying. He really does come off as a smug elitist, but - for better or worse - some of his points still hold true today.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luke Echo

    yeah - I can see why this is quite influential.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John

    My reasons for liking this book are probably unusual. I am interested in an American Christian rehabilitation of the arts, which I think must begin with a complete divestment of ourselves from Kant's third critique. Kant's specter haunts every corner of all of our theories of art and he desperately needs exorcising. Insofar as Bourdieu does this, I think this book is hugely important and another in a long list of Marxist critical theory that desperately needs a thorough treatment in Christian cu My reasons for liking this book are probably unusual. I am interested in an American Christian rehabilitation of the arts, which I think must begin with a complete divestment of ourselves from Kant's third critique. Kant's specter haunts every corner of all of our theories of art and he desperately needs exorcising. Insofar as Bourdieu does this, I think this book is hugely important and another in a long list of Marxist critical theory that desperately needs a thorough treatment in Christian cultural critical circles. I also think that, in my graduate seminars, one of Bourdieu's central claims is conveniently ignored, almost as a matter of principle. That is, education level, not (merely) class level, is the determiner of cultural capital and eventually monetary capital. Of course academics do not want to really delve into this observation, as this makes us the "ruling class" in Bourdieu's refashioning of Marx. I have found that to be true: it is academics who determine UNESCO policy and write the primary school textbooks for developing countries, colonialistically fashioning entire generations of people swept up in the Zeitgeists of our intellectual imaginings, and it is the academically-trained composers and artists who establish canons to fight canons and impose canons to overturn the hegemony of other canons—but this kind of colonialism is licit because progressive academic ideas are another of Kant's "universal subjectives". End rant. All that aside, yes, Bourdieu's methodologies aren't exactly stellar. I would love to see someone take a digital humanities approach to this book: I know that most of the huge concert venues keep demographic information on their ticket buyers for marketing purposes. If some kind of public record exists or if concert venues were willing to cooperate, this would probably be the foundation for a similar study with less sociological pitfalls.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chayong

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you Blinkist! Wonderful blink. Learned about economic and cultural capital. The key message in these blinks: People’s tastes are ultimately rooted in the material conditions of their lives. They emerge from, reflect, and demarcate people’s class positions in society. These positions are shaped by their volume of capital, composition of capital, and social trajectory, which form the three dimensions of the social space through which society’s class structure can be understood. We can identify Thank you Blinkist! Wonderful blink. Learned about economic and cultural capital. The key message in these blinks: People’s tastes are ultimately rooted in the material conditions of their lives. They emerge from, reflect, and demarcate people’s class positions in society. These positions are shaped by their volume of capital, composition of capital, and social trajectory, which form the three dimensions of the social space through which society’s class structure can be understood. We can identify people’s position in this space by measuring their shifting amounts of economic and cultural capital. Different sets of tastes correspond to different positions within the three-dimensional space. Because people need cultural capital to develop and exercise “legitimate” tastes for things like art, these tastes provide the cultural elite with exclusionary ways of demonstrating their elite status, both to each other and to those with less cultural capital than themselves. 

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julia Schulz

    Good God. I'll have to confess that I couldn't really understand this properly; jump the gun, and give it three stars! (This star rating is based purely on the seemingly popularity of this work.) It was unsurprisingly very French, and I had trouble understanding the cultural norms of a country so unfamiliar to myself. I did, however, enjoy the social profiling, but (as I hang my head in shame) I could not make head nor tail of most of the text or graphs. (I remember having similar trouble in Soc Good God. I'll have to confess that I couldn't really understand this properly; jump the gun, and give it three stars! (This star rating is based purely on the seemingly popularity of this work.) It was unsurprisingly very French, and I had trouble understanding the cultural norms of a country so unfamiliar to myself. I did, however, enjoy the social profiling, but (as I hang my head in shame) I could not make head nor tail of most of the text or graphs. (I remember having similar trouble in Sociology class at University). So, I think this is one that I will proudly display on my bookshelf and egotistically boast that I read it; understood it; and thoroughly enjoyed the profound insights of this oh so respected scholar. Thank you and goodbye.

  28. 5 out of 5

    QUINNS

    People’s tastes are rooted in the material conditions of their lives. According to the author, they emerge from reflect, and demarcate people’s class positions in society. These positions are shaped by their volume of capital, composition of capitals, and social trajectory, which would form the three dimensions of the social space through which society’s class structure can be understood. Normally, we could measure someone’s position in this space by observing their economic and cultural capital People’s tastes are rooted in the material conditions of their lives. According to the author, they emerge from reflect, and demarcate people’s class positions in society. These positions are shaped by their volume of capital, composition of capitals, and social trajectory, which would form the three dimensions of the social space through which society’s class structure can be understood. Normally, we could measure someone’s position in this space by observing their economic and cultural capital. Because people need cultural capital to develop and exercise “legitimate” tastes, it provides the cultural elite with exclusionary ways of demonstrating their elite status, both to each other and to those with less cultural capital than themselves.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sps

