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What it means to be cool? Ethnographic explorations of hierarchies of taste and legitimization mechanisms in contemporary cultural consumption I 
Marie Heřmanová (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Michal Lehečka (Charles University)
Ludmila Wladyniak
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Main Site Tower (MST), 03/004
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The panel explores legitimization processes and (re)production of cultural hierarchies in contemporary cultural consumption. It aims at exploring the role of class, gender and race in conceptualization of taste as well as the role of non-human actors, such as recommendations algorithms.

Long Abstract:

Many accounts of the transformation of current societies pay attention to the falling currency of highbrow culture, together with its diminishing association with the upper classes ( DiMaggio and Mukhtar 2004). The mass media and upper-class' acceptance of popular culture is assumed to dissolve the structures of legitimation and leave the effect of cultural capital as an 'echo' of the past. Peterson's (1992) observation about the changing patterns of upper-class taste, from narrow, highbrow culture to a wide range of diverse cultural interests (omnivorous taste) has sparked much discussion (see e.g. Lena 2016; Warde, Wright, and Gayo-Cal 2007). While the issue of omnivorousness remains to be settled, there are several theoretical re-conceptualisations of its implications (Smith Maguire 2016; Flemmen, Jarness, and Rosenlund 2018). In recent years the focus has also been on the role of algorithms and AI in emergent patterns of cultural consumption (Striphas 2015, Dourisch 2016) as well as on the discourse of innovations (Zukin 2020).

The panel invites theoretical and empirical explorations of contemporary cultural consumption that deal with, among other things:

- everyday practices in spaces of cultural consumption

- re-examination of the role of class, race and gender in (re)production of hierarchies of taste and consumption

- algorithmic culture and the impact of streaming platforms on hierarchies of taste and consumption

- explorations of links between cultural canon and everyday consumption practices in institutional settings (education, media etc)

- the definition, roles and practices of creators and curators of taste in the attention economy.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -