Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 321

Dlstlnctl0n A Social Critique of t&e Ju agement of Taste Pierre Bouraieu

Translated by Richard Nice

Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts


Preface to the English-Language Edition Introduction



Copyright @ 1984 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. All rights reserved Primed in the United Stato of America

Par! I

A Social Critique of the judgement of Taste

The Aristocracy of Culture

11 18

The Titles of Cultural Nobility Cultural Pedigree 63

Part II

Originally published in 1979 by Les Editions de Minuit, Paris, as La Distinction: C,ili'lue Jociaie du jugtmml by Pierre Bourdieu. The preparation of this volume was assisted by grams from the Translations Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. an indcpC'ndcm (rocral agency, and from the Cultural Exchange Service of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The assistancc of the Maison de Sciences de I'Homme is also appreciated.

The Economy of Pradices

The Social Space and Its Transformations

Class Condition and Social Conditioning A Three-Dimensional Space 114 Reconversion S tr ategies 125 3 The Homology between the Spaces 175 The Universes of StyliStic Possibles 208 4



The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles


Library of Congress Cataloging in Puhlication Dat2 Bourdicu, Picrre. Distinction: a soci.al critique of the judgement of taste. Translation of: La distinction: critique sociaJc du jugement. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Fr2nce-CiviJization-19452. Aesthetics. French. 3. Social c1asse5---:-Francc. I. Tide. 84-491 306'.0944 DCH.7.B6\13 1984

226 The Correspondence between Goods Produnion and Taste Production 230 Symbolic Struggles 244

The Dynamics of the Fields

Part III

Class Tas!es and Life-Styles

The Sense o f Distinction

260 267

ISBN 0-674-21277-0 (paper)

The Modes of Appropriation of the Work of Art The Variants of the Dominant Taste 283 The Mark of Time 295 Temporal and Sp iri rual Powers 315

Cultural Goodwill


Knowledge and Recognition 319 Education and the AutOdidact 328 Slope and Thrust 331 The Variants of Petit-Bourgeois Taste 339 The Declining Petite Bourgeoisie 346 The Execucanr Petite Bourgeoisie 351 The New Petite Boutgeoisie 35 4 From Duty to the Fun Ethic 365 7 372 The Taste for Necessity and the Ptinciple of Conformity 374 The Effects of Domination 386 397 Selective Democracy 399 Status and Competence 405 The Right to Speak 411 Personal Opinion 414 The Modes of Production of Opinion 417 Dispossession and Misappropriation 426 Moral Order and Political Otder 432 Class Habitus and Political Opinions 437 Supply and Demand 440 The Political Space 451 The Specific Effect of Trajectory 453 Political Language 459 Culture and Politics The Choice of the Necessary

Appen dices 503 1. Some Reflections on the Method 503 Complementary Sources 519 2. Srlrisrical Data 525 3. Associarions: A Parlour Game 546 4.
561 Credits 605 Index 607



1 Class preferences for singers and music 15 2 Aesthetic disposition, by educational capital 36 3 Aesthetic disposition, by class and educarion 37 4

of composers and musical works,


education and class of


origin 64 Furniture purchases in the dominant class, by education and social origin 78 Some indicators of economic capital in different [ranions of the dominant class, 1966 117 Some indicators of cultural practice in different franions of the domi nant class, 1966 118 Types of hooks preferred by different (ranions of the dominant class, 1966 119

Conclusion: Classes and Classifications 466 Embodied Social Structures 467 Knowledge without Concepts 470 Advantageous Attributions 475 The Classification Struggle 479 The Reality of Representation and the Representation of Reality 482 Postscript: Towards a 'Vulgar' Critique of 'Pure' Critiques 485 Disgust at the 'Facile' 486 The ITasre of Reflection' and the 'Taste of Sense' 488 A Denied Social Relationship 491 Paretga and Paralipomena 494 The Pleasute of the Text 498

origin of members of the dominant class, 1970 121


class franion,

10 11 12 13 14 15


Rare of employment of women aged 25-34, by education, 1962 and 1968 134 Changes i n morphology and asset structure of the class fractions, 19541 975 136 Changes in morphology and asset structure of the class franions, 1954196R 13B Morphological chaoges wirhin the dominant class, 19541975 140 Morphological changes within the middle class, 19541975 140 Changes in class morphology and use of educational system, 1954 1968 158 A t:; nnu al household expenditures on food: skilled manual workers, aremen and clerical workers, 1972 181 Yearly spending hy teachers, professionals and industrial and commercial employers, 1972 184

20 22 19


Variations in value placed by Frenchwomen on body, beauty and beauty care, 1976 203 Opinions on literary prizes, by class fraction, 1969 Classfracrion variarions in moral attirudes 312 Class variations in sports acrivities and opinions on sporr, 1975

Annual household expenditures on food: fractions of the dominant class, 1972 188 Variations in enterraining, by class fraction, 1978 198

23 24 25 26 27

Awareness of social factors in educational and social success, by class fraction, 1971 388 'Don't know' responses to political guestions, by sex, 1971 403

Knowledge and preferences of established and new petite bourgeoisie, in Paris and in the provinces 364 Views on ways of reducing ineguality, by class fraction, 1970

Chances of entering the dominant class, and fertility rares, by class fraction, 1970-71 332

29 30 31 32 33 36 35 34


. . itus and life-style 171 ons of existence, hab co nditI 186 food space 8 The es 248 eaI hom d 9 l 1O taste: the space 0f properties 262 tS 0f the dominant . . VarIan 11 taSte: the space of mdividuals 262 dominant . riantS 0f the . . , !2 Va dominant taste: Slmpltfied plane dIagram of 1st and 3rd the VanantS 0f . 13 Ia 266 axes of inert 271 Films seen: 1 . 14 ois taste: the space of propertIes 340 petit-bourge . VariantS of . . 15 the space of mdlvlduals 340 rgeois taste: Vartanrs of petit-bou 16 e diagram of 1st and 3rd nts of petit-bourgeois taste: simplified plan 17 Vana axes of inef(ia 343 II 361 18 Films seen: nce 423 Permissiveness and political prefere 19 ence 427 Opinions on foreign policy and political prefer 20
. . . . . . .

The imposition effect: responses to question on the business world and, politics, by class fraction, 1971 429 The imposition effecc responses to question on the new socialism, by sex, class fraction and party, 1971 430
436 445 446


'Don'r know' responses to questions on teaching, by educarional level.


The political space 452

Views on political order and moral order, by class fraction,


Newspaper reading by men and women, by class fraction, 1975 Percentage of each class fcaccion reading each daily and weekly paper 448

Newspaper reading by men, by age, 1975 445

Newspaper reading by men, by educational level, 1975

3 4 2 1

The relationship between inherited cultural capital and educational capital 81 Specific competence and talk about art 90

The aesthetic disposition in the petite bourgeoisie 59

Distribution of preferences for three musical works


The space of social positions 128 6 The space of life-styles 129 7 Displacemenr of schooling rates of 16- to 18-year-olds, 1954-1975


preface to t&e Eng[is& Language Eaition

French it is, of course, by virtue of its empirical object, and it can be read as a sort of ethnography of France, which, though I believe it shows no ethnocentric indulgence, should help to renew the rather stereotyped

I have every reason to fear that this book will strike tbe reader as 'very French'-which I know is not always a compliment.

namely, the persistence, through different epochs and political regimes, of the aristocratic model of 'court society', personified by a Parisian haute bourgeoisie which, combining all forms of prestige and all the titles of eco nomic and cultural nobility, has no counterpart elsewhere, at least for the arrogance of its cultural judgements.' It would, however, be a mistake to regard all that is said here about the social uses of art and culture as a col1ction of Parisian curiosities and frivolities-and not only because, as Ervl,n?" Gottman once pointed out to me, the Parisian version of the art of hVlng has never ceased to exert a sort of fascination in the 'Anglo Saxon' world, even beyond the circle of snobs and socialites, thereby at talOlfig a kind of un iversality. e model of the relationships between the universe of economic and SOCIal conditi ons and the universe of lifestyles which is put forward here,

renouncing the ambition of drawing out universal propositions. It is, no doubt, only by using the comparative method, which treats its object as a 'particular case of the possible', that one can hope to avoid unjustifiably universalizing the particular case. With the aid of Norbert Elias's analy ses, I do indeed emphasize the particularity of the French tradition,

image of French society that is presented by the American tradition. But I believe it is possible to enter into the singularity of an object without

,-- --

- - - -

based on an endeavour to rethink Max Weber's opposition between and Stand, seems to me to be valid beyond the particular French case antl, no doubt, for every stratified society, even if the system of distinctive tures which express or reveal economic and social differences variable in scale and structure) varies considerably ftom one period, one society, to another. 2 For example, the slightest familiarity with structural mode of thought tells one that the use of French words, pCClp!!r names, preferably noble, or common nouns---Institut de Beaute, Con: seur, Haute couture, etc-performs the same function for shops on Avenue or Madison Avenue as English words like hairdresser, s : , or interior designer on shop fronts in the rue du Faubourg S , ore.' But, more btoadly, the sense of distance, even strangeness, WrllC)1' scientific objectification itSelf produces and which is intensified differences in historical traditions, giving different contentS to realizations of the same structures, must not prevent the reader from fleeting ooto his own society, onto his own position within it, in 10rt.' onto himself, the analyses he is offered. That is why, though I am aware of the dangers of a facile search for . partial equivalences which cannot stand in for a methodical between systems, I shall take the risk of suggesting, within the my knowledge of American society and culture, some guidelines for reading that seeks to identify, behind the specific institution of a paJrti(:u, lar society, the structural invariant and, by the same token, the equivalent, institution in another social universe. At the level of the 'international" pole of the dominant class the problem scarcely arises, since the cultural " ptoducts are ( relatively) international. One could replace Les Motkrnes by Partisan Review,' France-Musique by educational television' ( Channel 13, WQXR, WGBH etc) and perhaps ultra-leftism by sixties, 'camp',' while the New York Review o Books would ( alas) represent an: f unlikely combination of the weekly Nouvel Observateur, the review Cri- ' tique and, especially in its successive enthusiasms. the journal Tel Que!. As: regards bourgeois taste, the American professionals, executives and man-: agers might ask of the film, book, art and music critics of the New York " Times or magazines like Time and Newsweek the same balanced, subtly di versified judgements which their French opposite numbers expect from Le Montie or Le Figaro or weeklies like L'Express or Le Point. The titles and authors favoured by the best-seller readership will vary from country to country, but in each case there will be a preponderance of the life stories and memoirs of exemplary heroes of bourgeois success or 'non-fic tion novels'. The undemanding entertainment which Parisians expect from boulevard theatre, New Yorkers will seek in Broadway musicals. But I believe I have said enough to encourage my readers to join in the game, at least so as to correct my mistakes and perhaps to pursue the search for equivalents, which would have ro be sought in song and cin ema (Is Brigitte Bardot like Marilyn Monroe' Is Jean Gabin the French


Tracy')-and also in Wayne, or Humphrey Bogart or Spencer ohn . . 'or decoration ' sport and cooking. For It IS certam that on J Interl d ress" 'b the Channel or the Atlantic some things are compatl le, d . Sle of eaeh ' ' r , and the prclerences 0f a c1 ass or c1 ass f faction conSt lt.ut e rs are not" e . o th ' IC s ystems. To supporr this hypotheSlS, wh' h a11 the empmca1 erent COh 10 invoke Edgar Allan Poe, wh0 spe11 s out the l' k es co nfi rm ' I can analys c , . . most everyday chOIces, In decoratIOn, lor examp1 e, and ween. the bet 'fine arts', seeing in the ordinary arrangement of the Olces iO the . ch lIe of his country the expresSIOn 0f a way 0f l' r and parrments alth we "We speak of the keeping of a room as we would of the keeping thoug r . re for both the picture and the room are amenable to those a i f t o d eP crU pr incipl eS which regulate all varieties of art; and very . nearly . un Vla 1ng . ' laws by which we deCide on the hIgher ments 0f a paInting, the same . tment 0f a chamb er.,r, Ii ce for decision on the adJus su be undersrood if Co Io ltS I' rm, toO, this book is 'very French'. This will . I try ro show, the mode of expresSIOn character as the reader accepts that, . f a cultural production always depends on the laws of the market In

d ahich it is offered. Although the book transgresses one af the fun ental taboos of the intellectual world, in relating intellectual products doubt, and producers to their social conditions of existence-and also, no because it does so-it cannot entirely Ignore or defy the laws of academIC or intellectual propriety which condemn as barbarous any attempt to treat culture, that present incarnation of the sacred, as an object of SCl

IS(lC 0


ence. That is one of the reasons---along with the costS of book produc tionwhy I have only very partially reproduced the survey material and the statistical data used, and have not always glven the expOSItIOn of the method as much prominence as the rhetoric of scientificity would de mand. (As in the French edition, some passages of the text, contaInIng detailed statistical material, illustrative examples or discussion of ancillary

things while setting them in rigorous perspective-stems partly from the endeavour to mobilize all the resources of t he traditional modes of ex pression, literary, philosophical or scientific, so as ro say things that were de facto or de jure excluded from them, and ro prevent the reading from shpping back into the simplicities of the smart essay or the political po Finally, I realize how much the specificity of the French intellectual field may have contributed to the conception of this book, in particular to Us perhaps immoderate ambition of giving a scientific answer to the old questions of Kant's critique of judgement, by seeking in the struc ture of the social classes the basis of the systems of classification which

issues, are printed in small type so that the reader who seeks an o erviw of the main argument may pass over them on a first reading.) LikeWISe, the style of the b ook , whose long, complex sentences may offend-wn struc rcd as they are with a view to reconstituting the complexity of the social world in a language capable of holding together the most diverse

lemic .K

struCture perception of the social world and designate the objects of aes. thetic enjoyment. But in an age when the effects of a premature of labour separate anthropology from sociology, and, within the the sociology of knowledge from the sociology of culture, not ro mc," tion the sociology of food or sport, it is perhaps the advantage of a we,rle still haunted by the ultimate and total questionings of the prophetic tn.,.' tellectual that one is led to refuse the self-induced myopia which makes impossible to observe and understand everything that human pra.ctic:es reveal only when they are seen in their mutual relationships, that is, as totaliry'" At all events, there is nothing more universal than the project of objec:-; tifying the mental structures associated with the particularity of a social, strucrure. Because it presupposes an epistemological break which is also social break, a sort of estrangement from the familiar, domestic, native world, the critique (in the Kantian sense) of culture invites each reae through the 'making strange' beloved of the Russian formalists, to produce on his or her own behalf the critical break of which it is product. For this reason it is perhaps the only rational basis for a trullv universal culture.


You said it, my good knight There ought to be laws to protect the body of acquired knowledge. Take one of our good pupils, for example: modest and diligent, from his earliest grammar classes he's kept a lit rIe norebook full of phrases. After hanging on the lips of his teachers for twenty years, he's managed to build up an intellectual stock in trade; doesn't it belong to him as if it were a house, or money? Paul Claude!,

Le soulier de satin, Day


Scene ii

There is an economy of cultural goods, but ir has a specific logic. Sociol ogy endeavours to establish rhe condirions in which the consumers of cultural goods, and their taste for them, arC produced, and at the same time to describe the differenr ways of appropriating such of these objects as are regarded ar a parricular moment as works of arr, and the social conditions of rhe constitution of the mode of appropriarion thar is con sidered legitimate. But one cannot fully understand cultural practices unless 'culture', in the restricted, normative sense of ordinary usage, is brought back into 'culture' in the anthropological sense, and the elabo fated taste for the most refined objects is reconnected with the elemen tary taste for the flavours of food. Whereas the ideology of charisma regards taste in legitimate culture as a gift of nature, scientific observation shows that cultural needs are the product of upbringing and education: surveys establish that all cultural practices (museum visits, concert-going, reading etc.), and preferences in literarure, painting or music, are closely linked to educational level (measured by qualifications or lengrh of schooling) and secondarily to social origin. ' The relative weight of home background and of formal education (rhe effectiveness and duration of which are closely dependent on social origin) varies according to the extent to which the differen t cultural praCtices are recognized and taught by the educational system, and the influence of social origin is strongest--{)ther things being c'jual-in 'extra-curricular' and avant-garde culture. To the socially recog nized hierarchy of the arts, and within each of them, of genres, schools or periods, corresponds a social hierarchy of the consumers. This predisposes

/ Introduction

Introduction / 3 work. 3 Thus the encounter with a work of art is not 'love at first sight' as is generally supposed, and the act of empathy, Ein/iih/ung, which is the art-lover's pleasure, presupposes an act of cognition, a decoding opera tion, which iTplies the implementation of a cognitive acquirement, a cultural code. This typically intellectualist theory of artistic perception directly con tradicts the experience of the art-lovers closest to the legitimate defini tion; acquisition of legitimate culture by insensible familiarization within the family circle tends to favour an enchanted experience of culture which implies forgetting the acquisition.' The 'eye' is a product of his tory reproduced by education. This is true of the mode of artistic percep tion now accepted as legitimate, that is, the aesthetic disposition, the capacity to consider in and for themselves, as form rather than fuoction, not only the works designated for such apprehension, i.e., legitimate works of art, but everything in the world, including cultural objects which ar not yet consecrated---such as, at one time" primitive arts, or, nowadays, popular photography or kitsch-and natural objects. The 'pure' gaze is a historical invention linked to the emergence of an auton omous field of artistic production, that is, a field capable of imposing its own norms on both the production and the consumption of its prod ucts6 An art which, like all Post-Impressionist painting, is the product of an artistic intention which asserts the primacy of the mode of representa tion over the object of representation demands categorically an attention to form which previous art only demanded conditionally. The pure intention of the artist is that of a producer who aims to be autonomous, that is, entirely the master of his produn, who tends to re ject not only the 'programmes' imposed a priori by scholars and scribes, but also-following the old hierarchy of doing and saying-the interpre tations superimposed a posteriori on his work. The production of an 'open work', intrinsically and deliberately polysemic, can thus be under stood as the final stage in the conquest of artistic autonomy by poets and, following in their footsteps, by painters, who had long been reliant on writers and their work of 'showing' and 'illustrating'. To assert the au tonomy of production is to give primacy to that of which the artist is master, i.e., form, manner, style, rather than the 'subject', the external ref erent, which involves suba,rdinatiofl to fUflctions-even if only the most elementary one, that of representing, signifying, saying something. It also means a refusal to recognize any necessity other than that inscribed in the specific tradition of rhe artistic discipline in question: the shift from an art which imitates nature to an art which imitates an, deriving from its own history the exclusive source of its experiments and even of its breaks with tradition. An art which ever increasingly contains refer ence to its own history demands to be perceived historically; it asks to be referred not t an external referent, the represented or designated 'reality', but to the UnIVerse of past and present works of art. Like artistic produc-

has s' The mnner i which culture tastes to function as markers of 'clas . g It: the Importance attached ner of usin been acquired lives on in the man it IS these Imponder be understood once it is seen that to manners can es of the different-and ranked-mod abIes of practice which distinguish ss of domestic or sc olastlc, nd the clas culture acquisition, early or late, datm). erize (such as pedants and mon individuals which they charact l ility-awarded by the educationa CuI"ture aIs0 has its titles of nob . ty 10 admISsIon t the . sured by seniorI system-and its pedigrees, mea nobility. IC is the stake 10 a sttuggIe wh h h as The definition of cultural nobility century to the present day, nteenth one on unceasingly, from the seve ure and of rhe legItImate ups differing in their ideas of cult etween gro of art, ad threfore dlffenng 10 th relation to culture and to works duct. ch these dIspositions are the pro conditions of acquisition of whi ate way of t defimtlon of the legitIm Even in the classroom, the dominan y art favours those who have had earl of a ro riating culture and works of scholastic cultured household, ?utslde a es to legitimate culture, in a larly educatlon1 system I,t devale: scho disciplines, since even within the 10 favour 'scholastic or even pedantic knowledge and interpretation as dehght. , , of direct experience and simple . typI. Cally pedan1C language, c of whar is sometimes called, 10 The logi 1on. rs an objective basis for thIS oposlt the 'reading' of a work of art, offe mctIon, that e in a process of commu Consumption is, in this case, a stag , l or exding, whICh presupposes practICa is an act of deciphering, deco that the capacity can say In iicit mastery of a cipher or code.knoa sense, oneOIr), or concepts, that IS, wledge (sav of the o see (voir) is a function a e. as It name VISible thmgs, and hlCh the words, that are available to meanmg and Interest A work of art has were programmes for perception. , that IS, the ' possesses the cultural competence onlY for someone who or uconsC1ous Impl:mn conscious code, into which it is encoded. The on and appreCIation or implicit schemes of percepti tation of explicit on for sical culture 15 the hidden conditi which constitutes pictorial or mu ,od, a school or an author, tic of a perI recognizing the styles characteris works iliarity with the mternal logIC of and, more generally, for the fam spec'fic oses. A beholder who lacks the . that aesthetic enjoyment presupp thms, colours and hnes,. WIth a chaos of sounds and rhy code feels lost in os learnt to adopt the adequate dlsp out rh me or reason. Not having ies , pert in Panofsky calls the 'sensIble pro t" on h . stopS short at what Erw I . as delicate, or at the emotional -work ' percelvlng a skin as downy or lace to 'austere' colours or a sed by these properties' referring . resonances ar0u f the ve from the ' nmary stratum, 'joyful' melody. He cannot mO to the e basis of our ordmary expelenc meaning we can grasp on the 'level of the mean109 of what IS i.e., the 'stratum of secondary meanings', ch go beyond the senSIble . ess he possesses the concepts whi fied' , unl slgm the I IStlC specificaIIy styI ptopertes of ptoperties and which identify the

r t

/ Introduction

Introduction / 5
ethos) which is the exact opposite of the Kantian aesthetic. Wherea s in order to grasp the specificity of the aesthetic judgement, Kant strov to dlsttogUlsh that whIch pleases from that which gratifies and, more gen erally, to dIStingUIsh disinterestedness, the sale guarantor of the specifi cally aesthetic qualtty of contemplation, from the interest of reason whIch defines the Good, working-class people expect every image to ex pltCltly perform a function If only that of a sign, and their judgem ents , make reference, often explICItly, to the norms of morality or agreeable ness. Whether reJecttog or praising, their appreciation always has an eth Ical baSIS. Popular taste applies the schemes of the ethos, which pertain in the or . dtoary CIrCumstances of life, to legitimate works of art, and so performs a systematic reductIon of the Ihtngs of art to the things of life. The very senousness (or naIvety) whICh thIS taste tnvests in fictions and represen tan.on; emonstrates a c otrario tha pure taste performs a suspens ? . ion of . , n lve mvolve ment whICh IS one dImenslOn of a 'quasi-ludic' relation . shIp ';lth the necessities of the world. Intellectuals could be said to be lIeve I the representation-literature, theatre, painting-mo re than in the thtngs represented, whereas the people chiefly expect represe ntations and :he conventions which govern them to allow them to believe 'na Ively to the thtngs represented. The pure aesthetic is rooted in an ethic or rather, an ethos of elective distance from the necessities of the naturai and social world, which may take the form of moral agnosticism (visible when ethICal transgressIOn becomes an artistic parti pris) or of an aesthet ICIsm whIch presents the aesthetic disposition as a universally valid prin CIple and takes the bourgeOIs dental of the social world to its limit. The detachment of the pure gaze cannot be dissociated from a general . dispo SitIOn towards the world whICh IS the paradoxical product of condition Ing by negtIve economic necessities-a life of ease-that tends to induce . an actIve dIstance from. necessity. . Although art obviously offers the gre test scope to the aesthet ic dispo SItiOn, there IS no area of practice 10 whICh the aim of purifyi ng, refining nd sblImatIng pnmary needs and Impulses cannot assert itself, no area to whICh the stylization of life, that is, the primacy of forms over func tIon, . of anner over matter, does not produce the same effects. And nothtog IS more distinctive, more distinguished, than the capacity to confer aesthetic status on objects that are banal or even 'comm on' (be cause the 'common, peopI e mak e them their own, especially for aesthetic . purposes), or the ablltty to apply the principles of a 'pure' aesthetic to the most everyday chOIces of everyday life, e.g. , in cooking, clothin g or deco ration, completely reversing the popular disposition which annexes aes thetics to ethICS. In fact, through the economic and social ndicions which they pre : suppose, the dIfferent ways of relating to realttles and fiction s, of believ Ing to fictions and the realities they simulate, with more or less distance

rion, in that it is generated in a field, aesthetic perception is necessarily historical inasmuch as it is differential, relational, attentive to the devia* tions (ecrts) which make styles. Like the so-called naive painter who, operating outside the field and its specific traditions, remains external to the history of the art, the 'naive' spectator cannot atratn a speClfic grasp of works of art which only have meaning--or value-in relation to the specific history of an artistic tradition. The aesthetic disposition de manded by the ptoducts of a highly autonomous field of production IS inseparable from a specific cultural competence. This historical culture functions as a principle of pertinence which enables one to identify, among the elements offered to the gaze, all the distinctive features and only these, by referring them, consciously or unconsciously, to the uni verse of possible alternatives. This mastery is, for the most part, acquired simply by contact with works of art-that is, through an implicit learn ing analogous to that which makes it possible to recogntze famlltar faces without explicit rules or criteriaand it generally remams at a practtCal level; it is what makes it possible to identify styles, i.e., modes of expres sion characteristic of a period, a civilization or a school, without having to distinguish clearly, or state explicitly, the features which constitute their originality. Everything seems to suggest that even among profes sional valuers, the criteria which define the stylistic properties of the 'typ ical works' on which all their judgements are based usually remain implicit. The pure gaze implies a break with the ordinary attitude towards the world, which, given the conditions in which it is performed, is also a so cial separation. Ortega y Gasser can be believed when he attributes to modern art a systematic refusal of all that is 'human" i.e., generic, com monas opposed to distinctive, or distinguished-namely, the passions, emotions and feelings which 'ordinary' people invest in their 'ordinary' lives. It is as if the 'popular aesthetic' (the quotation marks are there to indicate that this is an aesthetic 'in itself' not 'for itself ') were based on the affirmation of the continuity between art and life, which implies the subordination of form to function . This is seen clearly in the case of the novel and especially the theatre, where the working-class audience refuses any sort of formal experimentation and all the effects which, by intro ducing a distance from the accepted conventions (as regards scenery, plot etc.), tend to distance the spectator, preventing hIm from getttog In volved and fully identifying with the characters (I am thinking of Brechtian 'alienation' or the disruption of plot in the nouveau roman). In contrast to the detachment and disinterestedness which aesthetic theory regards as the only way of recognizing the work of art for what it is, i.e., autonomous, JelbJicindigJ the 'popular aesthetic' ignores or refuses the re fusal of 'facile' involvement and 'vulgar' enjoyment, a refusal which is the basis of the taste for formal experiment. And popular judgements of paintings or photographs spring from an 'aesthetic' (in fact it is an

