Critical Analysis Of Bourdieu's Distinction

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Bourdieu’s Distinction, a social critique of the judgment of taste, is one of the author’s main contributions to sociology, with parallels from classic authors such as Kant and Marx. Bourdieu reports society stratification and efforts towards class differentiation based on taste, using a sample analysis of 1.217 persons on a survey applied in France in 1963, 1967 and 1968. On his analysis, Bourdieu applies statistical analysis linking economy, culture and educational capital as variables, measuring the intensity of this relationship in terms of photography, composers, furniture shopping, gastronomy, youth generation singers, abstract painting, food budget, sports and fashion taste. From these observations, he traces the most cited ones back…show more content…
For this reason, sociological studies require theory and multilateral analysis and cannot restrain itself on the mathematical verification.
Taste, as a set of “manifested preferences” (Bourdieu, 1984/2010: 49) and “class culture turned into nature” (1984/2010:188) works as a field of antagonistic relations of the dominant class and cultural production, serving as a source of discernment and denial of the social. According to Bourdieu, society can be divided based on the composition of capital (educational - cultural, social and economic) and the social origin of its members, resulting in three main groups: the bourgeois, who owns legitimate taste, petit bourgeois/middle brow taste, and the working class, who reproduces popular
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The pursue of distinction through taste covers several fields of preference, such as cultural production and luxury goods. Fashion, as a conspicuous good, represents one of the many areas in which the dominant class exercise its symbolic domination and distinction (Bourdieu, 1984/2010: 312) on the classes’ struggle. The banality of fashion for the upper class is opposed by its rare and inaccessibility for lower levels; as lower classes try to obtain what is fashion, as a sign of distinction among the classes and between class fractions, upper class reaches out for new trends, abandoning the past and trivial ones. In the meanwhile, middle class struggles with its ambiguous position, trying to possess what is considered bourgeois while attempting to distinct itself from the lower

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