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Cultural Omnivores

The notion of cultural omnivore (and cultural omnivorousness) has been introduced in current sociological debate on the relationship between social stratification and cultural consumption (the latter more than lifestyles in general, as in the case of Pierre Bourdieu) by the late U.S. sociologist Richard A. Peterson, in a series of articles published since the early 1990s. The broad hypothesis advanced in these writings—always moving from empirical research's findings related to the U.S. situation—is that in contemporary societies, the homology argument set forth by Bourdieu in Distinction (1984) appears to have lost its validity, not because cultural consumption is becoming ever more individualized and therefore detached from social stratification's conditioning (as argued by postmodern social theorists), but because a new kind of relationship between social structure ...

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