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Links between Taste, Consumption and Social Class - Essay Example

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Pierre Bourdieu has noted the degree to which ‘taste’ and cultural consumption are tied to social class and power. Using one or more examples, outline and critically appraise some of the links between taste, consumption and social class. 1. Introduction The explanation of behaviour of people within a particular society is based on a series of different criteria…
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Links between Taste, Consumption and Social Class
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, it is clear that the views and the preferences of people in a particular social framework are aligned with the trends that the media have promoted within the specific area. It is in this context that the relationship between taste, consumption and social class would be evaluated. In the literature, different approaches have been used for highlighting the interaction between taste, consumption and social class. The views of Bourdieu on this issue are analytically presented in this paper. Emphasis is given on the perception of Bourdieu that taste and consumption are closely related to social class. The review of the literature referring to the specific subject reveals that taste and consumption are indispensable elements of human behaviour. Their relationship with social class can be strong no matter the existing social and political conditions; however, each one of these elements cannot be exist outside a consumption society, since it is only within such society that the consumption needs of individuals can be addressed. 2. Taste, consumption and social class in theory and practice 2.1 Bourdieu on taste, consumption and class In order to understand the views of Bourdieu on key sociological objects, such as taste, consumption and class, it would be necessary to identify the methodology of his work. Bourdieu avoided using the views of a specific sociologist for explaining human behaviour. Rather, he used to employ common sociological rules. From this point of view, it would be a mistake to use the views of well-known sociologists, for instance Marx or Durkheim, in order to understand the thoughts of Bourdieu on key sociological objects (Wright 2005, p.82). Moreover, Bourdieu preferred to combine theory and research. In other words, it was necessary for his views to be tested in real conditions. In this way, the effects of the views of Bourdieu on society and human behaviour have been checked as of their relevance to real life. At the next level, the views of Bourdieu are checked using qualitative and quantitative data; this type of research methodology increases the credibility of the assumptions produced, highlighting the appropriateness of these views for the explanation of daily social phenomena. The above issues are quite important in order to explain the methodology of work in this paper: the views of Bourdieu on social class, taste and consumption are presented and evaluated, as of their relationship to many aspects of social life. At the next level, these views are tested as of their relevance to current social conditions. Examples are used for indicating the value of the theories of Bourdieu in practice, with reference especially to the social trends that characterize the modern societies. At a first level, reference should be made to the views of Bourdieu on social class. Then, its relationship with taste and consumption, as justified through the views of Bourdieu, can be understood. In opposition with other theorists who studied the specific issue, Bourdieu avoided making a clear distinction between classes in society (Wright 2005, p.85). This practice is explained as follows: Bourdieu did not want to relate his theory with politics, a risk which would be clear if the differentiation among classes would be used as the basis of the theory of Bourdieu. Moreover, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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