Cumulative Advantages and Inequality in Lifestyle. A Dutch Description of Distinction in Taste
SourceThe Netherlands' Journal of Social Sciences, 38, 2, (2002), pp. 121-143
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
The Netherlands' Journal of Social Sciences
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
In this article I study Bourdieu's distinction of status groups based on cultural and economic resources using recent data on a representative sample of the Dutch population (N=1561). More specifically, I examine the consequences of a accumulation of cultural and economic resources for taste differentiation. The research question reads: To what extent do people with cultural as well as economic resources differ in taste from people with primarily economic or cultural resources? First, I construct a multi-dimensional social space in which I largely follow Bourdieu in differentiating between a person's amount of resources and type of resources. As an elaboration at each class level a status group that combines cultural and economic resources is considered. Second, I analyze differences in cultural consumption, materialistic preferences and eating and drinking habits, to test whether my representation of the social space is reflected in taste differences. My research clearly shows that in the Netherlands there is taste differentiation between status groups with cumulated resources and status groups with specific types of resources (at each class level). For most of the 36 taste expressions meaningful within-class differences for the group with cumulated resources are revealed.
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