6 / Introduction
and detachment, are very closely linked to the diff erent possible positions in social space and, consequently, bound up with the systems of disposi tions (habitus) characteristic of the different classes and class fractions. Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier. Social subjects, classified by their classifications, distinguish themselves by the distinctions they make, between the beautiful and the ugly, the distinguished and the vulgar, in which their position in the objective classifications is expressed or be trayed. And statistical analysis does indeed show that oppositions similar in structure to those found in cultural practices also appear in eating habits. The antithesis between quantity and quality, substance and form, corresponds to the opposition-linked to different distances from neces sity-between the taste of necessity, which favours the most 'filling' and most economical foods, and the taste of liberty-{)r luxury-which shifts the emphasis to the manner (of presenting, serving, eating etc.) and tends to use stylized forms to deny function. The science of taste and of cultural consumption begins with a trans gression that is in no way aesthetic: it has to abolish the sacred frontier which makes legitimate culture a separate universe, in order to discover the intelligible relations which unite apparently incommensurable 'choices', such'as preferences in music and food, painting and sport, liter ature and hairstyle. This barbarous reintegration of aesthetic consump tion into the world of ordinary consumption abolishes the opposition, which has been the basis of high aesthetics since Kant, between the 'taste of sense' and the 'taste of reflection', arid between facile pleasure, pleasure reduced to a pleasure of the senses, and pure pleasure, pleasure purified of pleasure, which is predisposed ro become a symbol of moral excellence and a measure of the capacity for sublimation which defines the truly human man. The culture which results from this magical division is sa cred. Cultural consecration does indeed confer on the objects, persons and situations it touches, a sort of ontological promotion akin to a tran substantiation. Proof enough of this is found in the two following quo tations, which might almost have been written for the delight of the . sociologist: 'What struck me most is this: nothing could be obscene on the stage of our premier theatre, and the ballerinas of the Opera, even as naked dancers, sylphs, sprites or Bacchae, retain an inviolable purity." 'There are obscene postures: the stimulated intercourse which offends the eye. Clearly, it is impossible to approve, although the interpolation of such gestures in dance routines does give them a symbolic and aesthetic quality which is absent from the intimate scenes the cinema daily flaunts before its spectators' eyes . . . As for the nude scene, what can one say, except that it is brief and theatrically not very effective? I willllot say it is chaste or innocent, for nothing commercial can be so described. Let us say it is not shocking, and that the chief objection is that it serves as a box-office gimmick. . . . In Hair, the nakedness fails to be symbolic.'8

Intro duction / 7
The enial of lower, coarse, vulgar, venal, servile -in a word, natu ral---enjoyment, which constitutes the sacred sphere of culture implies an affirmation of the superiority of those who can be satisfied ;"'ith the subltmated, refined, disinterested, gratuitous, distin guished pleasures for ever closed to the profane. That is why art and cultur al consumption are predISP?sed, conSClously and deliberately or not, to fulfil a social function . of legitImating social differences.

Tbe Arjstocrac of Cu[ture

Sociology is rarely more akin to social psychoanalysis than when it con fronts an object like taste, one of the most vital stakes in the struggles fought in the field of the dominant class and the field of cultural produc tion. This is not only because the judgement of taste is the supreme manifestation of the discernment which, by reconciling reason and sensi. bility, the pedant who understands without feeling and the mondain1 who enjoys without understanding, defines the accomplished individual. Nor is ir solely because every rule of propriery designates in advance the project of defining this indefinable essence as a clear manifestation of philistinism-whether it be the academic propriety which, from Alois Riegl and Heinrich WOltllin to Elie Faure and Henri Focillon, and from the most scholastic commentators on the classics to the avant-garde semiologist, insists on a formalist reading of the work of art; or the up perclass propriety which treats taste as one of the surest signs of true no erring taste to anything other than itself bility and cannot conceive of ref Here the sociologist finds himself in the area par excellence of the de nial of the social. It is not sufficient to overcome the initial self-evident appearances, in orher words, to relate raste, the uncreated source of all 'creation', to the social conditions of which it is the product, knowing full well that the very same people who strive to repress the clear relation between taste and education, between .culture as the state of that which is cultivated and culture as the process of cultivating, will be amazed that anyone should expend so much effort in scientifically proving that self evident fact. He must also question that relationship, which only appears to be self-explanatory, and unravel the paradox whereby the relationship


! A Social Critique oj the Judgement oj Taste

The Aristocracy oj Culture !


with educational capital is just as strong in areas which the educational system does not teach. And he must do. this without evet being able to appeal unconditionally to the POSItlVIStlC arbitration of what ate called facts. Hidden behind the statistical relationships between educational capital or social origin and this or that type of knowledge or way of ap plying it, there are relationships between groups maintaining different, and even antagonistic, relations to culture, dependtng on the Cndlt1nS in which they acquired their cultural capiral and rhe markets In which they can derive most profit from it. Bur we have nor yet fimshed with rhe self-evident. The question irself has to be questioned-In orher words, rhe relation to culture which it tacitly privileges-in order to esrabltsh whether a change in the content and form of rhe question would not be sufficient ro transform the relationships observed. There IS no way out of rhe game of culture; and one's only chance of objectifying the true na ture of the game is to objectify as fully as pOSSible the very operations which one is obliged to use in order to achieve that obJeCtIfication. De Ie jabula narratur. The reminder is meant for the reader as well.s the SOCI ologist. Paradoxically, the games of culture are protected against obJeCtI fication by all the partial objectifications whICh the actors Involved In the game perform on each other: scholarly critics can no'. grasp the objective reality of society aesthetes without abandomng their grasp of the true nature of their own activity; and the same IS true of their opponents. The same law of mutual lucidity and reflexive blindness governs the antago nism between 'intellectuals' and 'bourgeois' (or their spokesmen in the field of production ) . And even when bearing in mind the function which legitimate culture performs In class relations: ont IS stIll liable ro be led into accepting one or the other of the self-Interested representa tions of culture which 'intellectuals' and 'bourgeOIs' endlessly fling at each other. Up to now the sociology of the production and producers of culture has never escaped from the play of opposing Images , In which 'right-wing intellectuals' and 'left-wing intellectuals' (as the curren'. tax onomy puts it) subject their opponents and their strategies to an obJecti vist reduction which vested interests make that much eaSIer. The objectification is always bound to remain partial , and therefore false, so long as it fails to include the point of view from which It speaks and so fails to construct the game as a whole. Only at the level of the field of positions is it possible to grasp both the generic interests aSSOCIated with the fact of taking part in the game and the speCIfic Interests attached to the different positions, and, through this, the form and content of the self-positionings through which these interests are expressed. Despite the aura of objectivity they like to assume, neither the 'SOCIology of the in tellectuals', which is traditionally the business of 'right-wing intellec tuals', nor the critique of 'right-wing thought', the traditional speciality of 'left-wing intellectuals' , is anything more than a senes of symbolIC ag gressions which take on additional force when they dress themselves up in the impeccable neutrality of science. They taCItly agree In leaving hld-

den what is essential, namely the strucrure of objective positions which is the source, inter alia, of the view which the occupants of each position can have of the occupants of the other positions and which determines the specific form and force of each group's propensity to present and re ceive a group's partial truth as if it were a full account of the objective relations between the groups. The analyses presented in this book are based on a survey by question naire, carried out in 1963 and 1967-68, on a sample of 1,217 people. (Ap pendix 1 gives full information concerning the composition of the sample, the questionnaire, and the main procedures used to analyze it. Appendix 3 contains the statistical data drawn from the survey , as well as data from other sources.) The survey sought to determine how the culti vated disposition and cultural competence that are revealed in the nature of the cultural goods consumed, and in the way they are consumed, vary according to the category of agents and the area to which they applied, from the most legitimate areas such as painting or music to the most 'personal' ones such as clothing, furniture or cookery, and, within the legitimate domains, according to the markets-'academic' and 'non academic'-in which they may be placed. Two basic facts were thus es tablished: on the one hand, the very close relationship linking cultural practices (or the corresponding opinions) to educational capital ( mea sured by qualifications) and, secondarily, to social origin ( measured by f ather's occupation ) ; and, on the other hand, the fact that, at equivalent levels of educational capital, the weight of social origin in the practice and preference-explaining system increases as one moves away from the most legitimate areas of culture. The more the competences measured are recognized by the school sys tem , and the more 'academic' the techniques used to measure them, the sronger is the relation between, performance and educational qualifica tion. The latter, as a more or less adequate indicator of the number of years of scholastic inculcation, guarantees cultural capital more or less completely, depending on whether it is inherited from the family or ac quired at school, and so i t is an unequally adequate indicator of this capi tal. The strongest correlation between performance and educational capital qua cultural capital recognized and guaranteed by the educational system ( which is very unequally responsible for its acquisition) is ob served when, with the question on the composers of a series of musical works, the survey takes the form of a very 'scholastic' exercise on knowl edge very close to that taught by the educational system and strongly rec ognized in the academic market.

The interviewer read out a list of sixteen musical works and asked the re sponden t to name the composer of each. Sixty-seven percent of those with only a CEP or a CAP could not identify more than two composers (out of

14 / A Social Critique ofthe Judgement of Taste

sixteen works), compared to 45 percent of those with a BEPC, 19 percent of those with the baccalauriat, 17 percent of those who had gone to a tech nical college (petite ieole) or started higher education and only 7 percent of those having a qualification equal or superior o a licence.2 Whereas none of the manual or clerical workers questioned was capable of naming twelve or more of the composers of the sixteen works, 52 percent of the 'artistic pro ducers' and the teachers (and 78 percent of the teachers in higher educa tion) achieved this score. The rate of non-response to the question on favourite painters or pieces of music is also closely correlated with level of education, with a strong op position between the dominant class on the one hand and the working classes, craftsmen and small tradesmen on the other. (However, since in this case whether or not people answered the question doubtless depended as much on their dispositions as on their pure competence, the cultural pre tensions of the new petite bourgeoi s e---junior commercial executives, the i medical and social services, secretaries, and the various culwral interme diaries (see Chapter 6)-found an outlet here.) Similarly, listening to the most 'highbrow' radio stations, France-Musique and France-Culture, and to musical or cultural broadcasts, owning a record-player, listening ro records (without specifying the type, which minimizes the differences), visiting art galleries, and knowledge of painting-features which are strongly correlated with one another--obey the same logic and, being strongly linked to educa tional capital, set the various classes and class fractions in a clear hierarchy (with a reverse distribution for listening to variety programmes). In the case of activities like the visual arts, or playing a musical instrument, which presupposes a cultural capital generally acquired outside the educational sys tem and (relativel y) independent of the level of academic certification, the correlation with social class, which is again strong, is established through social trajectory (which explains the special position of the new petite bour geoisie). The closer one moves rowards the most legitimate areas, such as music or painting, and, within these areas, which can be set in a hierarchy according to their modal degree of legitimacy, towards certain genres or certain works, the more the differences in educational capital are associated with major differences (produced in accordance with the same principles) be tween genres, such as opera and operetta, or quartets and symphonies, be tween periods, such as contemporary and classical, between composers and between works. Thus, among works of music, the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Concerto for the Left Hand (which, as will become apparent, are distin guished by the modes of acquisition and consumption which they presup pose), are opposed to the Strauss waltzes and the Sabre Dance, pieces which are devalued either by belonging to a lower genre ('light music') or by their popularization (since the dialectic of distinction and pretension desig nates as devalued 'middle-brow' art those legitimate works which become 'popularized'),3 just as, in the world of song, Georges Brassens and lio Ferre are opposed to Georges Guetary and Petula Clark, these differences corresponding in each case to differences in educational capital (see table 1). In fact, the weight of the secondary factors---composition of capital, vol-

The Aristocracy of Culture / 15


0000000 00""';'0"';00""';""';
..... ..... ............ ...


000011"\11"\9 ....;00""; r--:.,.;o\....;


00011"\11"\011"\ r--:0-.:r00\r--:....; ..................................

00 0000 0""'; ....;0\0\0\


011"\11'"\0 ":1"":1"'<:1"""

....;r-0-.:r 0"-\r-:...-:....-:.o -:

000011'"\00 ('(\I'-\Or--r--r--O\

011"\00 00"'0011"\ "'-:'''''';Nr-: ",;oo-.:r"'-.:ro

N ..............

16 / A Social Critique o the Judgement of Taste f

ume of inherited cultural capital (or social trajectory ), age, place of resi dence-varies with the works. Thus, as one moves towards the works that afe least legitimate (at the moment in question), factors such as age be come increasingly important; in the case of Rhapsod in Blue or the Hungar y ian Rhapsody, there is a closer correlation with age than with education, father's occupational category, sex or place of residence. Thus, of all the objects offered for consumers' choice, there are none more classifying than legitimate works of art, which, while distinctive in general, enable the production of distinctions ad infinitum by playing on divisions and sub-divisions into genres, periods, styles, authors etc. Within the universe of particular tastes which can be recreated by suc cessive divisions; it is thus possible, still keeping to the major opposi tions, to distinguish three zones of taste which roughly correspond to educational levels and social classes: ( 1 ) Legitimate taste, i.e., the taste for legitimate works, here represented by the Well-Tempered Clavier (see fig ure 1, histogram 1 ) , the Art of Fugue or the Concerto f the Lift Hand, or, or in painting, Breughel or Goya, which the most self-assured aesthetes can combine with the most legitimate of the arts that are still in the process of legitimation----<: inema, jazz or even song ( here, for example, Leo Ferre, Jacques Douai )-increases with educational level and is highest in those fractions of the dominant class that are richest in educational capital. ( 2 ) 'Middle-brow' taste, which brings together the minor works of the major arts, in this case Rhapsody in Blue (histogram 2 ) , the Hungarian Rhapsody, or in painting, Uttillo, Buffet or even Renoir, and the major works of the minor arts, such as Jacques Brel and Gilbert Becaud in the art of song, is more common in the middle classes (classes moyennes) than in the work ing classes (classes populaires ) or in the 'intellectual' fractions of the domi nant class. ( 3 ) Finally, 'popular' taste, represented here by the choice of works of so-called 'light' music or classical music devalued by populariza tion, such as the Blue Danube (hisrogram 3 ) , La Traviata or L'Arlhienne, and especially songs totally devoid of artistic ambition or pretension such as those of Luis Mariano, Guetary or Petula Clark, is most frequent among the working classes and varies in inverse ratio to educational capi tal ( which explains why it is slightly more common among industrial and commercial employers or even senior executives than among primary teachers and cultural intermediaries) . The three profiles presented in figure 1 are perfectly typical of those that are found when one draws a graph of the distribution of a whole set of chQices characteristic of different class fractions (arranged in a hierarchy, within each class, according ro educational capital ). The first one (the WeI/ Tempered Clavier) reappears in the case of all the authors or works named above, and also for such choices in the survey questionnaire (see appendix 1) as 'reading philosophical essays' and 'visiting museums' etc.; the second

The Aristocracy of Culture / 1 7

riJIure 1 Distribu tion of preferences for three musical works by class fraction.
I Wdl-Tempered Clavier
1I11111(1al workers 11PI Il(...tic servants HII\lllCn, shopkeepers IIH II Oil and commercial employees

IUlIII'1 administrative executives lUl l I, II commercial executives, secretaries tf! hnirians "trill( aJ social services

HtlilllaJ intermediaries , art craftsmen

Jndu\lriai and commercial employers Imlillt -sector executives IJlI,'! ('-sector executives , engineers lllll(\., jons

IIIIIOIry teachers

'l lIl1dary teachers hlMhn-cducation teachers, an producers ,. tth:lp.mdy in Blue ithHillal workers thH1j("tic servants 11I111'>I11t"n, shopkeepers

1111'01'1 :d-social services 1111I1l,uy teachers

1Ii'III :,1 and commercial employees 1111111)1 administrative executives 11111101 wmmercial executives, secretaries It'l llll icians

nil!lIlai intermediaries , art craftsmen

IHlv,llr-sector executives , engineers IHllt('sjons .l-I I)lhlary teachers hiil('r-ducation teachers, art producers

Il1d\I! I ial and commercial employers Ill i lli l( -sector executives

20.5 3 20 22 27.5 26.5 42 20 20 22.5 22 5 15 29 19 12 5 12

A IUIlt, Danube 50.5 35.5 49 I j1 i( ill and commercial employees 52 " 111111 administrative executives 34 11111111 (ommercial executives , secretaries 29.5 !t>l 111111 ians 21 IlIfdu ai -social services 15.5 ll!II'IIY teachers 10 HtlllI!:d Intermediaries, art craftsmen 12.5 lfId llllliai and commercial employers 21.5 Illd 1111 ("rtor executives 20 Ilill',II(" .';("(tor executives , engineers 18.5 /llliln,>ill!lS 15.5 it'I IIIlIL,ry teachers 4 hllwl -("ducation teachers , art producers 0
Inrll l;!1" workers 111>1I11"r j( servants I-Itl\ll l('n, shopkeepers


f gement o Taste 18 / A Social Critique of the Jud y (RhapJod in Blue) characterizes, in addition to all the works and authorsosy le, mentioned (plus the Twilight of the Gods), 'photogtaphy', 'cmfortab valId for love stones home' etc.; and the third (Blue Danube) IS equally
and 'clean, tidy home' etc.

f The Aristocracy o Culture / 19

ture' i s not a cultural display like others: as regards its social definition, 'musical culture' is something other than a quantity of knowledge and experiences combined with the capacity to talk about them. Music is the most 'spiritual' of the arts of the spirit and a love of music is a guarantee of 'spirituality'. One only has to think of the extraordinary value nowa days conferred on the lex is of 'listening' by the secularized (e.g., psy choanalytical) versions of religious language. As the countless variations on the soul of music and the music of the soul bear witness, music is bound up with 'interiority' ( 'inner music') of the 'deepest' sort and all concerts are sacred. For a bourgeois world which conceives its relation to the populace in terms of the relationship of the soul to the body, 'insensi tivity to music' doubtless represents a particularly unavowable form of materia:list coarseness. But this is not all. Music is the 'pure' art par ex cellence. It says nothing and has nothing to say. Never really having an expressive function, it is opposed to drama, which even in its most re fined forms still bears a social message and can only be 'put over' on the basis of an immediate and profound affinity with the values and expecta tions of its audience. The theatre divides its public and divides itself. The Parisian opposition between right-bank and left-bank theatre, bourgeois theatre and avant-garde theatre, is inextricably aesthetic and political. Nothing comparable occurs in music (with some rare, recent excep tions ) . Music represents the most radical and most absolute form of the negation of the world, and especially the social world, which the bour geois ethos tends to demand of all forms of art. For an adequate interpretation of what would be implied in a table pered correlating occupation, age or sex with a preference for the Well-Tem or ClaVIer or the Concerto f the Left Hand, one has to break both with the blind use of indicators and with spurious, essentialist analyses which are merely the universalizing of a particular experience, in order to make completely explicit the multiple, contradictory meanings which these works take on at a given moment for the totality of social agents and in particular for the categories of individuals whom they distinguish or who differ with respect to them (in this particular case, the 'inheritors' and the 'newcomers') . One would have to take account, on the one hand, of the socially pertinent properties attached to each of them, that is, the so cial image of the works (,baroque'/,modern', harmony/dissonance, rigour/lyricism etc. ) , the composers and perhaps especially the corre sponding instruments ( the sharp, rough timbre of plucked strings/the warm, bourgeois timbre of hammered strings); and, on the other hand, the distributional properties acquired by these works in their relation ship (perceived with varying clarity depending on the case) with the dif ait ferent classes or class fractions ( ',a f . . . ' ) and with the corresponding conditions of reception (belated knowledge through records/early knowledge through playing the piano, the bourgeois instrument par excellence) .

y The Titles of Cultural Nobilit

ed by du A relationship as close as that between academic capital ( measur dge or practices in areas as remote from ration of schooling) and knowle the cin academ ic education as music or painting, not to mention jazz or between museum visits and level of educa ema-like the correlation of the tion-raises in the highest degree the question of the significance the question of the real identity of the two relationship, in other words, has ex linked terms which are defined in their very relationship. One understood nothing by establishing the existence of plained nothing and ent' varI a correlation between an 'independent' variable and a 'depend determined what is designated in the particular case, able. Until one has ship (for i.e., in each particular relationship, by each term in the relation ion and knowledge of omposers) ,. the statIStical example, level of educat remams relationship, however precisely it can be determined numencally, ding a pure datum, devoid of meaning. And the 'intuitive' half-understan gists are general ly satisfied m such cases, whIle they with which sociolo the rela concentrate on refining the l;11casurement of the 'intensity' . of er with the illusion of the constancy of the vanables or fac tionship, togeth s whatev er they tors resulting from the nomina! identity of the indicator ' ( tends to ule out may indicate) or of the terms which des.ignat them, g they any questioning of the terms of the relationshIp as to the meanin receIve from It. take on in that particular relationshIp and Indeed . Both terms of the relationship have to be quened m each case: the in places of dependent variable-occupation, sex, age, father's occupation, differen t effects-and the depen residence etc., "which may express very vary ,con dent variable, which may manifest dispositions that themselves divided up by the independent siderably depending on the classes ces found variables. Thus, for an adequate interpretation of the differen class as regards their relation to between the classes or within the same erc., one the various legitimate arts, painting, music, tetre, lirertur . uses, legitimate or Illegitimate, to would have to analyse fully the social lends it which each of the arts, genres, works or institutions considered affirms one's 'class', nothing more self. For example, nothing more clearly by VIr infallibly classifies, than tastes in music. This is of course becau.se, acquiring the corresponding dISpo tue of the rarity of the conditions for t-gomg or sitions there is no more 'classifactory' practlce than concer ties which, other things being equal, playin a 'noble' instrumen t (activi VISitS to are less widespread than theatre-gomg, museum-gomg or even because the flaunting of 'musical culmodern-art galleries) . But it is also

20 ! A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

The opposition found at the level of distributional properries is generally homologous co that found at the level of stylistic characteristics. This is be cause homology between the positions of the producers (or the works) in te fi ld of production and the positions of the consumers in social space ( I . e., In the overall class structure or in the structure of the dominant class) seems to be the most freguent casco Roughly speaking, the amateur of Mal larrne is likely to be to the amateur of Zola as Mallarme was to Zola. Dif ferences between works are predisposed to express differences between authors, partly because, in both style and content, they bear the mark of their authors' socially constituted dispositions (that is, their social origins, retransl ated .a a function of the positions in the field of production which . rhese dlsposItJons played a large part in determining) ; and partly because they remain marked by the social significance which they received from their opposition, and that of their authors, in the field of production (e.g., . left/nght, clear/obscure etc.) and which is perpetuated by the university tradmon.

