This is the first comprehensive description of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of culture and habitus. Within the wider intellectual context of Bourdieu's work, this book provides a systematic reading of his assessment of the role of `cultural capital' in the production and consumption of symbolic goods. Bridget Fowler outlines the key critical debates that inform Bourdieu's work. She introduces his recent treatment of the rules of art, explains the importance of his concept of capital - economic and social, symbolic and cultural - and defines such key terms as habitus, practice and strategy, legitimate culture, popular art and distinction. The book focuses particularly on Bourdieu's account of the nature of capit
Chapter 2: Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
In this chapter I shall be primarily concerned with the effects of literary and artistic canonisation and with the ways in which this has cemented the claims to power of the dominant class through its superior grasp of certificated knowledge. In particular, it will be shown through Distinction that appreciation of modernist works is restricted to other artists and to those with high educational capital. I shall try to show, through highlighting Bourdieu's transgressive method, that knowledge of modernism requires a grasp of iconography that can only come from understanding the old. Moreover, it will be shown that the same taste (avoidance of the facile, refinement, originality, etc.) permeates wider decision-making in the sphere of consumption and leisure and that ...