Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the evolution and debate surrounding the legacy of Bourdieu’s ideas about culture and class inequality. It charts the development of the sociological concepts of distinction and omnivorousness, making note of important points of consensus, while considering gaps and puzzles that continue to trouble the field. The chapter argues that cultural consumption remains a central framework for understanding the perpetuation and cultural rationalization of inequality. Over three decades of research in the sociology of culture highlights the contemporary infusion of elements of democratic inclusion into cultural omnivorousness, yet also how it operates ideologically to obfuscate the deep, disturbing divisions that still exist between rich and poor on a national and global scale. During a period in which wealth disparities are on the rise, the result is more likely an obfuscation of inequality, rather than meaningful social change to reduce it.

Keywords: omnivorousness, distinction, cultural consumption, aesthetics, cultural hierarchy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.