The Aristocracy of Culture ! 21

or the accordion and so on. The statistics of the class distribution of news paper reading would perhaps be interpreted less blindly if sociologiSts bore in mind Proust's analysis of 'that abominable, voluptuous act called "read ing rhe paper", whereby all rhe misfortunes and cataclysms suffered by rhe universe in the last twenty-four hours--battles which have cost the lives of fifty thousand men, murders, strikes, bankruptcies, fires, poisonings, sui cides, divorces, the cruel emotions of statesman and actor, transmuted into a morning feast for our personal entertainment, make an excellent and par ticularly bracing accompaniment to a few mouthfuls of caf au lait. ,4 This i description of the aesthete's variant invites an analysis of the class variations and the invariants of the mediated, relatively abstract experience of the so cial world supplied by newspaper reading, for example, as a function of variations in social and spatial distance (with, at one extreme, the local items in the regional..dailies-marriages, deaths, accidents-and, at the other (:xtreme, international news, or, on another scale, the royal engagements and weddings in the glossy magazines) or in political commitment (from the detachment depicted in Proust's text to the activist's outrage or enthusiasm ) . In fact, the absence of this kind of preliminary analysis of the social sig nificance of the indicators can make the most rigorous-seeming surveys quite unsuitable for a sociological reading. Because they forget that the ap parent constancy of the products conceals the diversity of the social uses . they are put to, many surveys on consumption impose on them taxonomies which have sprung straight from the statisticians' social unconscious, asso ciating things that ought to he separated (e.g., white heans and green beans) and separating things that could be associated (e.g., white beans and bananas-the latter are to fruit as the former are to vegetables). What is there to be said about the collection of products brought together by the apparently neuttal category 'cereals'--bread, rusks, rice, pasta, Aour-and especially the class variations in the consumption of these products, when one knows that 'rice' alone includes 'rice pudding' and riz au gras! or rice cooked in broth (which tend to be 'working-class' ) and 'curried rice' (more 'bourgeois' or, more precisely, 'intellectual' ), not to mention 'brown rice' ( which suggests a whole life-style) ? Though, of course, no 'natural' or man ufactured product is equally adaptable to all possible social uses, rhere are very few that are perfectly 'univocal' and it is rarely possible to deduce the social use from the thing itself. Except for products specially designed for a particular use (like 'slimming bread' ) or closely tied to a class, by tradition ( like tea-in France) or price ( like caviar ) , most products only derive their social value from the social use that is made of them. As a consequence, in these areas the only way to find the class variations is to introduce them from the start, by replacing words or things whose apparently univocal meaning creates no difficulty for the abstract classifications of the academic unconscious, with the social uses in which they become fully determined. Hence it is necessary to attend, for example, to ways of photographing and ways of c90king-in the casserole or the pressure-cooker, i.e., without counting time and money, or quickly and cheaply-or to rhe products of these operations-family snaps or phoros of folk dancing, boeu/ bourguignon or curried rice.

I t is also clear what would be required for an adequate interpretation of the bourgeois predilection for the 'Impressionists', whose simulta neously lyrical and naturalistic adherence to natural or human nature contrasts both with realist or critical representation of the social world ( doubtless one dimension of the opposition between Renoir and Goya, not to mentIOn Courbet or Daumier) and with all forms of abstraction. Again, to understand the class distribution of the various sports, one would have to take account of the representation which, in terms of their specific schemes of perception and appreciation, the differen t classes have of the costs (economic, cultural and 'physica!') and benefits attached to the different sports---immediate or deferred 'physical' benefits ( health, -beauty, strength, whether visible, through 'body-building' or invisible through 'keep-fit' exercises), economic and social benefits ( upward mo bility etc. ) , ImmedIate or deferred symbolic benefits linked to the distri butional or positional value of each of the sports considered (i.e., all that each of them receives from its greater or lesser rarity, and its more or less clear association with a class, with boxing, football, rugby or body building evoking the working classes, rennis and skiing the bourgeoisie and golf rhe upper bourgeoisie ), gains in disrinction accruing from rhe effects on the body itself (e.g., slimness, sun-tan, muscles obviously or dIscreetly VISIble etc.) or from the access to highly selective groups which some of these sports give (golf, polo etc ) .

Thus the only way of completely escaping from the intuitionism which in evitably accompanies positivistic faith in the nominal identity of the indica tors would be to carry Out a-strictly interminable-analysis of the social value of each of the properties or practices considered-a Louis XV com mode or a Brahms symphony, reading Historia or Le Figaro, playing rugby

22 / A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

Appearances, need 1 repeat, alays support appearances; and sociological , f science, which cannot find the dlf erences between the sO lal . classes unless it introduces them from the start, is bound to appear preJudlCcd to those who dissolve the differences, in all good faith and with impeccable method, simply by su rrendering to positivistic laisser-faire.

The Aristocrary of Culture / 23

virtue of the logic of the transmission of cultural capital and the func tioning of the educational system, one cannot impute the strong correla tion, observed between competence in music or painting (and the practice it presupposes and makes possible) and academic capital, solely to the operation of [he educational system (still less to the specifically artistic education it is supposed to give, which is clearly almost non-exis tent). Academic capital is in fact the guaranteed product of the com bined effects of cultural transmission by the family and cultural transmission by the school ( the efficiency of which depends on the amount of cultural capital directly inherited from the family). Through its value-inculcating and value-imposing operations, the school also helps ( to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the initial disposition, i.e., class of origin) to form a general, transposable disposition towards legiti mate culture, which is first acquired with respect to scholastically recog nized knowledge and practices but tends to be applied beyond the bounds of the curriculum, taking the form of a 'disinterested' propensity to accumulate experience and knowledge which may not be directly ptof itable in the academic market.
The educational system defines non-curricular general culmce (ta culture 'fibre'), negatively at least, by delimiting, within the dominant culture, the area of what it puts into its syllabuses and controls by its examinations. It has been shown that (he most 'scholastic' cultural objects are those taught and requi red at the lowest levels of schooling (the extreme form of the 'scholastic' being the 'elementary'), and that the educational system sets an increasingly high value on 'general' culture and increasingly refuses 'scholas tic' measurements of culture (such as direct, closed guestions on authors, dates ana events) as one moves towards the highest levels of the system.

But the substantialist mode of thinking is perhaps most unrestrained when it comes to the search for 'explanatory factors'. Slipping ftom the substanrive to the substance ( to paraphrase Wittgenstein), from the con stancy of the substantive to the constancy of the substance,. it treats the properties attached to agentcupa io? , ag, sex, qah cat1?ns-:--a.s orces independent of the relationshIp wlthm whIch they act . ThIS elimI f nates the question of what IS determmant m the determmant vanable and what is determined in the determmed vanable, m other words, the question of what, among the properties chosen,. consciously or uncon sciously, through the indicators under conSIderation, constitutes the per tinent property that is really capable of determmmg the relationshIp wlthtn which it is determined. Purely statistical calculation of the vanatlons In the intensity of the relationship between a particular indicator and any given practice does not remove the need for the speCIfically SOCIologICal calculation of the effects whICh are expressed tn the statistical relationshIp and which statistical analysis, when oriented towards the search for Its own intelligibility, can help to discoveL One has to rak e .the relationship itself as the object of study and SCrutl 'ze ItS soclOlo?,cal slgntficce (signification ) rather than ItS statIstICal slg n dicantness (srgnificattvtte ) , only in this way is it possible to replace the relationshIp between a sup posedly constant variable and different practICes by a senes of dIfferent effects-sociologically intelligible constant relationshIps whICh are SImul taneously revealed and concealed in the statiStical relationshIps between a given indicator and different practices. The truly sCIentific endeavour has to break with the spurious self-eVIdences of Immediate understandmg (to which the pseudo-refinements of statistical analysis-e.g., path analysls the phenomenal relatIOn bring unexpected reinforcement) . In place ship between this or that 'dependent vanable and vanables such as level of education or social origin, which are no more than common-sense ntlons and whose apparent 'explanatory power' stems ftom the mental habits of common-sense knowledge of the social world, it aims to establish 'an exact relation of well-defined concepts',' the rational principle of the effects which the statistical relationship records despite everything-for example, the relationship between the titles of nobility (or marks of infamy) awarded by the educational system and the pracuces they Imply, or be tween the disposition required by works of legmmate art and the dISpo sition which, deliberately and consciously or not, IS taught m schools.



Knowing the relationship which exists be tween cultural capital inherited from the family and academic capital, by

In fact, the generalizing tendency of the cultivated disposition is only a necessary, not a sufficient, condition for the enterprise of cultural appro priation, which is inscribed, as an objective demand, in membership of the bourgeoisie and in the qualifications giving access to its rights and duties. This is why we must first stop to consider what is perhaps the best-hidden effect of the educational system, [he one it produces by im posing 'titles',6 a particular case of the attribution by status, whether positive (ennobling) or negative (stigmatizing), which every group pro duces by assigning individuals to hierarchically ordered classes. Whereas the holders of educationally uncertified cultural capital can always be re quired to prove themselves, because they are only what they do, merely a by-product of their own cultural production, the holders of titles of cul tural nobility-like the titular members of an aristocracy, whose 'being', defined by their fidelity to a lineage, an estate, a race, a past, a fatherland or a tradition, is irreducible to any 'doing', to any know-how or func tion--{)nly have to be what they are, because all their practices derive their value from their authors, being the affirmation and perpetuation of

24 / A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

the essence by virtue of which they are performed. ' Defined by the titles which predispose and legitimate them in being what they are, which make what they do the manifestation of an essence earlier and greater than its manifestations, as in the Platonic dream of a division of func tions based on a hierarchy of beings, they are separated by a difference in kind from the commoners of culture, who are consigned to the doubly devalued status of autodidact and 'stand-in' .' Aristocracies are essentialist. Regarding existence as an emanation of essence, they set no intrinsic value on the deeds and misdeeds enrolled in the records and registries of bureaucratic memory. They prize them only insofar as they clearly manifest, in the nuances of their manner, that their one inspiration is the perpetuating and celebrating of the essence by vir tue of which they are accomplished. The same essentialism requires them to impose on themselves what their essence imposes on them-noblesse oblige-to ask of themselves what no one else could ask, to 'live up' to their own essence. This effect is one of the mechanisms which, in conditions of crisis, cause

The Aristocracy of Culture / 25

or the incest taboo exposes himself to ridicule as soon as he ventures outside the circle of his peers, whereas Claude Levi-Strauss or Jacques Monod can only derive additional prestige from their excursions into the field of music or philosophy. Illegitimate extra-curricular culture, whether it be the knowledge accumulated by the self-taught or the 'expe rience' acquired in and through practice, outside the control of the insti tution specifically mandated to inculcate it and officially sanction its acquisition, like the art of cooking or herbal medicine, craftsmen's skills or the stand-in's irreplaceable knowledge, is only valorized to the strict extent of its technical efficiency, without any social added-value, and is exposed to legal sanctions (like the illegal practice of medicine) when ever it emerges from the domestic universe to compete with authorized competences. Thus, it is written into the tacit definition of the academic qualifica tion formally guaranteeing a specific competence (like an engineering di ploma) that it really guarantees possession of a 'general culture' whose breadth is proportionate to the prestige of the qualification;" and, con versely, that no real guarantee may be sought of what i t guarantees for mally and really or, to put it another way, of the extent to which it guarantees what it guarantees. This effect of symbolic imposition is most intense in the case of the diplomas consecrating the cultural elite. The qualifications awarded by the French grandes ecoles guarantee, without any other guarantee, a competence extending far beyond what they are sup posed to guarantee. This is by virtue of a clause which, though tacit, is firstly binding on the qualification-holders themselves, who are called upon really to procure the attributes assigned to them by their status. \0 This process occurs at all stages of schooling, through the manipula tion of aspirations and demands-in other words, of self-image and self esteem-which the educational system carries out by channelling pupils towards prestigious or devalued positions implying or excluding legiti mate practice. The effect of 'allocation', i.e., assignment to a section, a discipline (philosophy or geography, mathematics or geology, to take the extremes) or an institution (a grande ecole that is more or less grande! or a faculty), mainly operates through the social image of the position in question and the prospects objectively inscribed in it, among the fore most of which are a certain type of cultural accumulation and a certain image of cultural accomplishment. " The official differences produced by academic classifications tend to produce (or reinforce) real differences by inducing in the classified individuals a collectively recognized and sup ported belief in the differences, thus producing behaviours that are in tended to bring real being into line with official being. Activities as alien to the explicit demands of the institution as keeping a diary, wearing heavy make-up, theatre-going or going dancing, wri ting poems or play ing rugby can thus find themselves inscribed in the position allotted within the institution as a tacit demand constantly underlined by various

the most privileged individuals, who remain most attached to the former state of affairs, to be the slowest to understand the need to change strategy and so to faU-victim to thei r own privilege (for example, ruined nobles who refuse to change their ways, or the heirs of great peasant families who remain celibate rather than marry beneah them ). It could be shown, in the same way, that the ethic of noblesse oblige, still found in some fractions of the peasantry and traditional craftsmen, contributes significantly to the self exploitation characceristic of these classes.

This gives us an insight into the effect of academic markers and classi fications. However, for a full understanding we have to consider another property of all aristocracies. The essence in which they see themselves re fuses to be contained in any definition. Escaping petty rules and regula tions, it is, by nature, freedom. Thus, for the academic aristocracy it is one and the same thing to identify with an essence of the 'cultivated man' and to accept the demands implicitly inscribed in it, which increase with the prestige of the title. So there is nothing paradoxical in the fact that in its ends and means the educational system defines the enterprise of legitimate 'autodidacticism' which the acquisition of 'general culture' presupposes, an enterprise that is ever more strongly demanded as one rises in the educational hierarchy (between sections, disciplines, and specialities etc., or between levels). The essentially contradictory phrase 'legitimate autodidacticism' is in tended to indicate the difference in kind between the highly valued 'extra-curricular' culture of the holder of academic qualifications and the illegitimate extra-curricular culture of the autodidact. The reader of the popular-science monthly Science et Vie who talks about the genetic code


gement of Taste / A Social Critique of the jud

The Aristocracy of Culture / 27

year olds and 1.1 percent of the over-6)s ) , and between the most and least highly educated ( 18.2 percent of those who had been through higher edu catIOn, 9.) percent of those who had had secondary education, and 2.2 per cent of those who had had oply primary education or none at all had been to the cinema in the previous. week) (C.S. XIIIa). 12 Knowledge of directors is much more closely linked to cultural capital than is mere cinema-going. Only ) percent of the respondents who had an elementary school diploma could name at least four directors ( fcorp a list of twenty films) compared to 10 percent of holders of the BEPC or the baeea laurea! and 22 percent of those who had had higher education, whereas the proportion in each category who had seen at least four of the twenty films was 22 percent, 3 3 percent and 40 percent respectively. Thus, although film viewing also varies with educational capital ( less so, however, than visit.s to e museums and concerts) , it seems that diff rences in consumption are not sufficient to explain the differences in knowledge of directors between e holders of diff rent gualifications. This conclusion would probably also hold good for jazz, strip cartoons, detective stories or science fiction, now that these genres have begun to achieve cultural consecration. 1 3 Further proof is that, while increasing slightly with level o f education ( from 13 percent for the least educated to 18 percent for those with second ary education and 23 percent for the most gualified ) , knowledge of actors varies mainly-and considerably-with the number of films seen. This awareness, like knowledge of the slightest events in the lives of TV person alities, presupposes a disposition closer to that required for the acquisition . of ordInary knowledge about everyday things and people than to the legiti mate diSPOSItIon. And IOdeed, these least-educated regular cinemagoers knew as many actors' names as the most highly educated. Among those who had seen at least four of the films mentioned, 45 percent of those who had had only a primary education were able to name four actors, as against 35 percent of those who had had a secondary education and 47 percent of those who had had some higher education. Interest in actors is greatest among office workers: on average they named 2.8 actors and one director, whereas the craftsmen and small shopkeepers, skilled workers and foremen named, on average, only 0.8 actors and 0.3 directors. (The secretaries and junior commercial executives, who also knew a large number of actors-av erage 2A-were more interested in directors-average l A-and those in the social and medical services even named more directors-1 .7-than actors1.4). The reading of sensational weeklies (e.g., lei Paris ) which give infor mation about the lives of stars is a product of a disposition similar to inter est in actors; it is more frequent among women than men ( 10.S perce'n t had read lei Paris in the last week, compared to 9.3 percent of the men ) , among skIlled workers and foremen ( 14.5 percent), semi-skilled workers ( 1 3.6 percent), or office workers ( 10.3 percent) than among junior execu tlves (S.6 percent) and especially among senior executives and members of the professions ( 3.8 percent) (C.S. XXVII I ) . . By contrast, although a t equivalent levels of education, knowledge of dIrectors IOcreases with the number of films seen, in this area assiduous cin ema-going does not compensate for absence of educational capital: 45.) per cent of the CEP-holders who had seen at least four of the films mentioned

mediations. Among the most important of these afe teachers' conscious or unconscious expectations and peergroup pressure, whose ethical ori entation is itself defined by the class values brought into and reinforced ect and the status assignment it en by the institution. This allocation eff tails doubtless play a major role in the fact that the educational institu tion succeeds in imposing cultural practices that it does not teach and does not even explicitly demand, but which belong to the attributes at tached by status to the position it assigns, the gualifications it awards and the social positions to which the latter give access. This logic doubtless helps to explain how the legitimate disposition that is acguired by freguent contact with a particular class of works, namely, the literary and philosophical works recognized by the academic canon, comes to be extended to other, less legitimate works, such as avant-garde literature, or to areas enjoying less academic recognition, such as the cinema. The generalizing tendency is inscribed in the very principle o f the disposition to recognize legitimate works, a propensity and capacity to recognize their legitimacy and perceive them as worthy of admiration in themselves, which is inseparable from (he capacity to rec ognize in them something already known, i.e., the stylistic traits appro priate to characterize them in their singularity ( 'It's a Rembrandt', o r even 'It's the Helmeted Man') or a s members of a class of works ( ,It's Im pressionist' ) . This explains why the propensity and capacity to accumu late 'gratuitous' knowledge, such as the names of film directors, are more closely and exclusively linked to educational capital than is mere cinema going, which is more dependent on income, place of residence and age. Cinema-going, measured by rhe number of films seen among the twenty films mentioned in the survey, is lower among the less-educated than among the more highly educated, but also lower among provincials (in Lille) than among Parisians, among low-income than among high-income groups, and among old than among young people. And the same relation ships are found in rhe surveys by the Centre d'etudes des suppOrtS de publi cite (CESP): the proportion who say they have been to the cinema at least once in the previous week (a more reliable indicator of behaviour than a question on cinema-going in the course of the year, for which the tendency to oversrate is particularly strong) is rather greater among men than women (7.8 percent compared to ) . 3 percent), greater in the Paris area ( 10.9 percent) than in towns of over 100,000 people (7.7 percent) or in rural areas (3.6 percent), greater among senior executives and members of the professions ( 11.1 percent) than among junior executives (9.) percent) or clerical and commercial employees (9.7 percent), skilled manual workers and foremen (7.3 percent), semi-skilled workers (6.3 percent ) , small em ployers ( 5.2 percent) and farmers and farm workers (2.6 percent). But the greatest contrasts are between the ' youngest (22.4 percent of the 2 1-24 year olds had been to the cinema at least once in the previous week) and the oldest (only 3.2 percent of the 35-49 year olds, 1.7 percent of the 50-64

28 / A Social Critique of the jud gement of Taste

could not name a single director, compared to 27.5 percent of those with a BEPe or the baccalaureat and l 3 percent of those with a higher education diploma. Such competence is not necessarily acquired by means of the 'scholas tic' labours in which some 'cinephiles' or 'jazz-freaks' indulge (e.g., tran scribing film credits onto catalogue cards) . " Most often it results ftom the unintentional learning made possible by a disposition acquired through domestic or scholastic inculcation of legitimate culture. This transposable disposition, armed with a set of perceptual and evaluative schemes that are available for general application, inclines its owner to wards other cultural experiences and enables him to perceive, classify and memorize them differently. Where some only see 'a Western starring Burt Lancaster', others 'discover an early John Sturges' or 'the latest Sam Peckinpah'. In identifying what is worthy of being seen and the right way to see it, they are aided by their whole social group (which guides and reminds them with its 'Have you seen . . . ?' and 'You must see . . .') and by the whole corporation of critiCs mandated by the group to pro duce legitimate classifications and the discourse necessarily accompanying any artistic enjoyment worthy of the name. I t is possible to explain in such terms why cultural practices which schools do not teach and never explicitly demand vary in such close rela tion to educational qualifications (it being understood, of course, that we are provisionally suspending the distinction between the school's role in the correlation observed and that of the other socializing agencies, in particular the family ) . But the fact that educational qualifications func tion as a condition of entry to the universe of legitimate culture cannot be fully explained without taking into account another, still more hid den effect which the educational system, again reinforcing the work of the bourgeois family, exerts through the very conditions within which it inculcates. Thtough the educational qualification certain conditions of existence are designated-those which constitute the precondition for obtaining the qualification and also the aesthetic disposition, the most rigorously demanded of all the terms of entry which the world of legiti mate culture ( always tacitly) imposes. Anticipating what will be demon strated later, one can posit, in broad terms, that it is because they are linked either to a bourgeois origin or to the quasi-bourgeois mode of ex istence presupposed by prolonged schooling, or ( most often) to both of these combined, that educational qualifications come to be seen as a guar antee of the capacity to adopt the aesthetic disposition. Any legitimate work tends in fact to im pose the norms of its own perception and tacitly defines as the only legiti mate mode of perception the one which brings into play a certain disposition and a certain competence. Recognizing this fact does not mean constituting a particular mode of perception as an essence, thereby

The Aristocracy of Culture / 29

falling into the illusion which is the basis of recognition of artistic legiti macy. I t does mean taking note of the fact that all agents, whether they Itke It or not, whether or not they have the means of conforming to them, find themselves objectively measured by those norms. A t the same time it becomes possible to establish whether these dispositions and competences are gifts of nature, as the charismatic ideology of the rela tion to the work of art would have it, or products of learning, and to bring to light the hidden conditions of the miracle of the unequal class dIstrIbution of the capacity for inspired encounters with works of art and high culture in general. Every essentialist analysis of the aesthetic disposition, the only socially accepted 'right' way of approaching the objects socially designated as works of art, that is, as both demanding and deserving to be approached with a specifically aesthetic intention capable of recognizing and consti tuting them as works of art, is bound to fail. Refusing to take account of the collective and individual genesis of this product of history which must be endlessly 're-produced' by education, it is unable to reconstruct its sole raison d'etre, that is, the historical reason which underlies the ar bitrary necessity of the institution. If the work of art is indeed, as Pan ofsky says, that which 'demands to be experienced aesrhetically', and if any object, natural or artificial, can be perceived aesthetically, how can one escape the conclusion that it is the aesthetic intention which 'makes the work of art', or, to transpose a formula of Saussure's, that it is the aesthetic point of view that creates the aesthetic object' To get out of this vicious circle, Panofsky has to endow the work of art with an 'inten tion', in the Scholastic sense. A purely 'practical' perception contradicts this objective intention, just as an aesthetic perception would in a sense be a practical negation of the objective intention of a signal, a red light for example, which requires a 'practical' response: braking. Thus, within the class of worked-upon objects, themselves defined in opposition to natural objects, the class of art objects would be defined by the fact that it demands to be perceived aesthetically, i.e., in terms of form rather than function. But how can such a definition be made operational? Panofsky hImself observes that i t is virtually impossible to determine scientifically at what moment a worked-upon object becomes an art object, that is, at what moment form takes over from function: 'If I write to a friend to invite him to dinner, my letter is primarily a communication. But the more I shift the emphasis to the form of my script, the more nearly does it become a work of literature or poetry d5 Does this mean that the demarcation line between the world of tech nical objects and the world of aesthetic objects depends on the 'intention' of the producer of those objects? In fact, this 'intention' is itself the prod uct of the SOCIal norms and conventions which combine to define the always uncertain and historically changing frontier between simple tech nIcal obJects and objets d'art: 'Classical tastes', Panofsky observes, 'de manded that private letters, legal speeches and the shields of heroes


