Culture and class in Canada
Keywords:cultural consumption, taste, cultural practices, social space, social class, economic capital, cultural capital, cultural omnivorism, cultural re-differentiation, Bourdieu, Canada
AbstractI apply Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of relationally-defined social spaces of capitals and classes that delimit highbrow and lowbrow cultural forms to Canadian society. I use categorical principal components analysis techniques and a nationally representative survey dataset from 1998 containing measures of economic capital, cultural capital and a wide range of cultural practices to construct a visual representation of Canadian social space which is directly inspired by the social space for 1960s France crafted by Bourdieu in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (Bourdieu 1984). After identifying nascent class groupings and potentially highbrow and lowbrow cultural practices in my depiction of social space, I speculate on precisely how such cultural practices might factor into class dynamics in Canada, in particular examining the role played by “cultural omnivorism” in identifying and reinforcing class distinctions.
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