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Bourdieu's Theory Of Cultural Capital

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Short Paper Assignment #2

Bourdieu’s theory of distinction, judgement, and taste are rooted in education and then secondly, familial economic class. Through exposure and experiences we develop culture capital, which is all about being in the know. The more exposure an individual has, the more they know about the world and therefore, the more culture capital they consume. As a result of having culture capital one has the ability to decipher different symbolic codes because they are aware of more context. A hipster has a very specific culture capital that diverges from the mainstream and is ever evolving because they constantly have to be in the know and consume the latest trends before it becomes popular. Then only people with certain cultural
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When Bourdieu discusses cultural capital he is referring to knowing; for instance, what to talk about in a certain context. Capital means resources, so someone with large cultural capital has a lot of experiences in the world and are perceived as knowledgeable and able to converse about an array of diverse topics. Cultural capital can be learned, which is why education for Bourdieu is the first determent, over and above class origins. People who are not from a higher class, but have been immersed in education, can conduct one’s self in a manner where someone cannot distinguish their economic and social origins. Culture is not individualized; it is all…show more content…
These codes depend on geographic location, age, personality and other determinants, and we need this context to correctly decipher these codes. For instance, a person can walk into a room wearing an ugly penguin sweater and people will perceive this individual differently depending on their own experiences and background. Aunt Jeri might think this person is outdated and be very confused. On the other hand, a Wesleyan student might think that person is hip. There is a politics of reception that is not universal. Cultural knowledge and knowing an artist is specific to people’s exposures. For example, an old $10 Kmart sweatshirts with holes in it, to some people, might look the same as a Yeezy sweatshirt that is $1,000. These two types of sweatshirts can look the same for some people, but if people could read the codes and were exposed to celebrity designer brands, they would know that one sweatshirt comes from Kmart vs. Kanye’s brand. Codes are not just based on class, but also through experience. A mother who shops at Neiman Marcus and lives in a wealthy neighborhood might not know the difference between a Kmart sweatshirt and a Yeezy sweatshirt. However, a 16-year-old kid from a middle class family in L.A. might. When people buy Yeezy sweatshirts that are oversized and have ripped holes in them, which is not the most attractive look. However, I doubt the shape and fit of the sweatshirt is the main motivation for purchasing the
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