/ A Social Critique o the Jud f gement o Taste f

The Aristocracy of Culture / 3 1

Icl lcctual field) produced this new fetish. 17 But never perhaps has he I wen given so much in return. The naive exhibitionism of 'conspicuous , onsumption', which seeks distinction in the crude display of ill-mastered luxury, is nothing compared to the unique capacity of the pure gaze, a quasi-creative power which sets the aesthete apart from the common herd hy a radical diffetence which seems to be inscribed in 'persons'. One only has to read Ortega y Gasset to see the reinforcement the charismatic ide ology derives from art, which is 'essentiaBy unpopular, indeed, anti popular' and from the 'curious sociological effect' it produces by dividing I he public into two 'antagonistic castes', those who understand-and those who do not'. 'This implies', Ortega goes on, 'that some possess an organ of understanding which others have been denied; that these are twO dis IinC( varieties of the human species. The new art is not for everyone, like Romantic art, but destined fat an especially gifted minority.' And he as nibes to the 'humiliation' and 'obscure sense of infetiority' inspired by 'fhis art of privilege, sensuous nobility, instinctive aristocracy', the irrita lion it arouses in the mass, 'unworthy of artistic sacraments': 'For a cen IUry and a half, the "people", the mass, have claimed to be the whole of ." Kiety. The music of Stravinsky or the plays of Pirandello have the socio logical power of obliging them to see themselves as they are, as the "common people", a mere ingredient among others in the social struc ture, the inert material of the historical process, a secondary factor in the spiritual cosmos. By contrast, the young art helps the "best" to know and recognize one another in the greyness of the multitude and to learn their mission, which is to be few in number and to have to fight against the , multitude. ls And to show that the self-legitimating imagination of the 'happy Ji:w' has no limits, one only has to quote a recent text by Suzanne I.anger, who is presented as 'one of the world's most influential philoso phers': 'In the past, the masses did not have access to art; music, painting, and even books, were pleasures reserved for the rich. It might have been supposed that the poor, the "common people", would have enjoyed them equally, if they had had the chance. But now that everyone can rcad, go to museums, listen to great music, at least on the radio, the judgement of the masses about these things has become a reality and through this it has become clear that great art is not a direct sensuous pleasute. Otherwise, like cookies or cocktails, it would flatter uneducated , l aste as much as cultured taste. 19 I t should not be thought that the relationship of distinction (which may or may not imply the conscious intention of distinguishing oneself ifom common people) is only an incidental component in the aesthetic disposition . The pure gaze implies a break with the ordinary attitude to wards the world which, as such, is a social break. One can agree with Or lega y Gasset when he attributes to modern art-which merely takes to its extreme conclusions an intention implicit in art since the Renais-

should be "artistic" . . . while modern taste demands that architecture , and ash trays should be "functional". ,6 But the apprehension and appreciation of the work also depend on the beholder's intention, which is itself a function of the conventional norms governing the relation to the work of art in a certain historical and social situation and also of the beholder's capacity to conform to those norms, i.e., his artistic training. To break out of this circle one only has to ob serve that the ideal of 'pure' perception of a work of art qua work of art is the product of the enunciation and systematization of the principles of specifically aesthetic legitimacy which accompany the constituting of a relatively autonomous artistic field. The aesthetic mode of perception in the 'pure' form which it has now assumed corresponds to a particular state of the mode of artistic production. An art which, like all Post Impressionist painting, for example, is the product of an artistic inten tion which asserts the absolute primacy off orm over function, of the mode of representation over the object represented, categorically demands a purely aesthetic disposition which earlier art demanded only conditionally. The demiurgic ambition of the artist, capable of applying to any object the pure intention of an artistic effort which is an end in itself, calls for un limited receptiveness on the part of an aesthete capable of applying the specifically aesthetic intention to any object, whether or not it has been produced with aesthetic intention. This demand is objectified in the art museum; there the aesthetic dis position becomes an institution. Nothing more totally manifests and achieves the auronorriizing of aesthetic activity vis-a.-vis extra-aesthetic interests or functions than the art museum's juxtaposition of works. Though originally subordinated to quite different or even incompatible functions ( crucifix and fetish, Pied and still life ) , these juxtaposed works tacitly demand attention to form rather than function, technique rather than theme, and, being constructed in styles that are mutually exclusive but all equally necessary, they are a practical challenge to the expectation of realistic representation as defined by the arbitrary canons of an every day aesthetic, and so lead naturally from stylistic relativism to the neu tralization of the very function of representation. Objects previously treated as collectors' curios or historical and ethnographic documents have achieved the status of works of art, thereby materializing the omnip otence of the aesthetic gaze and making it difficult to ignote the fact that-if it is not to be merely an arbitrary and therefore suspect affirma tion of this absolute powet-artistic contemplation now has to include a degree of erudition which is liable to damage the illusion of immediate illumination that is an essential element of pure pleasure.
TASTE In short, never perhaps has more been asked of the spectator, who is now required to 're-produce' the pri mary operation whereby the artist (with the complicity of his whole inP U R E TASTE AND ' BARBAROUS '


/ A Social Critique 0/ the Jud gement 0/ Taste

The Aristocracy 0/ Culture / 33

the 'vulgar' arrracrions of an art of illusion, the theatrical fiction de nounces itself, as in all forms of 'play within a play'. Pirandello supplies the paradigm here, in plays in which the actors are actors unable to act Six Characters in Search 0/ an Author, Comme ci (ou comme (a ) or Ce soir on improvise-and Jean Genet supplies the formula in the Prologue to The Blacks: 'We shall have the politeness, which you have taught us, to make communication impossible. The distance initially between us we shall increase, by our splendid gestures, our manners and our insolence,' for we are also acrors:' The desire to enter into the game, identifying with the characters' joys and sufferings, worrying abou t their fate, espousing their hopes and ideals, living their life, is based on a form of investment, a sort of deliberate 'naivety', ingenuousness, good-natured credulity ( 'We're here to enjoy ourselves'), which tends to accept formal experiments and specifically artistic eff ects only to the extent that they can be forgotten and do not get in the way of the substance of the work. The cultural divide which associates each class of works with its public means that it is not easy to obtain working-class people's first-hand judge men ts on formalist innovations in modern art. However television which brings certain performances of 'high' art into the hom, or certai cultural institutions (such as the Beaubourg Centre or the Maisons de la culture ) , which briefly bring a working-class public into contact with high art and sometimes avant-garde works, create what are virtually ex perimental situations, neither more nor less artificial or unreal than those necessarily produced by any survey on legitimate culture in a working class milieu. One then observes the confusion, sometimes almost a sort of panic mingled with revolt, that is induced by some exhibits-I am thinking of Ben's heap of coal, on view at Beaubourg shortly after it opened-whose parodic intention, entirely defined in terms of an artistic fleld and ts relatively autonomous history" is seen as a sort of aggression, an affront to common sense and sensible people. Likewise, when formal experimentation irisinuates itself into their familiar entertainments (e.g., TV variety shows with sophisticated technical effects, such as those by Jean-Christophe Averty) working-class viewers protest, not only because they do not feel the need for these fancy games, but because they some times understand that they derive their necessity from the logic of a field of production which excludes them precisely by these games: 'I don't like those cut-up things at all, where you see a head, then a nose, then a leg: . . . First you see a singer all drawn out, three metres tall, then the next minute he's got arms two metres long. Do you find that funny' Oh, I just don't like it, it's stupid, 1 don't see the point of distorting things' (a baker, Grenoble). Formal refinement-which, in literature or the theatre, leads to obscu rity-is, in the eyes of the working-class public, one sign of what is some times felt to be a desire ro keep the uninitiated at arm's length, or, as one respondent said about certain cultural programmes on TV, to speak to

sance-a systematic tefusal of all that is 'human', by which he means the passions, emotions and feelings which ordinary people put into their ordi nary existence, and consequently all the themes and objects capable of evoking them: 'People like a play when they are able to take an interest in the human destinies put before them', in which 'they participate as if 2 they were real-life events.' 0 Rejecting the 'human' clearly means reject iog what is generic, i.e., common, 'c3;sy' and immediately accessible, start ing with everything that reduces the aesthetic animal to pure and simple animality, to palpable pleasure or sensual desire. The interest in the content of the representation which leads people to call 'beautiful' the representation of beautiful things, especially. those which speak most im mediately to the senses and the sensibility, is rejected in favour of the in difference and distance which refuse to subordinate j udgement of the " representation to the nature of the object represented. It can be seen that it is not so easy to describe the 'pure' gaze without also describing the naive gaze which it defines itself against, and vice versa; and that there is no neutral, impartial, 'pure' description of either of these oppos ing visions ( which does not mean that one has to subscribe to aesthetic relativism, when it is so obvious that the 'popular aesthetic' is defined in relation to 'high' aesthetics and that reference to legitimate art and its negative judgement on 'popular' taste never ceases to haunt the popular experience of beauty) . Refusal or privation' It is as dangerous to attrib ute the:: coherence of a systematic aesthetic to the objectively aesthetIC co mmitments of ordinary people as it is to adopt, albeit unconsciously, the strictly negative conception of ordinary vision which is the basis of every 'high' aesthetic.

Everyihing takes place as if the 'popular aes thetic' were based on the affirmation of continuity between art and life, which implies the subordination of form to function, or, one might say. on a refusal of the refusal which is the starting point of the high aes thetic, i.e., the clear-cut separation of ordinary dispositions from the spe cifically aesthetic disposition. The hostility of the working class and of the middle-class fractions least rich in cultural capital towards every kind of formal experimentation asserts itself both in the theatre and in paint ing, or still more clearly, because they have less legitimacy, in photogra phy and the cinema. In the theatre as in the cinema, the popular audien.ce delights in plots that proceed logically and chronologically towards a happy end, and 'identifies' better with simply drawn situations and char acters than with ambiguous and symbolic figures and actions or the emg matic problems of the theatre of cruelty, not to mention the suspended animation of Beckettian heroes or the bland absurdities of Pinteresque di alogue. Their reluctance or refusal springs not just from lack of familiar ity but from a deep-rooted demand for participation, which formal experiment systematically disappoints, especially whefl, refusing to offer

34 /

Social Critique o the Jud f gement (1 FelSle

The AriJtocrary of Culture / 35

! wSS of them, tending to assume that intellectual creativity is 'opposed to
Woolf when

paraphe rnalia other initiates 'over the viewers' head<;'"u I r is pan of the and separati ng, of which always announ ces the sacred character, separate . the grandIose high culture-the icy solemn ity f the great musums, and decoru ffi of luxury of the opera-houses and major theatres, the dec r . the workm$-c1ass aU lence concert-halls.23 Everything takes place as if both 10 art vaguely grasped what is. implied in conspicuous ormallty , . ive content whICh ex and in life, i.t., a sOrt of censorship of the express same token, plodes in the expressiveness of popular language, and by the of al 1 formal expio,ratl ?n , a distanci ng, inheren t in the calculated coldness . nlcatlOn a refusal t o commu nicate concealed a t the heart o f the commu what it seems to deliver itself both in an art which takes back and refuses ' is a permanent and j n bourgeois politeness, whose im pe,ccble ormalis m I{y . Conversely, popular ent r warning against the temptation of fam ll!a . . and collectiv e tainmen t secures the spectator's paniCip atiOn In the show ns. If circus and me lodrama pa rti c ipation in the festivity which i.t occasio . m g and, (which are recreated by some sporting spectacles such as wrestl s ch as thse to a lesser extent, boxing and all forms of team games, r' than entertainments like which have been televised) are more 'popula orma ized less f dancing or theatre, this is not merely beca se, being ) and less euphemlzed, or example, acrobatics with danCIng ( compare, f IS a l so because , they offer more direct, more immedi ate sa(lsfact lons. It rise to and th array o spectacu through the collective festivity they give all, l i g h t opera lar delight s they offer ( I am thinkin g also of the mUSIC-h sets, , giItten ng costumes, CX.CItIng or the big featur film ) -fabul ous _ comIC and music lively action, enthusia stic actors-like all forms of the through satirc or parody of the 'great' ( mlmi(s; especi lIy those workin g : the plain or chansonniers etc . ) , they satisfy the taste f and sense of revelry, . sooal world speakin g and hearty laughte r which liberate by setting the . overturning (onven [1ons and propnetlcs head over heels,

Itluch passion in the things of the mind or to expect too much serious

.noral integrity or political consistency, have no answer to Virginia she criticizes the novels of \ Vells, Galsworthy and Bennett I wcause 'they leave one with a strange sense of incompleteness and dissat I.'.ftction' and the feeling that it is 'necessary to do somethingto join a "(leiety, or, more desperately, to write a cheque', in contrast to works like his/ram Shandy or Pride and Prejudice, which, being perfectly 'self-con tained', 'leave one with no desire to do anything, except indeed to read , t he book again, and to understand it better. 2'i But the refusal of any sort of involvement, any 'vulgar' surrender to C:lSY seduction and collective enthusiasm, which is, indirectly at least, the origin of the taste for formal complexity and objectless representations, is pcrhaps mos t clearly seen in reactions to paintings. Thus one finds that '" t he higher the level of education, the greater is the proportion of re 'pondents who, when asked whether a series of objects would make kauriful photographs, refuse the ordinary >objects o f popular admira t IOn-a first communion, a sunset or a landscape-as 'vulgar' or 'ugly', or reject them as 'trivial', silly, a bit 'wet ', or, in Ortega y Gasset's terms, naively 'human'; and the greater is the proportion who assert the auton omy of the representation with respect to the thing represented by de , laring that a beautiful photograph, and a fortiori a beautiful painting, , :In be made from objects socially designated as meaningless-----a metal I ramc, the bark of a tree, and especially cabbages, a trivial object par ex I c llence--o r as ugly and repulsive-such as a car crash, a butcher's stall ( chosen for the Rembrandt allusion) or a snake ( for the Boileau refer mce )---or as misplaced--e.g., a pregnant woman (see tables 2 and 3 ) ,
Since it was not possible to set u p a genui ne experimental situation, we ( n ll t'c ced the interviewees ' statements about the things they consider 'pho

This popular reaction is the very opposite of AESTHE TIC DISTAN Cl Nl; the detachment of the aesthete, who, as is seen whenever he appropriates 'Yesterns or srr ip . car oons ) ' i one of the objects of popular taste (e.g., \ . , lon-vls-a troduces a d istance, a gap--the measure of his distant dlstmct vis 'first-degree' perception, by displaci ng the iteresr fo th_c 'conte t', c effects whICh characters, plot etc., to the form, to the specific ally: art!st With othcr wOrks are only appreciated relation ally, through a con: panso , larJty of the work If' which is incomp atible with immers ion in the slng . cnc-aesth etlc medi atel y given, Detach ment, disinterestedness, Indlffer ze the work theory has so often presented these as the only way to recogm up forgetting of art for what it is, autono mous, se/bs/iindlgl that onc ends erence, in other that they really mean disinve stment , detachmen. t, indif y. Woridly words the refusal to invest oneself and take things senousl been wise r aders of Rousseau's Lettre sur /eJ spectacles, j who have long invest too than to aware that there is nothing more naive and vulgar

( ogenic' and which therefore see'm to them capable of being looked at aes I h eti cally (as opposed to things excluded on account of their triviality or ugliness or for ethical reasons), The capacity to adopt the aesthetic at titu de 1:-' thus measured by the gap (which, in a field of production that evolves ( b rough the dialec tic of distinction, is' also a time-lag, a backwardness) be J wcen what is constituted as an aesthe tic object by the individual or group ( Ilflcerned and what is constituted aesthetically in a given state of the field j ) f produc tion by the holders of aesthetic legitimacy. The f J iow ing question was put to the in terviewees : 'Given the following o ;.,ubjens, is a photographer more l i kely to produce a beau ti ful , i nteresti ng, Illc;m ingless or ugly photo: a landscape, a car crash etc.?' In the preliminary \IJ rvey, the in tervi ewees were shown actual photographs, mostly famous ones, of the ob jects which were merely named in the full-scale survey-peb hies, a pregnant woman etc. The reactions evoked by the mere idea of the Ullage were entirel y consistent with those produced by the image ' itself (evi dence that the value at tri bu ted to the image tends to correspond to the

Tabk 2

Aesthetic disposition. by educational capital ( % ) ,1

First communion Folk dance No reply or incoherent
1.0 4.0 3.5 2.0 6.0 2.0 4.0
--..... w '"

Educational capital No qualification, CEP CAP BEPC Baccalaurelt Staned higher education Licence Agregation, grande ecole

314 97 197 217 118 182 71

No reply or incoherent
2.0 4.0 2.5 2.0 4.0 1.0 4.0

5.0 1.0 7.0 12.0

19.0 26.0 27.0 43.0 45.0



0.5 0 0 0.5

3.0 3.0 7.0

4}.0 33.0 33.5

54. ')


38.0 31.0
24.0 23.0 28.0 6.0

19.0 15.0 7.0 25.5

60.0 56.0
37.0 41.5 36:> 39.5

13.0 11.0





53.0 49.0




Tabk 2
Bark of a tret' Educational capital No qualification, CEP CAP BEPC Baccaiaureat Started higher education Licence Agregation, grande ecole Butcher's stall Cabbages

'" 0% ;;:

314 97 197 217 ll8 182 71

No reply or Meaning InterestMeaning lnterestNo reply or Meaning- InterestNo reply or Beautiful ing I,,, Beautiful incoherent Ugly I", incoherent Ugly "" ing Beautiful incoherent Ugly '"g
2.0 5.0 2.5 2.0 6.0 0 4.0




15.5 37.0 27.5 42.0 45.0

l.5 60 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.' 4.0

15.5 28.0 295



'.0 6.0 '.0 10.5 18.0

2.0 5.0 2.0 2.0 6.0 2.0 3.0

16.5 17.0


3.0 1.0 3.0 3.0

21.0 23.0 18.0 8.'

48.5 47.0
32.0 29.0 22.5 23.0


56.0 63.0
55.0 48.5 475 51.5 38.0

10.0 7.0 1 3.0 19.0

4.0 8.' 13.0 13.0 18.0

2'5.0 23.0 24.0


9.0 16.0 11.0

29.5 295


56.0 60.5


19.5 25.5


22.5 27.0

a. The respondents had to answer this question: 'Given the f ollowing subjects, is a photographer more likely to make a beautiful, interesting, meaningless, or ugly photo: a landscape, a car crash, a little girl playing with a cat, a pregnant woman, a still lif a woman suckling a child, a e, metal frame, tramps quarrelling, cabbages, a sunset over the sea, a

weaver at his loom, a f olk dance, a rope, the bark of a tree, a butcher's stall, a f amous monument, a scrap-yard, a first communion, a wounded man, a snake, an "old master" ?' In each column, the italic figures indi cate the strongest tendencies.

Table 3

Aesthetic disposition, by class and education ( % ) . Pregnant woman Cabbages


Educational qualification

143 18 243 335 149 140 46 25 432 31 76 325 80 174 71

No reply or No reply or incoherent Ugly Meaningless Interesting Beautiful incoherent Ugly Meaningless Interesting Beautiful
1.5 0 1.0 3.5 3.5 3.5 4.0 20.0 3.0 6.5 0 3.0 7.5 0.5 4.0 40.0 39.0 46.0 34.0 39.0 37.0 8.5 36.0 36.0 48.5 60.5 30.0 17.5 36.0 29.5 36.5 22.0 27.5 30.0 35.0 21.0 42.0 24.0 22.0 38.5 16.0 22.5 30.0 21.5 17.0 14.0 1 1 .0 15.0 13.5 9.0

Working None, CEP, CAP BEPC and above Middle None, CEP, CAP BEPC and above BEPC bac higher education Uppe' None, CEP, CAP " BEPC and above BEPC bac highe education "r technical college licence

8.0 28.0 10.5 19.0 1 3. 5 2 1 .0 32.5 8.0 20.0 6.5 18.5 21.5 12.5 22.5 29.5


28.0 5.5 22.5 17.5 21.0 15.5 13.0 36.0 14.5 6.5 21.0 14.0 6.5 18. 5 11.0

57.0 72.5 61.5 49.5 56.0 45.0 41.0 28.0 48.0 38.5 55.5 47.5 52.0 49.0 38.0

8.5 16.5 10.0 14.5 8.5 19.5 20.0 12.0 15.5 32.5 17.0 13.5 20.0 7.5 21.0

5.0 5.5 4.0 16.0 12.5 17.0 22.0 4.0 19.0 16.0 6.5 22.0 15.0 23.0 27.0

0 2.0 2.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 20.0 3.0 6.5 0 3.0 6.5 2.0 3.0

13.0 12.0 19.0


", .


5.0 2).0 32.5 19.5 20.0

agreg., grande ecole

;:," --..... w



/ A Social Critique o theJudgement of Taste f

C! C! O: O: ..,r r...:. r..: r..: OO N OO .r\
\D \D ,..... r-- ", ,,, ,,, v:;
0 0 "' ,,", 0 "' 0 0

The Aristocracy of Culture / 39

value attributed to the thing). Phowgraphs were used partly to avoid the legitimacy-imposing effects of paintings and partly because photography is perceived as a more accessible praccice, so that the judgemencs expressed were likely to be less unreal. Although the test employed was designed to collect statements of artistic intention rather than to measure the ability to put the intention into prac tice in doing painting or photography or even in the perception of works of an, it enables one to identify the factors which determine the capacity to adopt the posture socially designated as specifically aesthetic. Factorial analy sis of judgements on 'photogenic' objects reveals an opposition within each class between the fractions richest in cultural capital and poorest in eco nomic capital and the fractions richest in economic capital and poorest in cultural capital. In the case of the dominant class, higher-education teachers and artistic producers (and secondarily, teachers and the professions) are op posed to industrial and commercial employers; private-sector executives and engineers are in an intermediate position. In the petite bourgeoisie, the cul tural intermediaries ( distinctly separated from the closest fractions, the pri mary teachers, medical services and art craftsmen) are opposed to the small shopkeepers Or craftsmen and the office workers. In addition to the relationship between cultural capital and the negative and positive indices ( refusal of 'wetness'; the capacity to valorize the trivial) of rhe aesthetic disposition--or, at" least, rhe capacity to operare the arbi rrary classificarion which, within the universe of worked-upon objects, dis tinguishes the objects socially designated as deserving and demanding an aesthetic approach that can recognize and consrirure rhem as works of artrhe statistics establish that the preferred objects of would-be aesthetic pho tography, e.g., the folk dance, the weaver or the little girl wirh her cat, are in an intermediate position. The proportion of respondents who consider thar these things can make a beautiful photograph is highest at the levels of the CAP and BEPC, whereas at higher levels they tend to be judged either interesting or meaningless. The proportion of respondents who say a first communion can make a beautiful photo declines up ro the level of the licence and then rises again at the highest leveL This is because a relatively large proportion of the highest qualified subjects asser't their aesthetic disposition by declaring that any ob jeer can be perceived aesthetically. Thus, in the dominant class, the propor tion who declare that a sunset can make a beautiful photo is greatest at the lowest educational level, declines at intermediate levels (some higher educa tion, a minor engineering school ) , and grows strongly again among those who have completed several years of higher education and who tend to (on sider that anything is suitable for beautiful photography. The starisrics also show that women are much more likely than men to manifest their repugnance [Oward repugnant, horrible or distasteful objects: 44.5 percent of them, as against 35 percent of the men; consider that there can only be an ugly photograph of a wounded man, and there are similar differences for the butcher's stall ( 3 3 . 5 and 27 percent), the snake (30.5 and 2 1 . 5 percent) or the pregnant woman (45 and 33.5 percent ) , whereas the gap disappears with the still life ( 6 and 6.5 percent) and the cabbages (20.5 and 19 percent ) . The traditional division of labour between the sexes as-

O ll"'. V'l O O

-o oo 0 o:,
> o

0 0

" '"

"':; 0

N o\ ci ci

",", 0 11"1 0 0

0 0 "' ''' 0 0 0 '''

oo ...-\ N ci ""'; o\
...... N ..... ...... ...... ,....,

0 0

0 ""' 0 0 '<:1'

0: 0: 0: ":
''' ''' '''''

-' 0

0 0 0 "'1 0 0 0(', '0 0 '"

0 -.:r 0 ...-\
...... N ...... N '<j'

0 0 11"' 0 1/'1

..0 00 0\ o- oZ "'; 00 00

- N N ...... N N N H'\

0 0 0 '"


0'0 0

II" O "1' -..:r o-. c(') H'\ M'\ ......

0: '0 0: 0: 0:

a:i o:. o "-; 0 "'; 0

N H'\ N "' ,...., ..,.., H'\ .......

0 0 0 0 ", 0 0 '"

0 N

0 0

0: 0: '0 0: 0:

....... '<:!' oo r--. '<:l" N ...... ..... N

""'; 0 oo "", ci oo
..... ...... ..... N .....

0 0 0 0 "", 0 ", ,,,

0 "", 0 0 ,,,

"'-\ 00 00 ""; 0\
N N ....., N ......

