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Taste, the good, the bad and the ugly - Essay Example

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Culture and its influence on our postmodern society can be seen as the eye of the cyclone that taste and fashion circle around. For in trying to define what taste and fashion are, theorists have looked at culture as it is evidently one of the major players the influences how we perceive and conclude what taste and fashion are.
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Taste, the good, the bad and the ugly
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"Taste, the good, the bad and the ugly"

Download file to see previous pages Perhaps the best way to begin such an intensive explanation would be to consider what the principle argument is, and by firstly diverting the attention to the social and cultural correspondences of tastes in fashion.
Culture is defined in many ways, but it is clear that it encompasses a few common and agreed upon basic concepts: religion, values, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. It is without question that these concepts influence whether readily or subtly our understandings of the world around us i.e. how we embrace and perhaps verbally view our tastes in fashion. But one cannot fully understand cultural practices unless culture, in the restricted, normative sense of ordinary usage, is brought back into culture in the anthroplogical sense, and the elaborated taste for the most refined objects is reconnected with the elementary taste for the flavours of food.
The ideology of charisma regards taste in legitimate culture as a gift of nature; however scientific observations show that cultural needs are the product of upbringing and education. Surveys establish that all cultural practices (reading, museum visit etc), and preference in literature, painting or music, are closely linked to educational level and "social origin".
Taste to the common man is just that which is perceived as a personal preference. It is also largely defined by people as a strategy for managing relations with others, and as a mode of self-discipline which relies on the mastery of a number of general principles that are resources for people to position their own tastes within a specific social sphere.
Yet, it is clear that such understandings do not encompass or embrace the obvious fact that culture and society are the catalyst behind these 'personal preferences'.

What then is the criterion employed for differentiating between 'good' and 'bad' taste
In depth findings lead me to believe that in many instances everyday judgments of taste are not only understood as a question of aesthetics but that they are also a matters of moral, ethical and communal sensibility. This is also seen in Bourdieu's explanation of taste based on the criteria of interest: gratification of pleasure through the senses, utility, or moral position.

"Nothing is more alien to popular consciousness than the idea of an aesthetic pleasure that. To put it in Kantian terms is independent of the charming of the senses:" (Bourdieu 1984)

It seems relatively difficult to define good taste than bad taste. To some degree it seems easier for people to specify what they don't like than what do like. Bourdieu has observed that "it is no accident that, when they (taste judgements) have to be justified, they are asserted purely negatively, by the refusal of other tastes. In matters of taste, more than anything else, all determination is negation, and tastes are perhaps first and foremost distastes, disgust provoked by horror or visceral intolerance("sick making") of the tastes of others."(Bourdieu 1984:56)

Conceptual schemes that people have are invoked to help them classify objects, behaviours, attitudes, or aspects of self-presentation into broad categories of 'good or 'bad' taste. These schemes or ideas have been organized into ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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