When culture becomes a capital

Authored by: Laurie Hanquinet

The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138857827
eBook ISBN: 9781315718408
Adobe ISBN:


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Since Bourdieu’s famous ‘Distinction’ (1984), much has been written across society on the unequal distribution of cultural resources or ‘cultural capital’ and its role in the production and reproduction of social inequalities. As we will see, by unravelling the mechanisms behind the acquisition of a taste for the arts and culture, Bourdieu’s theory revealed the extent to which apparently personal and innate cultural preferences are influenced by people’s social origin and position. They are hence – to some degree at least – class-based mechanisms. His findings provided essential insights to re-think policies in favour of cultural democratization and a wider access to culture.

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