'-Ci oci o\ N 0 ci ""';

..n _ _ N
_ _

0 0 "' ''' ''' 0 0 ''''

-' 0

0 0 0 0 0

,..:; ....-\ ...r. N

0: 0: "':

0 """ '0 0 ""' ''' N '"

0: 0: "': ":



/ A Social Critique of the Judgement o TaJte f

The Aristocracy of Culture / 41

photographed or by the possible use of the photographic image, is being brought into play when manual workers almost 10vanably reject photog raphy for photography'S sake (e.g., the photo of pebbles) as useless, per verse or bourgeois: 'A waste of film', 'They must have film to throw away', 'I tell you, there are some people who don't know what to do with their time', 'Haven:t they got anything better to do with their time than photograph things like that" 'That's bourgeois photography ' It must never be forgotten that the working-class 'aesthetic' is a dominated 'aesthetic' which is constantly obliged to define itself in terms of the domi nant aesthetics. The members of the working class, who can neither ignore the high-art aesthetic, which denounces their own 'aesthetic', nor abandon . their socially conditioned inclinations, but still less proclaim them and legit i mate them, often experience their relationship to the aesthetic norms in a twofold and contradictory way. This is seen when some manual workers grant 'pure' photographs a purely verbal recognitio ( this is also the cae with many petit bourgeois and even some bourgeOIs who, as regards paInt ings, for example, differ from the working class mainly by what they know is the right thing to say or do or, still better, not to say ) : 'It's beautiful, but it would never occur to me to take a picture of a thing like that', 'Yes, it's beautiful, but you have to like it, it's not my cup of tea.'

signs 'humane' or 'humanitarian' tasks and feelings to women and more readily allows them effusions and tears, in the name of the opposition be {ween reason and sensibility; men are, ex officio, on the side of culture whereas women (like the working class) are cast on the side of nature. Women are therefore less imperatively required to censor and repress 'natu ral' feelings as the aesthetic disposition demands (which indicates, inciden tally, that, as will be shown subsequently, the refusal of nature, or rather the refusal to surrender to nature, which is the mark of dominant groups who start with self-control-is the basis of the aesthetic disposition ) . Women's revulsion is expressed more overtly, at the expense of acsthetic neutralization, the more completely they arc subject to the traditional model of the sexual division of labour and (in other words ) the weaker their cultural capital and the lower their position in the social hierarchy. Women in the new petite bourgeoisie, who, in general, make much greater concessions to affective considerations than the men in the same category (although they are equally likely to say that there can be a beauriful photo gtaph of cabbages ), much more rarely accept that a photograph of a preg nant wom'an can only be, ugly than women in any other category ( 3 1.5 percent of them, as against 70 percent of the wives of industrial and com mercial employers, 69.5 percent of the wives of craftsmen and shopkeepers, 47.5 percent of the wives of manual workers, clerical workers or junior ex ecutives ) . In doing so they manifest simultaneously their aesthetic preten sions and their desire to be seen as 'liberated' from the ethical taboos imposed on their sex. Thus, nothing more rigorously distinguishes the different classes than the disposition objectively demanded by the legitimate consumption of legitimate works, the aptitude for taking a specifically aesthetic point of view on objects already constituted aestheticallyand therefore put forward for the admiration of those who hav,e learned to recognize the signs of the admirableand the even rarer capacity to constitute aestheti cally objects that are ordinary or even 'common' (beGause they are appro priated, aesthetically or otherwise, by the 'common people' ) or to apply the principles -of a 'pure' aesthetic in the most everyday choices of every day life, in cooking, dress or decoration, for example. Statistical enquiry is indispensable in order to establish beyond dispute the social conditions of possibility (which will have to be made more ex plicit) of the 'pure' disposition. However, because it inevitably looks like a scholastic test intended to measure the respondents against a norm tac itly regarded as absolute, it may fail to capture the meanings which this disposition and the whole attitude to the wotld expressed in it have for the different social classes. What the logic of the test would lead one to describe as a deficiency (and that is what it is, from the standpoint of the norms defining legitimate perception of works of art) is also a refusal which stems from a denunCiation of the arbitrary or ostentatious gratui tousness of stylistic exercises or purely formalistic experiments. A certain 'aesthetic', which maintains that a photograph is justified by the object

It is no accident that, when one sets about reconstrucring its logic, the popular 'aesthetic' appears as the nega tive opposite of the Kantian aesthetic, and that the popular ethos implic itly answers each ptoposition of the 'Analytic of the Beautiful' with a thesis contradicting it. In order to apprehend what makes the speClfiCIty of aesthetic judgement, Kant ingeniously distinguished 'that which pleases' from 'that which gratifies', and, more genrally, strove t separte 'disinterestedness', the sole guarantee of the speClfically aesthetic qualIty of contemplation, from 'the interest of the senses', which defines' 'the agreeable', and ftom 'the interest of Reason', which defines 'the Good'. By contrast, working-dass people, who expect every image to fulfil a function, if only that of a sign, refer, often explicitly, to norms of moral ity or agreeableness in all their judgements. Thus the photograph of a dead soldier ptovokes judgements which, whether positive or negative, are always responses to the reality of the thing represented or .to the functions the representation could serve, the horror of war or the denun ciation of the hortors of war which the photographer is supposed to produce simply by showing that horror. 27 Similarly, popular naturalism recognizes beauty in the image of a beautiful thing or, more rarely, 10 a beautiful image of a beautiful thing: 'Now, that's good, it's almost sym metrical. And she's a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman always looks good in a photo.' The Parisian manual worker echoes 'the plain-speaking of Hippias the Sophist: 'I'll tell him what beauty is and I'm not likely to


/ A Social Critique 0/ the judgement 0/ Taste

The Aristocracy 0/ Culture / 43

sense nor interest, or of the ambiguous image means refusing to treat it as a finality without purpose, as an image signifying itself, and therefore having no other referent than itself. The value of a photograph is mea sU red by the interest of the information it conveys, and by the clarity , , with whIch it fulfils this informative function, in short, its legibility, whIch Itself varies with the legibility of its intention or function, the judgement it provokes being more or less favourable depending on the expresSIve adequacy of the signifier to the signified. It therefore contains the expectation of rhe title or caption which, by declaring the signifying IOtentlOn, makes It pOSSIble to Judge whether the realization signifies or illustrates it adequately. If formal explorations, in avant-garde theatre or non-figurative painting, 'or simply classical music, are disconcerting to working-class people, this is partly because they feel incapable of under standIng what these things must signify, insofar as they are signs. Hence the uninitiared may experience as inadequate and unworthy a satisfaction that cannot be grounded in a meaning transcendent to the object. Not knowing what the 'intention' is, rhey feel incapable of distinguishing a tour de force from clumsiness, telling a 'sincere' formal device from cyni cal imposture,
The con fessions with which manual workers faced with modern pictures be , , tray their exclUSIOn ('I don't understand what it means' or 'I like it but I don't understand it') contrast with the knowing silence of the bourgeois, who, though equally disconcerted, at least know that they have to refuse or at least conceal the naive expectation of expressiveness that is betrayed by the concern to 'understand' ( ,programme music' and the titles foisted on so many sonatas, concertos and symphonies are sufficient indication that this expectation is not an exclusi,,:ely popul ar one),

be refuted by him' The fact is, Socrates, to be frank, a beautiful woman, that's what beauty is" ( Plato, Greater Hippias, 287e). This 'aesthetic', which subordinates the form and the very existence of the image to its function, is necessarily pluralistic and conditionaL The insistence with which the respondents point out the limits and condi tions of validity of their judgements, distinguishing, for each photo graph, the possible uses or audiences, or, more precisely, the possible use for each audience ('As a news photo, it's not bad', 'All right, if it's for showing to kids' ) shows that they teject .the idea that a photograph can please 'universally'. 'A photo of a pregnant woman is all right for me, not for other people', said a white-collar worker, who has to use his concern for propriety as a way of expressing anxiety about what is 'presentable' and therefore entitled to demand admiration . Because the image is always Judged by reference to the function it fulfils for the person who looks at it or which he thinks it could fulfil for other classes of beholders aes thetic judgement naturally takes the form of a hypothetical judge :n ent implicitly based on recognition of 'genres', the perfection and scope of whICh are defined by a concept. Almost three-quarters of the judge ments expressed begin with an 'if', and the effort to recognize culminates in classification into a genre, or, which amounts to the same thing, in the erent genres being defined in terms of attrib tion of a social use, the diff th,ir use and their users ( ,It's a publicity photo', 'It's a pure document', 'It's a laboratory phoro', " It's a competition photo', 'It's an educational phoro' etc . ) . And photographs of nudes are almost always received with comments that reduce them to the stereotype of their social function: 'All right in Pigalle', 'It's the sort of photos they keep under the coun ter ' It is not surprising that this 'aesthetic', which bases apprecia tion on informative, tangible or moral interest, can only refuse images of the trivial, or, which amounts to the same thing in terms of this logic, the triviality of the image: judgement never gives the image of the object autonomy with respect to the object of the image. Of all the characteris-. tics proper to the image, only colour (which Kant regarded as less pure than form ) can prevent rejection of photographs of trivial things. Noth ' ing is more alien to popular consciousness than the idea of an aesthetic pleasure that, to put it in Kantian terms, is independent of the charming of the senses. Thus judgements on the photographs most strongly re jected on grounds of futility (pebbles, bark, wave) almost always end with the reservation that 'in colour, it might be ,pretty'; and some respondents even manage to formulate the maxim governing their atti tude, when they declare that 'if the colours are good, a colour photo graph is always beautiful.' In short, Kant is indeed referring ro popular taste when he writes: 'Taste that requires an added element of charm and emotion for its delight, not to speak of adopting this as the measure of , 'H its apptoval, has not yet emerged from barbarism Refusal of the meaningless (insignifiant ) image, which has neither

But formal refinement is also that which, by foregrounding form, i.e., the artist, his specific interests, his technical problems, his effects, his al lusions and echoes, throws the thing itself into the background and pre cludes dIrect commUnIon with the beauty of the worlda beautiful child, a beautiful girl, a beautiful animal or a beautiful landscape. The representatlOn IS expected to be a feast for the eyes and, like still life, to 'stir up memories and anticipations of feasts enjoyed and feasts to come .'29 Nothing is more opposed to the celebration of the beauty and JOY of the world that IS looked for in the work of arr, 'a choice which praises', than the devices of cubist or abstract painting, which are per ceIved and unanImously denounced as aggressions againsr the thing rep resented, against the natural order and especially the human form. In shorr, however perfectly it performs its representative function, the work is only seen as fully justified if the thing represented is worthy of being represented, if the representative function is subordinated to a higher function, such as that of capturing and exalting a reality that is worthy of


/ A Social Critique 0/ the Judgement 0/ Taste


AriJtocracy 0/ Culture /


beauty or their social importance_

most antithetical forms of the dominant aesthetic always ref negatively er and which only recognizes realist representation, in other words, a re spectful, humble, submissive representation of objects designated by their

being made eternal. Such is the basis of the 'barbarous taste' ro which the

AESTHETICS, ETHICS AND AESTHETICISM When faced with legitimate works of art, people most lacking the specific competence apply to them

their everyday perception of everyday existence. These schemes, giving rise to products of an unwilled, unselfconscious systematicity, are op posed to the more or less ful l y stated principles of an aesthetic.'o The re sult is a systematic 'reduction' of the things of art to the things of lif a e, bracketing of form in favour of 'human' content, which IS barbarism par Everything takes

the perceptual schemes of their own ethos, the very ones which structure

excellence from the standpoint of the pure aesthetic."

place as if the emphasis on form could only be achieved by means of a neutralization of any kind of aff ective or ethical interest in the object of lation) mastery of the means of grasping the distinctive properties which this particular form takes on in its relations with other forms (i.e., through ref erence to the universe of works of art and its history ) . representation which accompanies (without any necessary cause-effeq re

Confronted with a photograph of an old woman's hands, the culturally most deprived express a more or less conventional emotion or an ethical complicity but never a specifically aesthetic judgement (other than a nega tive one ) : 'Oh, she's got terribly defotmed hands' . . . There's one thing I don 't get (the left hand)-it's as if her left thumb was about to come away from her hand. Funny way of taking a photo. The old girl must've worked hard. Looks like she's got arthritis. She's definitely crippled, unless she's holding her hands like that (imitates gesture) ' Yes, that's it, she's got her hand bent like thar. Nor like a duchess's hands or even a typist's! . . . I really feel sorry seeing that poor old woman's hands, they're all knotted, you might say' (manual worker, Paris) . With the lower middle classes, ex altation of ethical virtues comes to the f orefront (,hands worn out by toil'), sometimes tinged with populist sentimentality (,Poor old thing' Her hands must really hurt her. It really gives a sense of pain' ); and sometimes even concrn for aesthetic properties and references to painting make their appearance: 'Ir's as if it was a painting that had been photographed . . . Must be really beautiful as a painting' (clerical worker, Paris) . 'That re minds me of a picture I saw in an exhibition of Spanish paintings, a monk with his hands clasped in front of him and deformed fingers' (tecnician, Paris). 'The sort of hands you see in early Van Goghs, an old peasant woman or people eating potatoes' ( junior executive, Paris). At higher levels in the social hierarchy, the remarks become increi:lsingly abstract, with (other people's) hands, labour and old age functioning as allegories or sym bols which serve as pretexts for general reflections on general problems:

'Those are the hands of someone who has worked too much, doing very hard manual work . . . A.s a matter of fact it's very unusual to see hands like (har' (engineer, Paris). 'These twO hands unquestionably evoke a poor and unhappy old age' ( teacher, provinces ) . An aesthticizing reference to paint ing, sculpture or literature, more frequent, more varied and more subcJv handled, resorts to the neutralization and distancing which bourgeois d is course abom the social world refluires and performs. ' J find this a very beautiful photograph. It's the very symbol of toil . It puts me in mind of Fl auberr' s old servant-wOman . . . That woman's gesture, at once very humble . It's terrible that work and poverty are so deformif],g' (engineer, Paris ) . A portrait o f a heavily made-up woman, taken from an unusual angle with unusual lighting, provokes very similar reactions. Manual workers, and even more so craftsmen and small shopkeepers, react with horror and dis gust: 'I wouldn't like that photo in my house, in my room. It isn't very nice to look at. It's rather painful' (manual worker, provinces) . 'Is she dead? Ghastly, enough to keep you awake at night . . . ghastly, horrible, I don't want to look at it' (shopkeeper, provinces ) . While most of the office workers and junior executives rej eer a photo which they can only describe as 'frightful' or 'unpleasant (Q look at', some of them try to characterize the technique: 'The photo is very well taken, very beaut.iful, but horrible' ( cleri cal worker; Paris ) . 'What gives the impression of something monstrous is the expression on the face of the man or woman who is the su bj ect of the photo and the angle from which i t has been taken, that's to say looking up from below' ( junior executive, Paris). Others appeal to aesthetic references, mainly drawn from the cinema: 'A rather fantastic sort of character, Or at least rather bizarre . . . i t could be a Dreyer character, Bergman at a pinch,


/ A S ocial Critique 0/ the Judgement 0/ Taste

The Aristocracy 0 Culture / 47 /

keeper, provinces) . Office workers and junior executives, who are just as disconcerted as the manual workers and small employers, but are less in clined to admit it than the former and less inclined than the latter to chal lenge the legitimacy of what challenges them, less often decline to give a 32 verdict: 'I like it as a photo . . . because it's all drawn out; they're just lines, it seems immense to me . . . A vast piece of scaff lding . . . It's just o light, captured by the camera' (clerical worker, Paris) . 'Buffet likes doing things like that' ( technician, Paris) . But only among members of the domi nane class, who most often recognize the objeer represented, does judge ment of form take on full autonomy vis-a-vis judgement ofcontenr ('It's inhuman but aesthetically beautiful because of the contrasts') , and the rep resentation is apprehended as such, without reference ro anything other than itself or realities of the same class (,abstract painting', 'avant-garde plays' etc .). The variations in the attitude to a very comparable objeer, a metal frame, provide a numerical proof of this: the proportion of respondents who think it could make a beautiful pharo is 6 percent among manual workers and domestic servants, 9 percent among craftsmen and small shopkeepers, .9.5 percent among the clerical workers and junior adminisrrative executives, 24 percent among the primary teachers and technicians, 24.5 percent in the dominant class-and 50 percent among the secondary and higher-education teachers. (One may assume that the reactions aroused by the architecture of the Beaubourg Centre obey the same principles. )

The Lacq gasworks by night or perhaps even Eisenstein, in Ivan the Terrible . . . I like it a lor' ( rech ? i cian, Paris) . Most of the senior executives and members of the professIOns find the photograph 'beautiful' and 'expressive' and make reference nor only to the films of Bergman, Orson Welles, Dreyer, and others, but also to the theatre, invoking Hamlet, Macbeth or Racine's Athalie. . . When confronted with a photograph of the Lacq gas refinery, whICh IS likely to disconcert realist expectations both by its subject, an industrial complex, normally excluded from thl:;" world of legitimate representation, and by the treatment it receives (night photography), manual workers per plexed, hesitate, and evencually, in most cases, admit defeat: 'At firs sight . . it's a construction in metal but I can't make head or tat! of It. It might be . . . I can't make out what it is, something used in an electric power station it's a mystery to me' (manual worker, provinces) . 'Now, that one really bothers me, I haven't got anything to say about it . I can't see what it could be, apart from the lighting. It isn't car hed.lights, it wouldn'.t be all straight lines like that. Down here I can see a railing and a goods lift, no, really, I can't say' ( manual worker, Paris ) . 'That's something ro do :-rith electronics, I don't know anything about that' ( manual worker, Pans). Among smaIl employers, who tend to be hostile to modern art experiments and, more generally, to all art in . which they cannot. see the marks and . , traces of work, a sense of confUSIOn often leads to SImple refusal: That IS of no interest, it may be all very fine, but not for me. It's always the same thing. Personally that stuff leaves me cold' (craftsman, provinces ) . 'I've tried to work out if it really is a photo. Perhaps it's a reproduction of a drawing done with a few pencil lines . . . I wouldn't know what t? do with a photo like that. Perhaps it suits modern tastes. Up and down with the pencil and rhey like it. And as for the photo and the photographer, rhey don't deserve any credit, they've done nothing at all. The artist did It all, he's the one who ought ro take the credit, he's the one who drew it' (shop-

The aestheticism which makes the artistic intention the basis of (he 'art of living' implies a sort of moral agnosticism, rhe perfect antithesis of rhe ethical disposition which subordinates art to the values of the art of l iv ing. The aesthetic intention can only contradict the dispositions of the ethos or the norms of the ethic which, at each moment, define the legiti mate oi;>jects and modes of representation for rhe different social classes, excluding fro m the u niverse of the 'representable' certain realities and certain ways of representing them. Thus the easiest, and so the most fre quent and most spectacular way to 'shock (epater ) the bourgeois' by proving the extent of one's power to confer aesthetic status is to tram gress ever more radically the ethical censotships (e.g., in matters of sex) which the other classes accept even within the area which the dominant disposition defines as aesthetic. Or, more subtly, it is done by conferring aesthetit status on objects or ways of representing them that are excluded by the dominant aesthetic of the time, or on objects that are given aes thetic status by dominated 'aesthetics'.
One only has to read the index of contents recently published by Art Vi ( 1974), a 'vaguely modern review run by a clique of academics who are vaguely art historians' (as an avant-garde painter nicely put it), which occupies a sort of neutral point in the field of avant-garde art criticism be tween Flashart or Art Press and Artitude or Opus. In the list of features and titles one finds: A/rica (one title: 'Art Must Be for All'), Architecture (two


48 / A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

tities, including 'Architecture without an Architect'), Comic Strips ( five titles, nine pages out of the forty-six in the whole index ) , Kids' Art, Kitsch (thtee tides, five pages) , Photography ( two titles, thtee pages) , Street Art (fifteen titles, twenty-three pages, i ncluding 'Art in the Street?', 'Art in the Street, First Episode' . 'Beauty in the Back-Streets: You Just Have to Know pia ( two titles, How to Look', 'A Subutb Sets the Pace' ) , Science-Fiction-Uto thtee pages), Underground (one title), Writing-Ideograms-Graffiti ( two titles, four pages) . The aim of inverting or tramgreJJtng, whICh 15 clearly mani fested by this list, is necessarily contained within the limits assigned to it a (cntrado by the aesthetic conventions it denounces and by the need to secure recognition of the aesthetic nature of the transgression of the limits (Le., recognition of its conformity to the norms of the transgressing group). Hence the almost Markovian logic of the choices, with, for the cin ema, Antonioni, Chaplin, cinematheque, Eisenstein, eroticism-pornography, Fellini, Godatd, Klein, Monroe, undetground, Wathol.

The Aristocracy of Culture / 49

'Art fot art's sake, as i t has been called, not having its legitimacy within itself, being based on nothing, is nothing. It is debauchery of the heart and dissolution of the mind. Separated from tight and duty, culti vated and pursued as the highest though't of the soul and the supreme manifestation of humanity, art or the ideal, strifwed of the greater part of itself, reduced to nothing more than an excitement off antasy and the senses, is the source of sin, the origin of all servitude, the poisoned spring from which, according to the Bible, flow all the fornications and abominations of the earth . . ' Art for art's sake, 1 say, verse for verse's sake, style for style's sake, fotm fot form's sake, fantasy fot fantasy's sake, all the diseases which like a plague of lice are gnawing away at our epoch, ate vice in all , its refinement, the quintessence of evil. 36

This commitment to symbolic ttansgtession, which is often combined with political neutrality Ot tevolutionary aestheticism, is the almost pet fect antithesis of petit-bourgeois moralism Ot of what Same used to call , the revolutionary's 'seriousness . ll The ethical indiffetence which the aes thetic disposition implies when it becomes the basis of the art of living is in fact the root of the ethical aversion to attists (Ot intellectuals) which manifests itself particularly vehemently among the declining and threat ened frac t ion s of the petite bourgeo isie (especially independent crafts men and shopkeepers), who tend to exptess theit tegtessive and repr:essive dispositions in all areas of practice (especially in educational . matters and vis-a.-vis students and student demonstrauons), but also among the rising fractions of that class whose striving for virtue and whose deep insecurity rendet them very teceptive to the phantasm of 'pornocracy' . The pute disposition is so universally recognized as legitimate that no voice is heatd pointing out that the definition of art, and through it the art of living, is an object of struggle among the classes. Dominated life styles (arts de vivre ) , which have practically nevet teceived systematic ex ptession, are almost always petceived, even by their defenders from the : destructive or reductive viewpoint of the dominant aesthetIC, so that theit only options ate degradation or self-desttuctive tehabilitation ( 'pop ular culture') . This is why it is necessary to look to Ptoudhon 34 for a naively systematic exptession of the petit-bourgeois aesthetic, which sub ordinates art to the cote values of the att of living and identifies the cyn ical perversion of the artist's life-style as the source of the absolute ptimacy given to fotm: praved in his teason, dis 'Undet the influence of property, the artist, de and without dignity, is the impure image of ego solute in his morals, venal ism. The idea of justice and honesty slides over his heart without taking root, and of all the classes of society, the artist class is the pootest in " strong souls and noble chatacters.' .

