Bourdieu's Theory of Cultural Change

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Exploitation Pages: 2 (340 words) Published: May 31, 2010
Bourdieu’s (1984) theory of social and cultural change discusses the factions within the dominant class struggle and how these struggle to increase overall reach of their power by exploiting connections between cultural and economic fields (Hinde & Dixon, 2010; p. 412). Culture and economy are significant manifestations of these struggles, and the theory gives consideration to peoples relationships with both production and consumption activities (Hinde & Dixon, 2010, p. 412). Primarily, Bourdieu (1984) articulates the needs of capitalist enterprises to acquire cultural capital, symbolic power, and the capacity to dominate such discourse in order to continue to exploit labour and the environment (Hinde & Dixon, 2010, p. 412-413).

Interestingly, Bourdieu articulates that the tastes which people acquire for culture, which may constitute variables such as food, clothing, and other habitual possessions, is a consequence of their tailored perspective and beliefs about their place in the social hierarchy within society. Theoretically, the worth and value of a commodity product is a mere reflection of the value of the user and their place within the hierarchical social construct. As the capital, whether it be a product or an action, is passed through the social hierarchy, from intellectual bourgeois through to the working man, its value proposition will negatively depreciate.

In a Norwegian study conducted by Oygard (2000), the main hypothesis suggests that two main food functions would emerge from the study, food as form and food as function. Food as form refers to traditional, exotic and healthy food, this type of food would be typically associated with those from a more prosperous economic background (Oygard, 2000, p. 165). Food as function refers to filling and inexpensive which serve the functional necessity to eat and survive often associated with the lower economically capable populous (Oygard, 2000, p. 165-166).

According to Bourdieu (1984), changes...
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