Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

Front Cover
Routledge, 2010 - Philosophy - 607 pages
16 Reviews

No judgement of taste is innocent - we are all snobs. Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction brilliantly illuminates the social pretentions of the middle classes in the modern world, focusing on the tastes and preferences of the French bourgeoisie. First published in 1979, the book is at once a vast ethnography of contemporary France and a dissection of the bourgeois mind.

In the course of everyday life we constantly choose between what we find aesthetically pleasing, and what we consider tacky, merely trendy, or ugly. Taste is not pure. Bourdieu demonstrates that our different aesthetic choices are all distinctions - that is, choices made in opposition to those made by other classes. This fascinating work argues that the social world functions simultaneously as a system of power relations and as a symbolic system in which minute distinctions of taste become the basis for social judgement.

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Review: Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

User Review  - Tony Gualtieri - Goodreads

It's dated, overlong, and the prose is convoluted; however, the insights into the social construction of taste are thought provoking. Why do we like what we like? How much of our preferences are due ... Read full review

Review: Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

User Review  - Loubna Mckouar - Goodreads

When I first read this it gave me a trauma from how smart a man can be and how stupid I could get struggling with every sentence, graph, example trying to understand it within an everyday context. But ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) was one of France's leading sociologists. Champion of the anti-globalization movement, his work spanned a broad range of subjects, from ethnography to art, and education to television.

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