What is condemned is the autonomy of form and the artist's tight to the formal tefinements by which he claims mastery of what ought to be metely a mattet of 'execution': 'I have no quartel with nobility, or elegance, or pose, or style, or gesture, or any aspect of what constitutes the " execution of a work of art and is the usual object of traditional . , CritICIsm. 37 Dependent on demand in the choice of theit objects, artists take theit revenge in the execution: 'There are church painters, history painters, gente painters (in other wotds, painters of anecdotes or fatces) , portrait painters, landscape painters, animal painters, seascape painters, painters of Venus, painters of fantasy. One specializes in nudes, another in dtapety. Then each one endeavours to distinguish himself by one of the means which conttibute to the execution. One goes in for sketching, another for colour; this one attends to composition, that one to perspective, a third to costume or local colour; one shines through sentiment, another through his idealized or realistic figures; yet another redeems the futility of his subject by the fineness of his detail. Each strives to have his own trick, his own 'je oe sais quai", a personal manner, and so, with the hdp of fashion, repu tations are made and unmade.' 3H I n contrast to this decadent art cut 'Qff from social life, respecting nei ther God not man, an art worthy of the name must be subordinated to science, morality and justice. It must aim to arouse the moral sense, to inspire feelings of dignity and delicacy, to idealize reality, to substitute for the thing the ideal of the thing, by painting the true and not the teal. In a word, i t must educate, To do so, it must transmit not 'personal im pressions' (like David in The Tennis-Court Oath, Ot Del acroi x ) but, like Courbet in Les Paysans de Flagey, reconstitute the social and histotial truth which all may judge. ('Each of us only has to consult himself to be able, after btief consideration, to state a judgement on any work of att.') 19 And it would be a pity to conclude without quoting a eulogy of the small detached house which would SUtely be massively endorsed by the middle and working classes: ' I would give the Louvre, the Tuileries, Notte-Dame-and the Vend6me column into the batgain-to live in my own home, in a little house of my own design, whete 1 would live alone, in


/ A Social Critique 0/ the Judgement of Taste


Mond ri an , Broadwa,.y Boogie-Woogie

the middle of a little plot of ground, a quarter of an acre or so, where I'd have water, shade, a lawn, and silence. And if [ thought of putting a statue in it, it wouldn't be a Jupiter or an Apollo-those gentlemen are nothing to me-nor views of London, Rome, Constantinople or Venice. God preserve me from such placesI I'd put there what [ lack-mountains, vineyards, meadows, goats, cows, sheep, reapers and shepherds.'40
A N D T H E UNIVERSE OF POSSIBLES Unlike non specific perception, the specifically aesthetic perception of a work of art (in which there are of course degrees of accomplishment) is armed with a pertinence principle which is socially constituted and acquired. This principle of selection enables it to pick Out and retain, from among the elements offered to the eye (e.g., leaves or clouds considered merely as indices or signals invested with a denotative function-'It's a poplar', 'There's going to be a storm' ) , all the stylistic traits-and only those which, when relocated in the universe of stylistic possibilities, distin guish a patticular manner of treating the elemen ts selected, whether clouds or leaves, that is, a style as a mode of representation expressing the mode of perception and though t that is proper to a period, a class or class fraction, a group of artists or a particular artist. No stylistic characteriza tion of a work of art is possible without presupposing at least implicit reference to the compossible alternatives, whether simultaneousto dis tinguish it from its contemporaries--or successive-to contrast it with earlier or later works by the same or a different artist. Exhibitions devoted to an artist's whole oeuvre or to a genre (e.g., the still-life exhibition in Bordeaux in 1978) are the objective realization of the field of inter changeable stylistic possibilities which is brought into play when one 'recognizes' the singularities of the characteristic style of a work of art. As E. H. Gombrich demonstrates, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogze-Woogie only takes on its 'full meaning' in terms of a previous idea of Mondrian's work and of the expectations it favours. The 'impreSSion of gay abandon' given by the play of bright, strongly contrasting patches of colour can only arise in a mind familiar with 'an art of straight lines and a few pri mary colours in carefully balanced tectangles' and capable of perceiving the 'relaxed style of popular music' in the distance from the 'severity' which is expected. And as soon as one imagines this painting attributed to Gino Severini, who tries to express in some of his paintings 'the rhythm of dance music in works of brilliant chaos', it is clear that, mea sured by this stylistic yardstick, Mondrian's picture would rather suggest the first Brandenburg Concerto." The 'aesthetic disposition, understood as the aptitude for perceiving and deciphering specifically stylistic characteristics, is thus inseparable from specifically artistic competence. The latter may be acquired by ex plicit learning or simply by regular contact with works of art, -especially those assembled in museums and galleries, where the diversity of their N E U T R A LIZATION

Piet Mondrian,
Painting I

Gino Severini, Dynamzc Hierogly phic o the Bal Tabarin f


! A Social Critique 0/ the Judgement 0/ Taste

The Aristocracy 0/ Culture !


original functions is neutralized by their being displayed in a place con secrated to art, so that they invite pure interest in form. This practical mastery enables its possessor to situate each element of a universe of ar tistic representations in a class defined in relation to the class composed of all the artistic representations consciously or unconsciously excluded. Thus, an awareness of the stylistic features which make up the stylistic originality of all the works of a period relative to those of another period, or, within this class, of the works of one school relative to another, or of the works of one artist relative to the works of his school or period, or even of an artist's particular period or work relative to his whole oeu'vre, is inseparable from an awareness of the stylistic redundancies, i.e., the typ ical treatments of the pictorial matter which define a style. In short, a grasp of the resemblances presupposes implicit or explicit reference to the differences, and vice versa. Attribution is always implicitly based on refer ence to 'rypical works', consciously or unconsciously selected because they present to a particularly high degree the qualities more or less ex plicitly recognized as pertinent in a given system of classification. Every thing suggests that, even among specialists, the cri teria of pertinence which define the stylistic properties of 'typical works' generally remain implicit and that the aesthetic taxonomies implicitly mobilized to distin guish, classify and order works of art never have the rigour which aes thetic theories sometimes try to lend them. In fact, the simple placing which the amateur or specialist performs when he undertakes attribution has nothing in common with the genu inely scientific intention of grasping the work's immanent reason and raison d'etre by reconstructing the perceived situation, the subjectively experienced problematic, which is nothing other than the space of the positions and self-positionings constituting the field and within which the artistic intention of the artist in question has defined Itself, generally by opposition. The references which this reconstructing operation de ploys have nothing to do with the kinds of semantic echo or affective correspondence which adorn celebratory discourse-they are the IOdlS pensable means of consttucting the field of thematic or stylistic possibili, ties in relation to which, objectively and to some extent subJewvely, the possibility selected by the artist presented itself Thus, to understand why the early Romantic painters returned to primitive art, one would have to reconstitute the whole universe of reference of the pupils of David, with their long beards and Greek costumes, who, 'outdoing their master's cult of antiquity, wanted to go back to Homer, the Bible and Ossian, and condemned the style of classical antiquity itself as "rococo", "Van Loo" or "Pompadour".''' This would lead one back to the inextricably ethical and aesthetic alternatives-such as the identification of the naive with the pure and the natural-in terms of which their choices were made and which have nothing in common with the transhistorical oppositions be loved of formalist aesthetics. 43

But the celebrant's or devotee's intention is not that of understanding, and, in the ordinary routine of the cult of the work of art, the play of academic or urbane references has no other function than to bring the work into an interminable circuit of inter-legitimation, so that a refer ence to Jan Breughel's Bouquet 0/ Flowers lends dignity to Jean-Michel Pi cart's Bouquet of Flowers with Parrot, just as, in another context, re(erence to the latter can, being less common, serve to enhance the former. This play of cultured allusions and analogies endlessly pointing to other anal ogies, which, like the cardinal oppositions in mythical or ritual systems, never have to justify themselves by stating the basis of the relating which they perform, weaves around the works a complex web of factirious expe riences, each answering and reinforcing all the others, which creates the enchantment of artistic contemplation. It is the source of the 'idolatry' to which Proust refers, which leads one to find 'an actress's robe or a society woman's dress beautiful . . . not because the cloth is beautiful but be cause it is the cloth painted by Moreau or described by Balzac.''' Analogy, functioning as a circular mode of thought, makes it possible to tour the whole area of art and luxury without ever leaving it. Thus Chateau Margaux wine can be described with the same words as are used to describe the chateau, just as others will evoke Proust apropos of Monet or Cesar Franck, which is a good way of talking about neither: 'The house is in the image of the vintage. Noble, austere, even a little solemn . . . . Chateau Margaux has the air of an ancient temple devoted to the cult of wine. . . . Vineyard or dwelling, Margaux disdains all embel lishments. But just as the wine has to be served before it unfolds all its charms, so the residence waits for the visitor to enter before it reveals its own. In each case the same words spring to one's lips: elegance, distinc tion, delicacy and that subtle satisfaction given by something which has received the most attentive and indeed loving care for generations. A wine long matured, a bouse long inhabited: Margaux the vintage and Margaux the chateau are the product of two equally rare things: rigour and time. ,4
DISTANCE FROM NECESSITY To explain the correlation between educa tional capital and the propensity or at least the aspiration to appreciate a work ' independently of its content', as the culturally most ambitious re spondents put it, and more generally the propensity to make the 'gratui touS' and 'disinterested' investments demanded by legitimate works, it is not sufficient to point to the fact that schooling provides tbe linguistic tools and the references which enable aesthetic experience to be expressed and to be constituted by being expressed. What is in fact affirmed in this relationship is the dependence of the aesthetic disposition on the past and present material conditions of existence which are the precondition of both its constitution and its application and also of the accumulation of a cultural capital ( whether or not educationally sanctioned) which can


/ A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

The Aristocracy of Culture / 55

[he pedagogic action of the family and the school operates at least as much through the economic and social conditions which are the pre condItIOn of Its operation as through the contents which it inculcates.47 The scholastic world of regulated games and exercise for exercise' sake is at least in this respect, less remote than it might appear from the 'bour: geOis' world and the countless 'disinterested' and 'gratuirous' acts which go to make up its distinctive rarity, such as home maintenance and deco. ration, occasioning a daily squandering of care, time and labour (often through [he intermediary of servants), walking and tourism, movements without any other aim than physkal exercise and the symbolic appro pnatlon of a world reduced to the status of a landscape, or ceremonies and receptlons, pretexts for a display of ritual luxuries, decors, conversa tions and finery, not to mention, of course, artistic practices and enjoy ments. It is not surprising that bourgeois adolescents, who are both economically privileged and ( temporarily) excluded from the reality of economIC power, sometimes express their distance from the bourgeois . world whICh they cannot really appropriate by a refusal of complicity whose most refined expression is a propensity towards aesthetics and aes theticism. In this respect they share common ground with the women of the bourgeoisie, who, being partially excluded from economic activity, find fulfilment In stage-managing the decor of bourgeois existence, when they are not seeking refuge or revenge in aesthetics. Economic power is first and foremost a power to keep e<.:onomic neces . Sity at arm's length. This is why it universally asserts itself by the destruc tion f nches, conspicuous consumption, squandering, and every form of gratuitous luxury. Thus, whereas the court aristocracy made the whole of hfe a contlnuous spectacle, the bourgeoisie has established the opposition between what IS paid for and what is free, the interested and the disin terested, in the form of the opposition, which Weber saw as characteriz ing it, between place of work and place of residence, working days and hohdays, the outSIde (male) and the inside ( female) , business and senti ment: industry and art, the world of economic necessity and the world of artistic f:eedom that l snatched, br economic power, from that necessity. Matenal or symboltc consumpuon of works of art constitutes One of the supreme manifestations of ease, in the sense both of objective leisure and subjective facility.'8 The detachment of the pure gaze cannot be sepa rated from a general dIsposition towards the 'gratuitous' and the 'disin terested', the paradoxical product of a negative economic conditioning WhICh, through faohty and freedom, engenders distance vis-it-vis neces sity. At the same rime, the aesthetic disposition is defined, objectively . and subleCtlvely, 10 relation to other dispositions. Objective distance from necessity and from those trapped within it combines with a con scious distance which doubles freedom by exhibiting it. As the objective dIstance from necessity grows, life-style increasingly becomes the product of what Weber calls a 'stylization of life', a systematic commitment

only be acquired by means of a sort of withdrawal from economic neces sity_ The aesthetic disposition which tends to bracket off the nature and function of the object represented and (0 exclude any 'naive' reaction horror at the horrible, desire for the desirable, pious reverence for the sa cred-along with all purely ethical responses, in order to concentrate solely upon the mode of representation, the style, perceived and appre ciated by comparison with other styles, is one dimension of a total rela tion to the world and ro others, a life-style, in which the effects of particular conditions of existence are expressed in a 'rnisrecognizable' form.'6 These conditions of existence, which are the precondition for all learning of legitimate culture, whether implicit and diffuse, as domestic cultural training generally is, or explicii and specific, as in scholastic training, are characterized by the suspension and removal of economic necessity and by objective and subjective distance from practical urgen cies, which is the basis of objective and subjective distance from groups subjected ro those determinisms. To be able to play the games of culture with the playful seriousness which Plato demanded, a seriousness without the 'spirit of seriousness', one has to belong to the ranks of those who have been 'able, not necessar ily to make their whole existence a sort of children's game, as artists do, but at least to maintain for a long time, sometimes a whole lifetime, a child's relation to the world. (All children start life as baby bourgeois, in a relation of magical power over others and, through them, over the I world, but they grow out of it sooner or later.) This is clearly seen when, by an accident of social genetics, into the well-policed world of intellec tual games there comes one of those people (one thinks of Rousseau or Chernyshevsky) who bring inappropriate stakes and interests into the games of culture; who get so involved in the game that they abandon the " margin of neutralizing distance that the il/usio (belief in the game) de mands; who treat intellectual struggles, the object of so many pathetic manifestos, as a simple question of right and wrong, life and death. This is why the logic of the game has already assigned them roles--eccentric or boor-which they will play despite themselves in the eyes of those who know how to stay within the bounds of the intellectual illusion and who cannot see them any other way. The aesthetic disposition, a generalized capacity to neutralize ordinary urgencies and to bracket off practical ends, a durable inclination and ap titude for practice without a practical function, can only be constituted within an experience of the world freed from urgency and through the practice of activities which are an end in themselves, such as scholastic exercises or the contemplation of works of art. In other words, it presup- ' poses the distance from the world (of which the 'role distance' brought to light by Erving Goffman is a particular case) which is the basis of the " bourgeois experience of the world, Contrary to what certain mechanistic theories would suggest, even in its most specifically artistic dimension

56 / A Social Critique 01 the Judgement 01 Taste

which orients and organizes rhe mosr diverse pracrices-rhe choice of a vintage or a cheese or the decorarion of a holiday home in rhe country. This affirmation of power over a dominated necessiry always implies a claim to a legitimate superiority over those who, because they cannot as sert the same contempt for contingencies in gratuitous luxury and con spicuous consumption, remain dominated by ordinary interests and urgencies. The rastes of freedom can only assert themselves as stich in re lation to the tastes of necessity, which are rhereby brought to rhe level of the aesthetic and so defined as vulgar. This claim to aristocracy is less likely to be contested than any other, because the relation of the 'pure', 'disinterested' disposition to the conditions which make it possible, i.e., the material conditions of exisrence which are rarest because most freed from economic necessity, has every chance of passing unnoticed. The most 'classifying' privilege thus has the privilege of appearing to be the most natural one. Thus, the aes rhetic disposition is one dimension of a disrant, self-assured relation to the world and to others which presupposes objective assurance and dis tance. I t is one manifestation of the system of dispositions produced l;>y the social conditionings associated with a particular class of conditions of existence when they rake the paradoxical form of rhe greatesr freedom conceivable, at a given moment, with respect to the constraints of eco nomic necessity. But ir is also a distinctive expression of a privileged po sirion in social space whose distinctive value is objectively established in irs relarionship ro expressions generared from different conditions. Like every sort of raste, ir unires and separates. Being rhe product of the con ditionings associated with a particular class of conditions of existence, it unires all those who are the product of similar conditions while distin guishing them from all others. And it distinguishes in an essential way, since raste is rhe basis of all rhar one has-people and things-and all thar one is for others, whereby one classifies oneself and is classified by others. Tastes (i.e., manifested preferences) are the practical affirmation of an inevitable difference. It is no accident that, when they have to be justi fied, they are asserted purely negatively, by the refusal of other tastes.' In matters of taste, more than anywhere else, all determinacion is negarion;')o and tastes are perhaps first and foremost disrastes, disgust provoked by horror or visceral intolerance ( 'sick-making') of the tastes of others. 'De gustibus non est dispurandum': not because 'tous les gouts sont dans la nature', but because each taste feels itself to be natural-and so it almost is, being a habitus-which amounts to rejecting others as unnatural and therefore vicious. Aestheric intolerance can be terribly violent. Aversion to different life-styles is perhaps one of the strongest barriers between the classes; class endogamy is evidence of this. The most intolerable rhing for those who regard themselves as the possessors of legitimate culture is rhe

The Aristocracy of Culture / 5 7

sacrilegious reuni ring of tastes which taste dictates shaH be separated. This means rhar rhe games of artisrs and aesrheres and rheir struggles for rhe monopoly of arrisric legirimacy are less innocent rhan rhey seem. Ar stake in every struggle over art there is also the imposition of an art of living, that is, the transmutation of an arbitrary way of living into the legitimate way of life which casts every other way of living into arbitrari ness.'1 The areisr's life-sryle is always a challenge rhrown ar rhe bourgeois life-sryle, which ir seeks ro condemn as unreal and even absurd, by a sore of practical demonstration of the emptiness of the values and powers it pursues. The neurralizing relarion co rhe world which defines rhe aes rheric disposirion porentially implies a subversion of rhe spirir of serious ness required by bourgeois invesrmencs. Like rhe visibly erhical judgemencs of rhose who lack rhe means co make are rhe basis of rheir are of living, CO see rhe world and orher people rhrough lirerary reminis cences and pictorial references, rhe 'pure' and purely aesrheric judgell1enrs of rhe areisr and rhe aesrhere spring from rhe disposirions of an erhos;" bur because of rhe legirimacy which rhey command so long as rheir rela rionship to rhe disposirions and inceresrs of a group defined by srrong cultural capiral and weak economic capiral remains unrecognized, rhey provide a sorr of absolure reference poinc in rhe necessarily endless play of murually self-relarivizing rasres. By a paradoxical reversal, rhey rhereby help co legirimare the bourgeois claim ro 'narural disrincrion' as differ ence made absolute. Objecrively and subjecrively aesrhetic srances adopred in marters like cosmetics, clothing or home decoration are opportunities to experience or assere one's posirion in social space, as a rank co be upheld or a dis rance co be kepr. Ir goes withour saying rhar rhe social classes are nor equally inclined and prepared co encer rhis game of refusal and councer refusal; and that the strategies aimed at transforming the basic disposi rions of a life-sryle into a sysrem of aesrheric principles, objecrive differences into elective distinctions, passive options (constituted exter nally by rhe logic of rhe disrinctive relarionships) inco conscious, elecrive choices are in fact reserved for members of the dominant class, indeed the very top bourgeoisie, and for artists, who as the inventors and profes sionals of rhe 'stylizarion of life' are alone able co make rheir art of living one of rhe fine ares. By concrasr, rhe enrry of rhe perire bourgeoisie inco rhe game of disrincrion is marked, inrer alia, by rhe anxiety of exposing oneself ro classification by offering co rhe rasre of orhers such infallible indices of personal rasre as clorhes or furnirure, even a simple pair of armchairs, as in one of Nathalie Sarraute's novels. As for the working classes, perhaps rheir sole funcrion in rhe sysrem of aesrheric posirions is CO serve as a foil, a negarive reference poinc, in relarion CO which all aes thetics define themselves, by successive negations.3 Ignoring or ignorant of manner and sryle, rhe 'aesrheric' (in irself) of rhe working classes and culrurally mosr deprived fracrions of rhe middle classes defines as 'nice', 'prerey', 'lovely' (rarher rhan 'beauriful') rhings rhar are already defined as


/ A Social Critique 0/ the Judgement 0/ Taste

The Aristocracy 0/ Culture / 59

such in the 'aesthetic' of calendars and postcards: a sunset, a little girl playing with a cat, a folk dance, an old master, a first communion, a chil dren's procession. The striving towards distinction comes in with petit bourgeois aestheticism, which delights in all the cheap substitutes for chic objects and practices--<lriftwood and painted pebbles, cane and raf fia, 'art' handicrafts and art phorography. This aestheticism defines itself against the 'aesthetic' of the working classes, refusing their favourite subjects, the themes of 'views', such as mountain landscapes, sunsets and woods. or souvenir photos, such as the first communion, the monument or the old master (see figure 2). In phorography, this taste prefers objects that are close ro those of the popu lar aesthetic but semi-neutralized by more or less explicit reference ro a picrorial tradition or by a visible stylistic intention combining the human picturesque (weaver at his loom, tramps quarrelling, folk dance) with gratuitous form (pebbles, rope, tree bark). Technicians seem to offer the purest f orm of 'middle-brow' taste. Their tastes in photogtaphy locate them centrally in the structure of the middle classes (see figure 2), with the craftsmen, small shopkeepers, clerical work ers and junior executives inclining towards the working class and the pri mary teachers and new petit bourgeois inclining towards the upper classes. They ate particularly drawn to the objects most typical of middle-brow pho tography-the weaver, the still life-whereas the m:w pt:tit bourgeois prefer objects which they see as lying outside the repertoire of the traditional aes thetic and therefore more 'original' (rope, cabbages) , and also those belong ing to the 'social picturesque' (tramps quarrelling). It is significant that this middle-brow art par excellence finds one of its preferred subjects in one of the spectacles most characteristic of middle brow culture (along with the circus, light opera and bull-fights) , the folk dance (which is particularly appreciated by skilled workers and foremen, junior executives, clerical and commercial employees) (C.S. VII). Like the photographic recording of the social picturesque, whose populist ob jectivism distances the lower classes by constituting them as an object of contemplation or even commiseration or indignation, the spectacle of the 'people' making a spectacle of itself, as in folk dancing, is an opportu nity to experience the relationship of distant proximity, in the form of the idealized vision purveyed by aesthetic realism and populist nostalgia, which is a basic element in the relationship of the petite bourgeoisie to the working or peasant classes and their traditions. But this middle-brow aestheticism in turn serves as a foil to the most alert members of the new middle-class fractions, who reject its favoured subjects, and to the second ary teachers whose aestheticism (the aestheticism of consumers, since they are relatively infrequent practitioners of photography and the other arts) purports to be able to treat any object aesthetically, with the excep-


gement of Taste ! A Social Critique of the jud

The Aristocracy of Culture !


rion of those so constituted by the middle-brow art of the petite bour geoisie (such as the weaver and the folk dance, which are deemed merely " 'interesting' ) . These would-be aesthetes demonstrate by their distinc tive refusals that they possess the' practical mastery of the relationships between objects and groups which is the basis of all judgements of the type 'Ca fait' ('It looks . . . ' ) ( 'Ca fait petit-bourgeois', 'Ca fait nouveau riche' etc. ) , without being able to go so far s to ascribe beauty to the most marked objects of the popular aesthetic (first communion ) or the petit-bourgeois aesthetic (mother and child, folk dance) which the rela tions of structural proximity spontaneously lead them to detest. Explicit aesthetic choices are in fact often constituted in opposition to the choices of the groups closest in social space, wi th whom the compe tition is most direct and most immediate, and more precisely, no doubt, in relation to those choices most clearly marked by the intention (per ceived as pretension) of marking distinction vis-a-vis lower groups, such as, for intellectuals, the primary teachers' Brassens, Jean Ferrat or Ferre. Thus the song, as a cultural property which (like photography ) is almost universally accessible and genuinely common (since hardly anyone is not exposed at one moment or another to the 'successes' of the day ) , calls for particular vigilance from those who intend to mark their difference. The intellectuals, artists and higher-education teachers seem to hesitate be tween systematic refusal of what can only be, at best, a middle-brow art, and a selective acceptance which manifests the universality of their cul ture and their aesthetic disposition. For their part, the employers and professionals, who have little interest in the 'intellectual' song, indicate their distance from ordinary songs by rejecting with disgust the most popular and most 'vulgar' singers, such as Les Compagnons de la Chan son, Mireille Mathieu, Adamo or Sheila, and making an exception for the oldest and most consecrated singers (like Edith Piaf or Charles Trenet) or those closest to operetta and bel canro. But it is the middle classes who find in song (as in photograph y) an opportunity to manifest their artistic pretension by refusing the favourite singers of the working classes, such as Mireille Mathieu, Adamo, Charles Aznavour or Tino Rossi, and de claring their preference for the singers who endeavour to dignify this 'minor' genre. That is why the primary teachers distinguish themselves most clearly from the other fractions of the petite bourgeoisie in this area, where, more easily than in the domain of legitimate art, they can invest their academic dispositions and assert their own taste in the choice of singers who offer populist poetry in the primary-school tradition, such as Jacques Douai or Brassens (who was on the syllabus of the Saint. . r 'l C oud entrance exammatlOn a lew years ago ) . '"

French broadcasting service (ORTF) (C.S. XIX) and of thirty in-depth in . terviews deSIgned to grasp the constellation of preferences and refusals in conditions as close as possible to ordinary conversation. These interviews confirmed that, as the ORTF survey also shows, the more strongly a singer is peferred by he less cultivated, the more he or she is refused by the mOSf cultIvated-whose tastes in this area are almost exclusively expressed in re jections. These refusals, almost always expressed in the mode of distaste, art' ? ften accopanid by pitying or indignant remarks about the correspond109 tastes ( I can t understand how anyone can like that!' ) . Si mi larl, one finds that the declining petite--bourgeoisie systematically re . jects the virtues that the new petite bourgeoisie most readily claims for it elf (witty.' refined, .stylish, artistic, imaginative) ; whereas the latter signals ItS a:sthetlC pretenSIOn by a refusal of the most typically 'bourgeois' con fig urat ons and . by a concern to go against common judgements, in which aes thetic commitments figure prominently. Thus, when asked to state the ideal qualities of a friend or a domestic interior, they produce motley combina tions such as: 'artistic, sociable, amusing, comfortable, easy to maintain, imaginative' (sales representative, Paris), 'dynamic, pragmatic, stylish, stud ied, warm, i?1aginative' (galery director, Lille), 'dynamic, refined, prag . n:at.lC, comfortable, harmonIOUS, cosy' (radio presenter, Lille) . It is again a SImIlar process that leads the members of the professions to distinguish themselves from newcomers to the bourgeoisie by rejecting the qualities of ambition and upward mobility, such as 'pragmatic', 'dynamic' (often chosen by managerial executives) , or the most 'pretentious' adjectives, such as 'styl ish' or 'refined', which are much favoured by the new petite bourgeoisie.

