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The arts as cultural capital among elites: Bourdieu's theory reconsidered

Identifieur interne : 002767 ( Main/Exploration ); précédent : 002766; suivant : 002768

The arts as cultural capital among elites: Bourdieu's theory reconsidered

Auteurs : Francie Ostrower [États-Unis]

Source :

RBID : ISTEX:3D82C4B5586277A28A47EAA2A55E798C489843D0

Abstract

Pierre Bourdieu's influential theory of cultural capital has increasingly been subject to criticism. This paper addresses Bourdieu's ideas about the role of the arts in class cohesion among elites, a group to whom the theory should be most applicable. It finds that the arts are valued by elites and do contribute to class cohesion, but not entirely in the way his theory describes. In contrast to Bourdieu's emphasis on aesthetic knowledge and tastes. I propose that culture's importance for class cohesion, at least in the American context, is rooted in the social organization of elite participation in the arts. Thus, the link that cultural capital theory draws between the arts and class cohesion is correct, but it occurs through an alternative mechanism. This argument is developed through an analysis of 175 in-depth personal interviews from two studies of elites conducted by the author.

Url:
DOI: 10.1016/S0304-422X(98)00010-2


Affiliations:


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