9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN05 Sociology of Consumption

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Consumption as Distinction Building II, C5.01

The habitus of taste. The blurring of cultural consumption practices

Among the most significant theoretical constructs of Bourdieu?s analysis framework, especially concerning the consumption practices and the formation of individual taste, the habitus is a fundamental theoretical node with regard to society and its network study, although, specifically in American scientific context, the concepts of field and capital became more important than this category in last years (Sallaz, Zavisca 2007). Actually, the social becomes embedded into the individual through habitus (Wacquant, 2005) but the social becomes individualized because the meaning construction of individual action is at the base of social process (Melucci, 1996).
Bourdieu outlined a relational model where the traditional class is replaced by position adopted by social actor and taste becomes, at same time, a social disposition and a weapon of power (Zolberg, 1986). However, in last two decades, in the wider social setting where communication has assumed a central role in terms of habitus and habitat, the disintegration process of socio-cultural barriers and, contextually, the development of omnivorous behaviours (Peterson, 1996) shows the significant changes concerning the symbolic field in which practices are produced and structured.
Then, in terms of ecological approach, the habitus assumes a new semantic value. Indeed, according to Bourdieu if this theoretical dimension characterized particular processes of meaning and action building, into a wide range of trajectories, today the cultural omnivorousness appears to reflect a less structured and a more structuring habitus, where individual can continually gain access to plural habitus or, at least, to blurred patterns (Meyrowitz, 1985) of taste strategies.