In addition to the data provided by the survey question, use was also made of the findings of a survey by the opinion research department of the

It may also be assumed that the affirmation of the omnipotence of the aesthetic gaze found among higher-education teachers, the group most inclined to say that all the objects mentioned could make a beautiful photograph and to profess their recognition of modern art or of the artis ic sta us of the photograph, stems much more from a self-distinguishing lfltentIOn than from a true aesthetic universalism. This has not escaped . the most knowmg avant-garde producers, who carry sufficient authority . to challenge, If need be, the very dogma of the omnipotence of art," anJ are m a pOSItIOn to recognize this faith as a defensive manoeuvre to avoid self-exposure by reckless refusals: 'Who would say this: "When I look at a picture, I'm not interested in what it represents"? Nowadays, the sort of people who don't know much about art. Saying that is typical of someone who hasn't any idea about art. Twenty years ago, I'm not even sure that twenty years ago the abstract painters would have said that; I don't think so. It's exactly what a guy says when he hasn't a clue: "I'm , not one of these old fogies, I know what COUnts is whether it's pretty" (avant-garde painter, age 3 5 ) . They alone, at all events, can afford the au dacious imposture of refusing all refusals by recuperating, in parody or sublImation, the very obJects refused by the lower-degree aestheticism. The 'rehabilitation' of 'vulgar' objects is more risky, but also more 'prof. Itable', the smaller the distance in social space or time, and the 'horrors'

62 / A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

of popular kitsch are easier to 'recuperate' than those of petit-bourgeois imitation, just as the 'abominations' of bourgeois taste can begin to be found 'amusing' when they are sufficiently dated to cease to be 'compto mising'.
Suffice it to point out that, in addition to those subjects which had already been constituted as aesthetic at the time of the survey. either by a pictorial tradition (e.g., the metal frame of Uger or Gromaire, the tramps quarrel ling, a variant of an old theme of realist painting often taken up in photog taphy, or the butcher's stall), or by the photographic tradition (e.g., the weaver, the folk dance, the bark), most of the 'banal' subjects have subse quently been constituted aesthetically by one avant-garde painter or another (for example, the sunset over the sea, by Richer, who paints typically ro mantic landscapes from photographs, or Long and Fulton, English painters who make 'conceptual' landscape photographs, or even Land Art; or the car crash, by Andy Warhol; or the tramps' quarrel, with the 'tramps sleeping in the Bowery' of the American hyper-realists; or the first communion, by Bol tanski, who has even given artistic status to the family album etc.). The only 'unrecuperated' and, for the moment, 'irrecuperable' subjects are the fa vourite themes of first-deg ree aestheticism, the weaver at his loom, the folk dance, the tree-bark, and the woman suckling a child. They are too close to favour the flaunting of an absolute power of aesthetic constitution; and be cause they do not allow distance to be manifested, they are more liable to be mistaken for 'first-degree' intentions. Reappropriation is that much marc difficult when the aesthetic-in-itself which it works on clearly manifests rec ognition of the dominant aesthetic so that the distinctive deviation is liable to go unnoticed.

The Aristocracy of Culture / 63

classes when faced with an opportunity for aesthetic constitution of an ob ject (not a single small art-dealer says that a car accident can make a beauti ful photo, and (he scrap-yard arouses similar responses).

Cultural Pedigree
While variations in educational capital are always very closely related to variations in competence, even in areas, like cinema or j azz , which are neither taught nor directly assessed by the educational system, the fact remains that, at equivalent levels of educational capital, .differences in so cial origin (whose 'effecrs' are already expressed in differences in educa tional' capital) are associated with important differences in competence. These differences become all the more striking (except at the highest educational levels, where over-selection tends to neutralize differences of trajectory) , firstly, when one appeals less to a strict, and strictly assessable, competence and more to a sort of familiarity with culture; and, secondly, as one moves from the most 'scholastic' and 'classical' areas of culture to less legitimate and more 'outlandish' areas of the 'extra-curricular' cul ture, which is not taught in schools but is valued in the academic market and can often yield high symbolic profit. The relative weight of educa tional capital in the system of explanatory factors can even be much weaker than that of social origin when the respondents are only required to express a status-induced familiarity with legitimate or soon-to-be le g i ti mated culture, a paradoxical relationship made up of that mixture of self-assurance and ( relative) ignorance, expressing true bourgeois rights, which are measured by seniority.

The artist agrees with the 'bourgeois' in one respect: he prefers naivety to 'pretentiousness'. The essential merit of the 'common people' is that they have none of the pretensions to art (or power) which inspire the ambitions of the 'petit bourgeois'. Their indifference tacitl y. acknowl edgeS the monopoly. That is why, in the mythology of artists and intel lectuals, whose outflanking and double-negating strategies sometimes lead them back to 'popular' tastes and opinions, the 'people' so often play a role not unlike that of the peasantry in the conservative ideologies of the declining aristocracy.
In faer, their 'pretension' leaves the petit bourgeois particularly disarmed in the less legitimate or not-yet legitimate domains which the cultural 'elite' abandon to {hem, whether in photography or in cinema, in which their am bitions are often expressed (as is shown, for example, in the fact that the gap between the petite bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie is much less wide regarding knowledge of cinema directors than of composers). The new-style petit bourgeois, who, confron{ed with objectively -ranked judgements, are able to choose the 'right' answer, are almost as disarmed as the working

At equal educational levels, the proportion who say they know at least twelve of the musical works mentioned increases more 'sharply than the pro portion who can attribute at least twelve of them to {heir composers, as one moves from the working class co the upper class (and the gap is very narrow among graduates) ( see table 4 ) . The same logic governs the differ ences by sex, except that they are less marked. Whereas, as regards com posers, no differences are found between the sexes among individuals of {he erences appear in favour of women as regards familiar same class, strong diff ity with works, especially in the middle and upper classes (in the working class, this knowledge is very limi{ed in both sexes); in the Cwo most femi nine occupational categories-the medical and social services and secre taries-all {he persons questioned claimed to know at lease three of the works. This diff erence in the experiential or stated relationship to music is no doubt partly explained by the fact that the traditional division of labour assigns to women familiarity with the things of art and literature. The diff erences linked to social origin are also very strong as regards knowledge of film directors, which, at equal educational levels, rises with social origin. So too does the proportion who assert {hat 'ugly' or trivial


.... ... ..... N

.,..; ,..:. N

0 0 0 ......

0 0 ...... ..... . . 0 ..... ..... - - "" .....

0 0\ 0
N N ..,.

o o


.... .... N ""

" O\ O\ C\
..... ..... 0 1/"'1

0 '1:1' - 0\ "' ..... "!\" .....


"" '" "<:f' -.:t'

N "'; N OO

0 0 "' \f"\

'<> ,


00 "" ..... .... "" ..... ""

..... 0 ..... 0 .

,..... ..... _ 1' N "<:I' ..... rn

C! v:

..... N _ N

"':' -.6 0:. ",

0 ...... "'


..... ....

0 0:. ""'; "';'

0 .,..,
..... .....



,....: N ,..:. ""

0 "' 0 N
_ _

..... 0 "" .,... N _ N '!;f' ..... N .... N

0 "":' '''''; '''''; - - -

o o

N -


0 0 ..... '" ,..; .....; c:.. ...,..;




d O N "':'
.... ..... ..... N

0 0 0 .....

g :-;t "

..... ..... ...... 0


00 00 ""': "";

.... ..... ..... .....

"' 0 ..... ""

r-- ..... ..... "<:f'

0 "'; 0:.. .,..;

0 ", 0 ,,",

"" 0 0 0 . . ..... ..... ..... N N N N N

..... ..... "" 0 . ..... ..... ...... "!I" ...... ..... '<t' .....

.,.... ..... N .....

o\ N ...i N

\I"'I o V'. '"

..... - .... ...

.,..; ", ,,, ...0

0 0 ..... .....

N ,

. . r-- oo _ -.:I" V'\ '<:I' .....

'" ..... \1"'1 \1"'1

.... .... N ""

0 0 ...... "" "'; o'. "'; a:i

N ""' ''''' .....

0 0 ...... ""' 0 -,0 ""': ""':

- . u 0



-to 0 " -a u u . ..c e .._


..c o e "" <7i (.I


e: =


Cultural (or linguistic ) t nce, which is acquired in relation to a particula r field function as a source o f inculcation and as a market, remain defined by its s cOnd' o . . . . l . ''' ns of ac9U1Slf on, Thesc con d' ' HlOns, perpetuated 10 the mode o f . Utilizat ' lik. a 'Ol1--l .e., in a given relationship to culture or language-function o of'tr ade-m ark', and, by linkin g that competence to a particu lar . 1Ilarke , e1p to define the value o f its products in the various m arkers, In

NERS t: ing :

beautiful photograph. Needless to say, corresponding to m ke a (!bjters can odes of acquisition, chere are differences in the naeure of the ere [ be ditf er ed. The differences linked to social origin tend to increase as prc ay from the academic curriculum, from literature to painring ov a usic and a fortiori jazz or avant-garde art. J1l . oflt' tn showed that students of working-class or middle-class er survey .A ea l had scores similar to those of students of bourgeois origin in ng'n VI lture fell back as the test moved wwards 'extra-curricular' cul , clJSSlCal C oth avant-garde theatre and Paris 'boulevard' ( middle-brow) the ture:, I ,e., finds an entlfely analogous rclanon here between the artistIC One at,re: reachers (or even the art reachers, whir-as is and the secondary oduce pr ther survey now being analysed--especially when they are of t n ano e cv,dk t class middle-class origin, mostly have very 'classical' tasres and or . wat mgr to the teachers than to the artists) . close u h art who have acquired the bulk of their cultural capital in and for safer cultural investments than those who have h have more 'classical', SC cultural inheritance. For example, whereas the members of e ed a large ominanr class wirh rhe highest qualifications ( the agregation or a die lema from a grande ecole ) never mention certain works or certain painters ical of middlebrow culture, such as Buffet or Utrillo, have considerable knowledge of composers, and prefer the Well-Tempered Clavier or the Fire bird SlIite, the highly educated members of the working and middle classes mort' often make choices which indicate their respect for a more 'scholastic' culture ( Goya, Leonardo, Breughel, Watteau, Raphael) , and a significant proportion of them concur with the opinion that 'paintings arc nice but difficult'. By contrast, those who originate from the dominant class know more works and more often choose works further from 'scholastic' culture (Braquc, Concerto f the Left Hand) . Similarly, those members of the estab or lished petite bourgeoisie (craftsmen, shopkeepers, clerical and commercial employees, junior executives) who have relatively low educational capital (BEPC or below) make choices clearly marked by their trajectory. Thus, th who are rising socially show their respect for legitimate culture in nou s ways (e.g., they are more likely to agree that 'paintings are nice but d dlieul t ') and choose works typical of middle-brow ( Buffet, UtriIlo) or even popular taste (Bille Danub e ) . However, those whose fathers belonged to [he upper classes manif est, at equivalent levels of educational capital, 8 tet familiarity with musical works ( although they are no more familiar h corn sers' names) just , as they more often say they like the Im l? i n1sts, VISit museums mote often and more often choose academically conseerated works ( Raphael or Leonardo) .

rkS SlC, or das o

; s l;;


other words, what art grasped through indicators such as educlti! level or social origin or, more precisely, in the structure of the rel'tt. ship between them, are abo diffetent modes of production of the vated habitus, which engender differences not only in the cornp'etel acuired but also in the manner of applying them. These erent,_ manner constitute a set of secondary properties, revealing diff the various markets.

erent valu. ditions of acquisition and predisposed to receive very diff Knowing that 'manner' is a symbolic manifestation whose mea

and value depend as much on the perceivers as on the producer, one, see how it is that the manner of using symbolic goods, especially regarded as the attributes of excellence, constitutes one of the key
ees of 'class' and also the ideal weapon in strategies of distinction,

seh :

as Proust put it, 'the infinitely vatied art of marking distances'. The ogy of natural taste contrasts two modalities of cultural co;mF,e"'nce' its use, and, behind them, two modes of aC9uisirion of (uiture,,)R early, imperceptible l ea rn i ng, pe rfo rmed within the family from Iiest days of life and extended by a scholastic learning which

to the thoughtless pleasure of the 'naive' (glorified in ide as m uch rOsed the myth of childhood and the innocent eye) as to the t ro ugh o sureless thought of the petit bourgeois and the 'parvenu', y ol g sed l plea supp orms of aesthetic perversion which put always exposed to those f ",ho arc ledge above experience and sacrifice contemplation of the work to ss kno"' ion of the work, aisthesis to ask"is, like film-buff who know s u . 60 dlSc there IS to k now about films they have not seen. Not that th ing e e d ucat iO n al system ever entirely fulfils irs rational function: the es e t rial part of what schools communicate is again acquired incidentally, as the system of classification which the school system inculcates order in which i t inculcates knowledge or through the prerough Ihe sitio ns of ItS own organtzatton (the hterarchy of dlsClplmes, secppo etc. ) or irS operatIon (rnode 0f assessment, rewards and dons, exerci ses ut, in order to trans it at all, i t has to perform a pun ish men ts etc). , ee of rationaltzanon of what 1l transmItS, Thus, for example, in place degr of practical schemes of classification, which are always partial and linked


neer' would have it-as in the modality of [he relationship to and culture which it simultaneously tends to inculcate.')') It

ers from belated, methodical learning not so and completes it, diff in the depth and dutability of its eff ects-as the ideology of cultur

or and f all in the form of synoptic schemas or dualistic typologies (e.g., 'c1assical'j'romantic' ) , which are expressly inculcated and therefore con served in the memory as knowledge that can be reproduced in virtually orm by all the agents subjected to its action. identical f

to practical contexts, it puts explicit, standardized taxonomies, fixed once

-certainty which accompanies the certainty of possessing self gitimacy, and the ease which is the touchstone of excellence; it pre), the paradoxical relationship to culture made up of self-confidence ' ( relative) ignorance and of casualness amid familiarity, which bO'"1 families hand down to their offspring as if it were an heirloom.

The competence of the 'connoisseur', an unconscious mastery instruments of appropriation which derives from slow and is the basis of familiarity with works, is an 'a rt' , a practical which, like an art of thinking or an art of living, cannot be transln; solely by precept or prescription. Learning it presupposes the e'lIJi..: of the prolonged contact between disciple and master in a education, i.e., repeated contact with cultural works and cultured

himself, by means of a self-abandonment, excluding analysis and sele< of the elements of the exemplary conduct, so toO the art-lover, in a surrendering himself to the work, can internalize its principles struction, without these ever being brought to his consciousness

And just as the apprentice or disciple can unconSCiously acquire the . are not consciously known to the of the art, including those that

: to en

tion, which leaves its mark on the relationship to the goods c The sovereign pleasure of the aesthete dispenses with concepts. I t

ormulable as such; and rhis is what makes all the mulated or f between the theory of an and the experience of the connoisseur, . generally incapable of stating the principles o f his j udgements. By trast, all institution alized learning presupposes a degree of ra


prOV idi ng the means of expression which enable practical prefer S be brought to the level of quasi-syste matic disco urse and to be ConSCIO . . . usly organ" d lze around expI" Kit pnnClpIes, t he ed ucauonal system make o . ca s"b le a (more or less adequate) symbol ic mastery of the practi l pr (Iples of taste. As grammar does for lingu istic competence' it ratiOnal Izes the .sense , . 0f beauty , m those who already have it, giving them the III s o referring to principles (of harmony or rhetoric, for exam Pie), ep s tUtes th . , f rmul ae, Instead of relym g on ImproVIsatIOn; it substi e Inten tIonal quasi systemaricity of a formal aesthetic for the objectiv s sremati city of the 'aesthetic-in-itself' produced by the pract iCal p i r n ip es of taste. Thus academICIsm 15 potentIal ly presen t in every

To avoid any absolutization of the culture in relation to which the autodi dact's middle-brow culture is objec tively defined, it has to be remembered that the higher one rises in the social hierarchy, the more one's tastes are haped by. the organization and operation of the educational sysrcm, which IS responSible for inculcating the 'programme' (syllabus and intellectual schemes) which governs 'cultivated minds' even in their pursuit of the 'per soal touch' and rheir aspiration to 'originality'. Discrepancies between edu cational qualifications and cultur al competence ( linked to social trajeerory and largely attributable to the domestic transmission of non-scholastic cul ural capital) are, however, sufficiently frequent to safeguard the irreducibilk Yt recogn ized even by academics of 'aurhentic' cultu re co 'scholastic' U nowledge, W . ' ICn h' , as such 15 devalued.


r ;

other words. Whl! arc gn.ptd rhrough mdicators such as k,cI or OCia1 origin or, morc precisely, In rho: StruCTure of Ie ship !lelwn them. arc anI) different modes of produnion of the valed habi!l.'S, whkh engender differences not only in fhe 'O;"I''"''; . aC(luired but also in rhe manner of applying them. These dif(t'rtnces I manner (ons(iwtc 1 5([ of sondary proptrti. caJin8 different dilions of aC<juisilion and predisposed [0 rt(eh vcry difl'erent values I Ihe various markets. Knowing thaI 'manner' is a symbolic manifcstation wh and value depend as much on Ihc perceivers as on Ihe pro<il. l(cr. how il is lhar the manner of using symbolic goods. especially ,: rcgarde<l as rhe urribuIC'S of txcel1cocc. conSflfUICS Or'IC of thc key crs of 'class' and also rhc ide:ll w(':I.pon in srr:l.lcgics of distinnion, that as Proust put it, 'the infinitely varied art of marking distances'_ The ogy of na!llral tlste contrasts twO modalities of culrural competence liS use. and, behind them, twO mooes of acquisition of culture.'" 1,01 early, imperccplibk learning, performed within the family licst days of life and eXlendcd by a schobsllc learning which p and complctes iI, differs from belated, melhodical learning not so in Ihc deplh and durability of its effc<:tS-IIS Ihe ideology of culrur:al ' O nen' would have il-lls in the modality of rhe rciationship IO ' : 10 incul<;ale.>II II c' , , and culture which il simultaneously tends sdf-cenainty which accompanies Ihe certainty of possessing cul!llr:al gilimacy, and rhe ease which is rhe touchstone of excellence; it p"xl",. (he paradoxical relalionship to culture made up of selfconfidence (relative) ignor:ance and of casualness amid familiarilY, which 00","" families hand down ro their offspring as if ir ..ere an heirloom. .. The compelence of the 'connoi55<:ur', an unconscious instruments of appropriation which dertves from slow and is Ihe basis of familiarity wilh works, is an 'an', a pr:aclical which, like an an of thinking or an lrt of living, onnot be solely by precept 01' prescription. Learning it presupposn the of the prolon contact bclween disciple and master in a I education, i,e., repealed contact with cuilur:al works And jusr as the appremice or disciple can unconsciously aCtluire of the lrt, including those that are not consciously known 10 himself. by means of a selfabandonmem, excluding analysis and of Ihe elements of lhe exempbr}' conduct, SO {oo the artlover, in a . surrendering himself 10 Ihe work, on internalize irs principles struction, without these ever bcing brought to his ':; ; ," :;:: ;. ,, ormulabk as such; and this is whal makes all the i mulaled or f bc:tween the theory of art and Ihe experience of the connoi55<:ur, gener:ally inopabk of suting the principles of his jUdgemen ". .BY I Ir:lSI, al! inSlitutionalizccl learning presupposes a ckgree of :: : . tion, which blVes its mark on the relationship 10 the goods , The sovereign picasure of Ihe aesthete di$penses wllh concepts. It




. . ",ho are al...1hove expenence nd sacrl!1ce comempbnon of the work to jp " kdge i k(I": of the. work, disthtsis to ajl!tjs, like filmbuffs who know .:I,SCU'"'ion I)'thing there IS to know a001,11 films they have not seen. Nor rhat e: cclucational system ever entirely fulfils its r:ational function: rhe es t c schools communicate again acquired incidentally, nrialasparr of whlt of clssification whichisthe school syStem inculcates .l" h Ihe system :ugh Ihe or.:lr in which il !nclc1tes knoledge or through the pre. ..--.s ....itions of lIS own . orgalllDuon (Ihe hler:archy of disciplines, sec. _ L . '"w s exercises ere. ) or Irs oper:auon (muuc 0f assesmenl, fCWards and nons, punishmenrs ete). But, in order. 10 Ir:lns?,it at all, il has to perform a de&rtC or rattOnairzauon of what II tr:lnsmlfS. Thus, for example, in place ofpr.lctical schemes of classificalion, which arc always partial and linked 10 prartiol conlextS, il pUIS explicit, standardi taxonomies, fixe<! once': and for all in Ihe form of synoptic schemas or dualiSlic typologies (e.g., 'clmicaJ'rromantic'), which are expressly ineulcaled lIld Iherefore con. served in rhe memory as knowledge thaI can bc reproduced in virtually Icknucal form by all the agentS subjected to its action. To a'old any :wsotuliQtion of lhe culture in relalion to whieh Ihe autOOi. d.er's midd]ebrow culTure is objectively defined, il hlS to tx, rememtx,red ,hat Ihe hlsher one rises in Ihe social hierarchy, the more one's tastes are shape<! by lhe organization and oper.lrion of the rouotional syslem, which . 11 1P(lflSlble for incukning It.c 'progr.lmme' (syllabus and inlelJtuat . mrs) wlCh sovrn, 'utliV1llled mi.nds' eve in. rheir pursuil of the 'per. ,I lo"ch and lhe,r asp,rallon 10 'ongmailly Olscre""neies , tx,tween edu. Oflonal qua1 ' "callons and cuITur:a1 c0 pelcncc lnk ," I< . ' ed to social Ir:I.jcclory .( r:' and I gely atrnbulable (0 the domestic transmISSIon of nonschol.slic cui I I':II "'J>II I) wever, sufficiently frequent 8nl>:edare, hoby academics, of 'authenlic'10 safesuard'scthelirreducibil. II ven cultule 10 ho astic' h';'ge, whICh :u such ;s devalued.

_ "d :15 ough the myth of childhood and Ihe innocent e'e) as to the P"'"' - _ fhr pleasureless Ihought of rhe petit bourgeoiS and rhe 'pancnu', 1o

IY .ays eposcd to Ihose forms of 1C$thetic perversion which P"

much to (he thoughtless pleasure of the 'naive' (glorified in ide


; :

By I'rO 'd" the means of expression which enable pr:lc{ical prefer. '"8 O k brought to Ihe level of quasi'syslematic discourse nd to bc COllse/ Jy OUS rganl'O:cl 1round explicil principles, rhe e<!ucario nal syStem .: rna cal prt,' Ie a (more or less adequale) symbolic mastery of {he pr:lcti. . . CIP c-s of r,me. lor mgulsllc compelCnce, it r:I. tlon1hzC'S 'scnse "s grammar docs ' I' h the l'n<::l. 1 .of heaul(, i,n ns o refernng to pnnClp those who already have tt, giving them pk}, les (of harmony or rheroric, for exam. t\ltC'S J>CJ>ts, frmulae, instc:ld of relying on Improvisation; it substi. Ihe ll l ent'o.n1 quasi syslemaricilY of a formal 1CSthellc for the Ob tIY s l (! Pfillci jSlernaltwy of Ihe '1C$thel1cinitself' prooucc<i by Ihe pr:lCli. p C'S of taSte. Thus academicism is polemially prescnt in every

lends 10 convey piecemnl, in :a docuinal stl explicit norms and formube. explicidy laughf, gener-lIly negalive "\lional so abhor pedagogues and pedagogy-the ralional leaching of art p substifutes fOf direcl experience, it offers shon cutS on the long familiuiulion. it makcs po:miblc practiccs W hiCh ' ' ' ccpts and rules inSlnd of springing from the s; ; lUte, fhereby offenng a solution ro diOse who hope to lime. . " sryle direcdy g Ihan posilive, whal lradirional lnrning transmils in Ihe f orm of a

pnbgogy which

rasped In praclice. BUf above all-and rhis is why

";:: t;:: : ;


I . ,alSSOT N riK"d to hear thiS , '''' nv<. '''.... 'r J krnall say gc:nt things hc's said in this I,Inplas. al (ourt, and 15 one He's much ",ight CJX"I, , . Ihe court s mlsrrust of

Wit and , oS' ct Cou Learmng fusty

' . , s . . . , .ss' , s " , , .s, ,. . .