    "What is at stake is indeed 'personality', i.e., the quality of the person, which is affirmed in the capacity to appropriate an object of quality. The objects endowed with the greatest distinctive power are those which most clearly attest the quality of the appropriation, and therefore the quality of their owner, because their possession requires time and capacities which, requiring a long investment of time, like pictorial or musical culture, cannot be acquired in haste or by proxy, and which t "What is at stake is indeed 'personality', i.e., the quality of the person, which is affirmed in the capacity to appropriate an object of quality. The objects endowed with the greatest distinctive power are those which most clearly attest the quality of the appropriation, and therefore the quality of their owner, because their possession requires time and capacities which, requiring a long investment of time, like pictorial or musical culture, cannot be acquired in haste or by proxy, and which therefore appear as the surest indications of the quality of the person." (281) (cf. contemporary young-bourgeois interest in homebrewing, farming (never 'gardening'!), letterpress, crafting, and other skillsets that display and enact personality) "Everything suggests that the 'craftsman' category has undergone changes very similar to the 'shopkeeper' category, with the decline of the most exposed strata of traditional craftsmanship being offset by the boom in luxury and 'aesthetic' crafts, which require economic assets but also cultural capital. This would explain why the fall in the volume of these middle-class categories is accompanied by a rise in cultural capital as measured by educational level. "Craftsmen and tradesmen specializing in luxury, cultural or artistic items, managers of fashion 'boutiques,' retailers of 'famous maker' clothes, traders in exotic garments and jewels or rustic objects, record dealers, antique dealers, interior decorators, designers, photographers, restaurateurs, managers of trendy 'bistros', Provencal 'potters', avante-garde booksellers, all those vendors of cultural goods and services seeking to prolong the fusion of leisure and work, militancy and dilettantism, that characterizes the student life-style, use their ambiguous occupations, in which success depends at least as much on the subtly casual distinction of the salesman as on the nature and quality of his wares, as a way of obtaining the best return on a cultural capital in which technical competence is less important than familiarity with the culture of the dominant class and a mastery of the signs and emblems of distinction and taste. Because this new type of culture-intensive craftsmanship and commerce enables profit to be drawn from the cultural heritage transmitted directly by the family, it is predisposed to serve as a refuge for those sons and daughters of the dominant class who are eliminated by the educational system." (141) Best explanation of snob-clerks, non? "It can be seen that the claim to the right to 'personal opinion' and distrust of all forms of delegation, especially in politics, have their logical place in the disposition system of individuals whose whole past and whole projected future are oriented towards individual salvation, based on personal 'gifts' and 'merits', on the break-up of oppressive solidarities and even the refusal of onerous obligations, on the choice of systematically privileging the private and intimate, both at work and 'at home', in leisure and in thought, as against the public, the collective, the common, the indifferent. But the naively 'egoistic' dispositions of the petit bourgeois have nothing in common with the subtle egotism of those who have the means to affirm the uniqueness of their person in all their practices, starting with their profession, a liberal activity, freely chosen and freely conducted by a 'personality', irreducible to the anonymous, impersonal, interchangeable roles with which the petit bourgeois must still identify." (415-416) On popular/vulgar entertainment: "Indecent and exhibitionist, it captures the body by its rhythm, which is attuned to bodily rhythms, and captivates the mind by the deceptions off its plots, suspense and surprises, forcing on it a real participation which is quite opposed to the 'distance' and 'disinterestedness' of pure taste, and bound to appear as out of place as Don Quixote when, carried away by real anger at a fictitious scandal, he assaults Master Pedro's puppets." (487) (cf., I dunno, NASCAR or soccer hooligans) "Bourgeois respondents particularly distinguish themselves by their ability to control the survey situation (and any analysis of survey data should take this into account.) Control over the social situation in which culture operates is given to them by the very unequally distributed capacity to adopt the relation to language which is called for in all situations of polite conversation (e.g., chatter about cinema or travel), and which presupposes an art of skimming, sliding, and masking, making abundant use of all the hinges, fillers, and qualifiers identified by linguists as characteristic of bourgeois language." (174) "This means that the sons and daughters of the Paris bourgeoisie, rather than directly entering a well-defined and lifelong profession (e.g. teaching), are more likely to enter and to succeed in positions, half-way between studenthood and a profession, that are offered by the big cultural bureaucracies, occupations for which the specific qualifications (e.g., a diploma in photography or filmmaking, or a sociology or psychology degree) are a genuine ticket of entry only for those who are able to supplement the official qualifications with the real--social--qualifications." (152) (Anecdotally this seems to still hold true. I would say an implicit goal of my college was to socially qualify its graduates for higher-caste work than their technical qualifications would predict) See also 379 per Greif's NYT article 11/12/10. I imagine some Venn diagrams with Bobos in Paradise and maybe also with Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karina Ospina

    The kind of book I would normally never read because it tries to theorize about social classification baes on sociological aesthetics, therefore needed to read it to understand all the facts about one apparently innate human aspect I hate, the classification of human being on bourgeoise and working class. Truth is, after reading the book one would never think the same about seemingly natural preferences on food, clothing and art. It also raises a interesting point about economic and cultural cap The kind of book I would normally never read because it tries to theorize about social classification baes on sociological aesthetics, therefore needed to read it to understand all the facts about one apparently innate human aspect I hate, the classification of human being on bourgeoise and working class. Truth is, after reading the book one would never think the same about seemingly natural preferences on food, clothing and art. It also raises a interesting point about economic and cultural capital reconversion strategies and the habitus as a misrecognized practical knowledge behind all our lifestyle choices.

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