3,668 research outputs found

    Methodological issues in national-comparative research on cultural tastes : the case of cultural capital in the UK and Finland

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    Drawing on two projects which develop the methodological model of Bourdieu’s Distinction in the UK and Finland, this paper explores the issues raised by the use of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and mixed methods in comparative work on cultural tastes. By identifying the problems in the construction of two comparable yet nationally relevant research instruments, the paper considers the importance of the similarities and differences in the meaning of items in different national spaces for Bourdieu-inspired comparative analysis. The paper also reports on the evident similarities between the two constructed spaces and draws on the dialogue between quantitative and qualitative methods enabled by MCA in examining what different positions in social space appear to mean in these countries country. It concludes by suggesting that, whilst Bourdieu’s model provides a robust set of methods for exploring relations between taste and class within nations, used appropriately, it can also provide particular insight to the comparison between national fields

    Using mixed methods for analysing culture : The Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion project

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    This paper discusses the use of material generated in a mixed method investigation into cultural tastes and practices, conducted in Britain from 2003 to 2006, which employed a survey, focus groups and household interviews. The study analysed the patterning of cultural life across a number of fields, enhancing the empirical and methodological template provided by Bourdieu’s Distinction. Here we discuss criticisms of Bourdieu emerging from subsequent studies of class, culture and taste, outline the arguments related to the use of mixed methods and present illustrative results from the analysis of these different types of data. We discuss how the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods informed our analysis of cultural life in contemporary Britain. No single method was able to shed light on all aspects of our inquiry, lending support to the view that mixing methods is the most productive strategy for the investigation of complex social phenomena

    Embodied boarders: Snowboarding, status and style.

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    The body is a symbol of status, a system of social markings and a site of distinctions. Drawing on documentary and visual sources, combined with participant observations, this article explores the body as a signifier through an examination of numerous cultural practices used by snowboarders to distinguish themselves from non-snowboarders and each other. In examining embodied snowboarders I firstly analyse their cultural tastes and styles of dress, language and bodily deportment. Secondly, I consider how boarders earn symbolic capital through demonstrations of commitment, physical prowess and risk taking. This analysis implicitly views the body as a social phenomenon, that is, it conceptualises the body as a possessor of power, a form of status, a bearer of symbolic value and a form of physical capital. The body now plays a central role in producing and reproducing social groups and the "embodied boarder" is an important case study for understanding how contemporary youth both construct and make sense of their worlds

    Will Economic Globalization Result in Cultural Product Homogenization, in Theory and Practice?

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    Globalization is resulting in complex decisions by businesses as to where and what to produce, while free trade is resulting in a greater menu of choices for consumers, often with the blending of products and goods from various cultures, called ‘glocalization.’ This paper reviews the theories and practices behind these current happenings, which are each economic, politicaleconomic, institutional, and sociological, first by looking at the supply side of why certain countries produce the goods that they do, and then at the demand side, why consumers have particular, cultural tastes and preferences for goods. It also proffers theories to explain firm location and that of intra-industry trade. This occus when countries trade similar products rather than differentiating, as economic theory would suggest. After reviewing the literature, through numerous examples of political-economy and culture, it argues somewhat normatively that differences in culture and goods are a strength to the world community, and that globalization in the end will not likely result in a singular global culture with a uniformity of exactly identical economic goods anytime in the near futur

    Who Drives Divergence? Identity Signaling, Outgroup Dissimilarity, and the Abandonment of Cultural Tastes

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    People often diverge from members of other social groups: They select cultural tastes (e.g., possessions, attitudes, or behaviors) that distinguish them from outsiders and abandon tastes when outsiders adopt them. But while divergence is pervasive, most research on the propagation of culture is based on conformity. Consequently, it is less useful in explaining why people might abandon tastes when others adopt them. The 7 studies described in this article showed that people diverge to avoid signaling undesired identities. A field study, for example, found that undergraduates stopped wearing a particular wristband when members of the “geeky” academically focused dormitory next door started wearing them. Consistent with an identity-signaling perspective, the studies further showed that people often diverge from dissimilar outgroups to avoid the costs of misidentification. Implications for social influence, identity signaling, and the popularity and diffusion of culture are discussed

    Who Drives Divergence? Identity-Signaling, Outgroup Dissimilarity, and the Abandonment of Cultural Tastes

    Get PDF
    People often diverge from members of other social groups: They select cultural tastes (e.g., possessions, attitudes, or behaviors) that distinguish them from outsiders and abandon tastes when outsiders adopt them. But while divergence is pervasive, most research on the propagation of culture is based on conformity. Consequently, it is less useful in explaining why people might abandon tastes when others adopt them. The 7 studies described in this article showed that people diverge to avoid signaling undesired identities. A field study, for example, found that undergraduates stopped wearing a particular wristband when members of the “geeky” academically focused dormitory next door started wearing them. Consistent with an identity-signaling perspective, the studies further showed that people often diverge from dissimilar outgroups to avoid the costs of misidentification. Implications for social influence, identity signaling, and the popularity and diffusion of culture are discussed

    Cosmopolitan nationalism and the cultural reach of the white British

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    In recent years, strong claims have been made for the breakdown of national boundaries and the reformation of national identities in an increasingly interconnected global world – driven in large part by the possibilities and limitations that emerge from an increasingly global media world. It has been argued that new postnational, cosmopolitan subjectivities accompany, enable and feed off globally oriented forms of cultural consumption. This article examines these claims in the light of unusually comprehensive data on the tastes of the white British population collected in a large national sample survey, in-depth interviews and focus groups. By identifying and analysing the geographical spread of the cultural referents of the tastes of the white British we make an empirical assessment of the claims for cosmopolitan identities. We argue that if white British identities are being reformed by processes of globalisation it is, paradoxically, in an increasingly Anglophone direction

    With a little help from my friends: music consumption and networks

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    It is widely accepted that a shift has occurred in the cultural consumption patterns of those higher in the social strata. Where tastes were based around rules of exclusion, they are now based on openness to a variety of cultures, both esoteric and popular. What is less understood is how an individual’s social networks affect their cultural tastes. Using social survey data on cultural participation, we find that musical consumption is mediated and construed through networks, and these networks play a much more significant role in cultural behaviour than current theoretical frameworks suggest
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