Respect for your grear name, to say thai you And aU yOUt kind ...ould do weU
1 0

Struggle, it nalufa/ius real differences. converting differences in :: : " of acquisition of culture imo differences of nalure; it only n ; g . i as legltimale Ihe relation to cuiture (or language) which least bears visible marks of its gencsis, which has nothing 'academic', 'bookish', 'afftni' or 'slUdied' about ii, but m:anif esrs b)' irs ease uralness rhal true culrure is nuure-a new mystery of immaculate (cption. This is ckarly setn in Ihe remuks of an aesthete of the devastating confession for an :art histOrian. rejects 'imcllcctualizcd

The ideology of natural taSle owes ilS plausibiliry :and its efiiocy I faCt Ihat, like aU Ihe ideological Sfraregics generaled in the everyday




AIltl, as a (ol,lfficr, ddends with esr The igno/"2.nCe thlt', in his interest.
You'..: '..:ry hud

He shardt, lIe

The COl,lrl in IOnes less harsh and querulol,ls; That Ihe coun is nOf 50 shorr of wit and brain As you and all your scribbling friends maintain; That all Ihings Ihete arc viewed wilh common sensc, That good ta.sre, tOO, is ml,l(h in And that ils knOWledge of the world sl,Irpasses The fuSlY Ic:aming of pedantic asses.



an, who wrilcs no differemly from Pierre FranoSlel when the lafter.

Which hl"llf$ l"lIch day

of your

edge', which can only 'recogniu. in favour of 'visual cxpc:tience', l sole mnns of access 10 '/rue vision:o

'Tast( mUSI not be confused with gaslrrmtmty. Whereas tasle is " , .. UTa/ gift of recogniing and loving perf ection, IS the SCI which govern the cultivuion and NiU(4Iion of taste. to taste u g'4mm4' and literature are to Ihe liu,a" JmJl. And fhis us 10 the hean of the problem; if the gourmet is a delicate (omloi Mtllr, the gUtrOnome :a JNdtJI/l? . . The gourmel i I


Ihat Iheir l"lIrcef$ arc bllghled by it, Ikplo..: il$ wrelChed lasle. lnd
<kery iI,

SOrt, Who deal in intc!le'::ll,Ial wues,

poor COUf!,

indeed on lhe how people


it had!

h15 good

taste, you say) [f only

Unhappy failures on

Ihe m:an of tasle is his own grammarian . . . NOl e..-eryone is a that is why we need gastronomes We must look. upon we look upon pedgogucs in general: they are sometimes

i'(,rmil me, Mislet Trissolin. wilh d


blame Iheir own

rhat cal,lSC

J 8. P. dec Molte..:, LnJ- ......,.. .

joY'hOY"''', 1978), 1'1'. 1 1'-118.

What makes you say, Sir, Ihat ils IUle is bad?


improve this '41htr min()r gmrt by mens of tCI, stfint and eleganl lightncss . . . There is such a Ihing as bd taSle .

ir is up to lhem

ams, but Ihey have Iheir uses. They belong 10 the lowtf, t or-dtr,
1 0

persons of rt nnnml know this imlinrlivtf,. For Ihose who do nOI. fi are needed.'61 Knowlnige by cxpc:rien ce. which, like 14li f J, eels nd lkplores {he essemial inadequacy of word s express the reality 'lasted' in myslical union, rejecls as unworthy tcllcctual love of an. Ihe knowledge which idenlifies expc:rience work wilh n imcllrual operation of diphering.61

:;;;i:; ":;!;: : : :

Thc differenccs in manner that ;"d ;'". ;, diffi:rcnces in mode of acquisilion-i.e., in scniority of access to domina", cJass-whkh are generally associatni wilh differences in -

. PQ5iuon of Op-taI, are P" . - I __ .J O ' "Spo,.;u 10 mark d. I erenccs WIthin Ihe cIomi. ' . . ' I"" s d, I erences In cultural capllal muk rhe differences be. t..._n . " Ihe cI 64 Thai lS why manners, cspcc:iaJly Ihe manne r of n:11(Ionship 10 uses.. . Ic glumate culture, are the stake in .....rmanrn l stru,. c ,, ln .. - o neulral SUtemeOl m Ihese mailers: . (erms desig 1 . ' thc Ing the 0 nat. . . : tsmg dlsposl lons c n be t ken as compitment IIt ary or pcjora . ... on Ihe poml of vIew. It IS no aCCident {har t Ihe opposition h n I e scholastIC' (or 'pedamic' ) and Ihe monda II'$Slo in' (he efforr. I ,eganl, IS t t ' he hearr of debates over tUfe and cullure in eve'" " 8t, h' -, md rwo B ys r , . _ -. 0 P'U<lucmS or apprcclumg culrural __ . vtl) cI ....orks., . I Ih rn':;ly desgn'cs IWO conlrasting modes of acquisition, and, tlonal m pcnod at least. two different relationShi ps to the educa. sysrem.

'i, , S ' S , " , , ' ' .S, ' , S . ' .S" ,'S'

(1672) In T Lu.'WII "" in", En8h$h "" by (N... yo, J><! London, H11"(QUrI 11<0

L.Jm, Irl",blN R,ch.rd Wilbur

"', t cIas " s


In France, literary debate in {hI' firs( hlf of the severm:tnth was dominated by (he antagonism betwn the dO(ft1--Chpdain U Mesnardi, Fartl, Colk(el, d'Aubignac elc" who looked t throrists, and ulrimarely to Aristotle, for the rults thl')' sought to on Ihe construction of l iterary works,61 nd at the me time ground these rules in rtason-and the mondains, who fuscd bound by precq>t, madt their pltasurt their guide and pursued finittsimal nuancts which make up the 'je ne sais <juoi' and the perfeoion of savoir vivrt, l'h( g!'C:a1 debates over t:lSte which I works arouse or drllmatize (such as the question of tht precieux ' by codifying and raILonalizin8 salon dtlicacy, an m of Iivin8 fi b as inde na le, changed its whole nalU) involvt not only Ihe with which Inc diff fC1lt fractions of (nc dominant class idtntify e the Chevalier de Mere so well putS it, 'the marmers of ' them, which art {htmsclvts kinds of virtues', and throu8h t ity in their class, and their way of 8e((;n8 then:, an: expl'C'SSCd or

j j 70 I A SiaJ Crili'luf o INJudgnnml o TIf

Cultivated se or

U {IJII,>tf1A

s'sss,s'" " " s," ,'" ,ss,','

know every' d ha"': 1 man manner of 'I .... yet by his an "0'' (Ollvicu:-d of hal' th,nS " bc "

t<i ' Antoine Gombaud, 'U ' j Me": (1607-168)), Dt ,nS S ()tCV'hcr "':"




Paradoxicall y, precocity is an efftct of seniority: aristocracy is ,he par cxcellence of precocity since it is nothin8 other than tht K"'ori which is the b irthright of the off pring of ancien( families (at leasr s . cietLes in which a8e and aristocracy-virtually Iuivllent recognized as values) _ And this initial stalus..:lerived capital is g by tht adVllntages which precocious acquisi tion of It itimart 8ivts in Itaming cultural skills, whClher table manners or the art vc:rsation, musical culture or Ihe $Cnse of propr ielY, playing tennis nUncialion. Tht embodied cul tural capi tal of the pn:vious funClions as I son of advance (both a headstut and I providing from Iht OUtsel Ihe example of cultu n:: in modds, enablts the newcomer to Sian aC<juiring Ihe basic dementS

Innumerllble illustrations could be cited from the vast liter:l.lun: wd;fy, inKplrably, ordinary behaviour and the cmltion lnd works of art, in short everything which falls under the I of lasle, one of lhe key words of lhe age;"" but one exampk caU$C il explicilly links manner, mode of acquisilion and rhe , nllts: '1bc: author [Furerire, lhe bourgeois author of U Ro""." who had c;tic;:ted La fontline and Bcnsende] sho,""" clnrly that he i lhel of soc,ety nor of lhe court and that his tasle is of a pedantry one not even hope to reClify. Ccmin things are never undcmood if they arc not unde,.,tood at oncto some hard and rough minds will never be led the charm and grace of Bcnserade's balku and La Fonnine's f ables. Th1l door ;s dosed to Ihem, and so ;s mine . . , One can only pny to foe' slOCh a man and hope: never to have dealings wirh him' (Mme, de letter to BussyRabutin. 14 May 1686).

tters, 'Sut kind words on all ma ry agrtt'/.bly uuercd, will gralify eve . go further, \I IS I ener Wit cannot t . t m15tC'P'e(c of intelligence, Soy to them nothing which savours ofstudy or setms F.ar-fctchcd. Above all. since (hey are: ....ell pleased with thrir O""n worth. refrain from in structing them on any matter, or rorrcung th{:m, whatever mistakes c: you observe them to make.' Me":.

correction in mosr 'What nceds tOO composed, ;s mething ""hers all and. study. The ..hteh -ks of " ' ,e " setm nltu I,m IOUSt be to ma ,


anions of the body lnd mind: and the more one considers it, the more: one is charmed by it, without realiz ing where it comes from. . . . For everything that is done OUt of con stnint or se....itude, or has any tnee of coarsc:ncss, destroys it. And to lender a person amiable in his ways, you should please him as much as you can and lake care: nOI to burden him with tedious instructions.'
Mere, CNs "grimm!,

"I: Mbi. Dts "gr.rwrnu


'11111 civility is perceived in the brulCS, rhe manner, in the sligh(est

Dr '" _I,w... Irf'UJ

S i ,s s" " " " , s " , '" ' s " , s " " , ' " ss

times obliged 10 rurn a hand to man)' things. even the things of which they know Ins,- In such a case, they should not behave like professional cnftsmcn, whose sole (oncern is to finish their lask. A gt'ntleman should setk. flOt so much to be expert in what he undertakes, as to under"ke it like a gentle man , . This air of case which comes from 1 fortunat bit!h and In e excellent habit is one of the ameni ties of a gentltman; he should set about even the mOSt difficult tuk with such detachment that it setms to COSt him no drot!.' Me.. CNs

'PclSOns of refinement an:: some


rarest condirions of ove.rmaniftst tht is taeitly cogn i ed asc<juisition, Ihat is, a social time which tht suprtme ex(dlence: 10

cuhure, from the beginning, that is, in the most u ncon sc'ous and impalpable way-and to dispense wilh the labour of dccul . turatlon, cor tc{S of 1'C(:tion and n::tnining that is nttded 10 undo the eif t lppropriar c iClmin8' legitimarc mannrs owe their value to (he fact at they

tk lcgitimue

t Osc taturt is that they can only be anluiTed itl1hc thtngs whose common f cOurse of {Lme, by means of rime, against time, that is, by inhen t ncc

Ih to( t lOgs from tht past, i.e., aecumulatt-d, crystallized hislOry, anI' c n es and r rn {illes, chiteaux or 'Stately homts', paimings and col 0 tlS, VI t3ge wints and antique furniture, is 1 mast r time. Ihrough t all h


Ihrough dispoSItions which. like the taSle for old things. are:

om c,

likewise only Olcquiml with time and applied by those who on

f f 72 / A S()(i,,1 Criliqut (I 1mJudgnnml (I TaJlt

"., ,

If the foregoing argumcnt suggestS an 'analysis of cw::""," ;: ' removed, it would m, from Heidegger and his 01.1 C nuse mOSt 8rouP hl'e sought to lay down absolule, S means of the irI'Cversibilily of time, which gives i n fbible form of social order based on the order of succes:\ions. cJaimanlS to sueces:\ion-father and son, owner and heir, master ciple, plC'decasor and successorre sepalated by nothing. bUI there is every SOrt of social mechanism to make this gllp able. Thus. in fhe scruggle belween the diffent 'manners', i e (he em manners of acquiring the dominant groups arc always on the i

If this is accepted (and it would n('Cd to !xc esrablish(d more systemOlli_ oily), then capital makes it possible to appropriOlte the colleaivdy prO' duc(d Olnd accumulate<! means of r(illy overcomin8 anthropol08ical llii,mi., The means of escapin8 from generic alienadons include rcpresentafion, t pollrait or statue which immollOllizes the person repr=nt(d (sometimes, by a son of pleonOlSm. in his own lifetime): lnd memor;als. the .""',,,.. Ihe wriuen word, am """,,,iIlJ. which cdebrates and 'hands on to pos,er' ity', and, In pmicular, historical writing, which gives a place in legilimne the bour hislory-hence the particular smus which the public, geois public, gives to hiscorians, ,he masters of so::iend6c che eommemo.."tive cemonies in which the group offers i age and gntitude co rile dead, who are thereby shown (0 be liH ctive, Thus it nn be ittn rhal crernal life is one of the most w.,,'''' social privileges; the qualily of the eternity depends, of course, on ity and eKtCm of the group providing it, and can range from "'l"" m mass organized by lhe f mily to n annuOlI national holiday. a


Every gro tends to set up tile mC'Olns of pcrpetuting nitc indivi uals in whom it is incarnat(d. (This was one fundlment.1 insights.) In Or<kr to do w, i t C'ltwlshe1 whole sel :misms, such :as ddCSation, rcprcscntafion and symboliufion, which ing) is etemOlI. As ubiquity :and eternily, The rcpreseTlluive (e,g" the k Kanlarovitch has shown. the king h:as tWO bodies. 01 biological, mortal body. subject to biol08ical infirmities. p.JS1ion or imbecility, body, immorlOll, immaf(rial 3nd ftttcl from infirmilies or can 5C'Cu ubiquity by dele8atin8 to Others the IUlhofity wilh I he inVCSI(d, His laU$ a levi((! by [uatJ lilbiqlilt prtJmJ, 3nd, as Po$I OOs.:,tvQ, Il e dek8ue who holds pima fIO'tSla} agmd; 'can do everylhing that lhe l mandnor himself nn do', fhanks to his ptYxIiITalio ad l11n"ialacim"".... A8ain 1I11IW1'1ilaJ _ "'tmIIlT. Oeuh. from Ille poinl of view of groups, is only an accident. and personified coJ[tives organize themselves in such Ol ""'Y that lhe demise of Ihe morul bodiC'l which once embodi(d 8roup-reprtsentOltivC'l. ddegatC'l, OlgentS. spokesmen----JOC'l nOt affe(l Ihe existence of the 8rouP or the funcfion in which it is realized: dig";laJ _



that is. the oldest ac 'nsensible and invisible mode of qui sition ' t recious one. This is whal provides thc invariOlnt elements of moSt and , n( discourse and gives an air of eternal youth to cerrain doml trictly situated Olnd dOlled, like all the Ie l hOugh they Olre in realily s mes, a the bces of elegant disquisition on innate taste or Ihe blundering (Ommonp . . anIS. of ped

most I

T ArlJ/t)CI'ary o fCullurt / 73

:'h' t


gnificance b:tSed on funcrional and stfUClural ' I mastcry of social si )' underlies and f.!ci itues ev r day reading of the 'Iics'" and, . it is a pracncal use. hterary qUOlallon, a qUite spec,al use m ".,mo O sin(c which is l son of summons 10 appear as a,h'oote and wilflCSS, of b:asis of a soci:!1 wlid:!rilY disguised as in 10 a pasl author on lhe sense of mC'Olning, which SlOPS Sholl of . ,luaI >VIidlrlly , Th' ,rKliol td.. 'LI ' '- II es ICh mal< - f'OSS'u <"-Since thIt wouId affinily wh' ob uylng the social hc tCXI-pro. the <ksircd dfC<I, by Iativ;l;ng boh lhe rndin$ lnd nu y and a denial of Ihe SOCIal baSIS of that use, slmuh:lneously a social use

" r:tC'I. _ ""!


Identifyin8 Ihe invariants must not, howcvcr, lead us to tre:at a panicu tive study would jar scace of the struggle as eternal, and Ol true compar:a havc ro take account of the specific forms that the struggle and the themes in which it is expressed take on when the obiective relations be rween the d fr.l({ions change, I t seems, forenmple, that in the second half of the seventeenth (entul')' Ihe growing authority of the mondains and of the COUll, combined with Ihc tendency of high society to become mo cuhivlled, reduced che diStOlnCe between dones and mondains; this Ie.:! to the risc of a new species of mOln of leners. typified by the Jesuits Rapin and Bouhours,69 masters of rhetoric who were themselves both doctes and mondains. who frequemed artists and aristocrats and helped 1 produce synthesis of the demand of Ihe coun Olnd the academy (and 0 dld so by Shifting the cemre of the debale from the question of wonhy . subf('(ls co ch:!1 of the slyle i n which (hey might be tte:lted),
m llarlr , IIOw:>dlyS, the f." thr .n Increasingly luge proportion of the


SlflCu bou'grolsie 's making ;nlen$ivtc use of the (duca,ionl1 system (and ::!:1.lJy, In Fnncr, the gra"dtJ kokJ) is tending to modify Ihe form of lhe lOnShlp betWeen the mandOlin and ,he scholast1c--<ultural excellence t 1 .tId ,"gly belongs 10 ,hose ....ho combi ne ,he 1"''0 modes of Kquisilion IIOq nucnrly the COOlCnt of the ,itual antitiw:scs in which the opposi. _ tWn 'scholars' and 'gentlemen' is expressed.'" case of Ihe b tions between Ihe nineteemh-cenmry German u ni e and the 'prin<cly courts prescms another state of the power re l atl on'CS . r e irtu esulting In Ol diff ren t configuralion of rhe images of the SCholarly an rhe courtly villues. I\s Norbcrr EIiOlS very clearl y shows, bour I Intel t lc<tuals were much earlier and much more complelcly in_ tgntCd Into Ihe world of Ihe cou/1 rn Fr:ancc ,han in Germany. The




conventions of style and f orms of civililY which domin3tc the tion31 ystem nd Il its pwducu, in panicu !u the arrention given language and to intellectual propriety, derived, in the case of from coun 5OCiety, whereu in Germ:lfly the intdligenuia, especi;rJly the universities, set itself up in opposition w the court and the modds it was importing, summing up its vision of 'high 5OCieey' in riVOlitY '" d anlirhesis between 'Civilization', char:l.cteriled by f aliey, and 'Culture', defined by seriousness, prof undi,y and , : ; , i In other words. there is the SlIme basic opposition between doctes mondains. with identicli coment, but with the values reversed: h", . doctes could not assert their utonomy except by asserting (heir own tu and Iheir own 'manner of pr:l.<Tising them', thereby dev1l.luing . SOCiety VirtUes, The fact remains tha! the 'pednt's' sitution is never entirely abk. Ainst the 'populace' 1nd with the mondin h3ve every rc:a50n Iso to :Kcept it, since they h2ve an inteI'CSt ' I riglus-ht is inc!intd to acctp t (ht ideology of inn(t tastes. since it [he only absolute guar:l.ntee of his ekction; but ag.tinst the mondain forced w assert the value of his aC<juirements, and, indeed, the the work of :K<juisition. the 'slow effort {O improve the mind'. as put it, which i$ a blemish in the eyes of the mondain, but in his own his supreme merit.
The embarrassment of audemic minds, indebw:l and commi{[ed




(I "... J"Ut;<II,.,,, " , ...... } }

; :f.

s .S cuilure and th bourpi relation 10 culture owe their inimi BOUr c<'I g ocr to the bct thu, like popular religion as secn b y Groc table Chl ey are aC<juired, pre-verblIy, by arly immeion in a worl? of (hU ople, pr:l.ctic ad objects. "':'hen the child gr<.>ws up m a pe . cu]U which musIC 15 not only 115tene.::l to (on hi-fi or r:l.dto hoId in houS' performc-d (the 'musical mother' of bourgeois 3Uto 'l/lada s) but "o Y) and a foniori when the child is introduced at an euly ag to bi g nt---aiall the piaQ-(e dft is at least to pro ! ? e' i slrume I nob relationShip to mUStC, which differs from the alWo1)'S ore &miliu du(C t distant, contemplative nd often vrbosc: relation of those who rn me: to music through concerts or even only through records, in hav CO Wo1y as the relation to pa inting of those who hvc discov. h he same p i heluedly, in the <juasi-schol:uti( atmos here of the museu, dif from the rdatio developed by those born mto world fil1ed wllh a1 . objeCtS, familiar family propertY, amassed by succlve gener:l.flOn {tJ taste, and sometimes ,homem1de (like {ylng to their wealth and jam or embroidered linen).

m / ; krs

i ;



lion, surfaces whever i[ is a <jueslion of Ihe adcquae approach to a of art :lnd lite riShl way to u<juire it; and rhe cOnlr:l.diCfion is at he of all {h<:ir t'lhcdc Iheories. no 10 mendon heir I!emps !O eslblish a pcda,gogy of an, The ideology of naur:l.l gifs i$ 100 potent, even wihin he roundonal SYSTem, for a n expression of flith in hc powel"$ of a nal pcdagogy :limed at reducing Ihe pr:l.Cfinl Kltemes of f:lmiliarilY !O fied rulcs, dcspit( the fac that (his pranical affirma(ion of h( 'na(Ur:l1 riSlu' !O an is h( naTural weapon of those who appeal o knowledge and ideas and aim o discredit he divine right of rh advocles of immedirc e>p<'ricrn:e and pleasure. For eumple, rhre are all rhe rcs over the tellching of an (more specifically, he aching of drawing)----'OI (omradic !ion in ttrms (or lOme. who hold hlt beauty i$ neithr Iughl " ' bur is I grace rr:l.n$mirrc-d from inves{ed miSters to predestined sci , , I ohe", a field of pcd:lgogy like :lny mher. (On<: (hinks, ' ';: . 11;,."__ po!emio berween the advOC1tcs of ruion:ll pcdagogy, such Ind lhe chlmpions of the charismltic view. such as RlvaiS$On. over [he I trodunion of dr:l.wing les$Ons ;mo gener:l.l eduntion in rhe ClIrly years the Third Rq>I.Iblic.)


;: ;;:;

::::: :. :

Ideology is an illusion consisttnt . int(I'CSt. but I wdl.grounde.::l illusion. Those who invoke ag3insl knowledge h3ve 3 basis for their pre;udi in the rc:al between {he domesti( learning and the Kholastic laming


Diffcrern:es linked to $OCi31 origin Itt' no doubt most marked in penonal prodction of visu:ll art or th playing of a musical in$uument, apdfUdes ..hich, both in lheir acquisition and in their p<'rformance, presuppose not only disp05i{ioru :1S$OCiued with long cstablishmcm in the world of UI lnd cI(rc but al$O economic mans (especially in the cue of piano-playins) and spare time. At C<:Jual educ.uional levels, they vary srongly by social ori IJ gin. Thus, among holde" of rhe b;at(tWuri /, II" p<'rcent of ho originate from the dominanr.dw uy [hey ofm play 3 musiol .. inmumtn(, compared with ' p<'rcen( of those of middle<lw or working dlS$ orisin, Among gr:l.duares, the corresponding proporfions are 22.' p<'r t and p<'rcent. Pinrin8 lfId sculpture, rdaivdy negle<:led by thO$<: "'th hc highot <juaiifio.lions, are mo, ar C<:Jual edunional levels, much more common among respondentS of dominam<lw origin. Status-linked familiriry is manifested in, for enmple, knowledge of the PP<l(tunities :lnd conditions for .c<juiring works of all, ....hich depends nor only ?R the maferial and cullur:l.l capaciry ro appropriate bUI 11$0 on IonS lfandn meo:nbe" hip in a $OCiai world in which art, being an objec of ap' B: nlUOn, s present in the form of familiar, person:ll obje<:lS. Thus, in the r v>:y commissioned by ,he Ministry of Cullure (CS, VII), the p<'rcentage o ! C$pondmtS wle (0 give 1fI :lnswer when asked the lowesl price al which 'Ooc flOw buy an original lithogr:l.ph or 5erigr:l.ph by a contempor:!.ry nal arliu' varies conSider;tbly by social class, !";Inging from 10.2 p<'r (Ot ag "<I llcultur:l.l workel"$, 13.6 percent of unskilled and semiskilled r percent of clerical 3nd commercial employttS to 66.6 per <tnt _ er r sllo eecutives and profnsionals.


rhe rcspon

;os' Pfo ;a k :; 17.6


lb cho fCf) Ice 0f "'orla such as the CtmarltJ[ IIx u HIJ"d (much more fW ft
amo ng Others) or L'E"[IJ,,I II Its

/J\ong those who play an insuument-espedally the piano J(WlilJ is much more slrongly

linked 10 socil origin than to educational capital. By conUUt, f works like the Wt(f.Ttmptrtd Gavin- or the lir' o Pugu" thelt stronger corrdation with educational capiul than with $OCial on"; ections. one can Through thot indicators, despite' their imp(rf guish different relations 10 the hierarchical, hier:lfchizing world 1Ur:l1 works. which arc closely linked to a set of interrelated d;,r, and which stem from different modes of acquisition-domestic scholastic, or exclusively scholutic-of cullural capital. Thus, when bnd Barthes makes an aesthetic out of a puticulu relation (0 produced by rly, domestic, 'practical' acquaintance, and describes thelic enjoyment as a sort of immediate communication between tener's body and the p(rformer's 'inner body', present in 'the grain singer's voice' or 'the pad of the pianisl's fingen', he IS in fan "f'.;" the opposition between twO modes of acquisition. On the one hnd, there is music fot rccord colle<lon (linked ing mand aris from the 'growth of the number of listeners and the pearance of practitioners'), an exprnsive, dr:lmatic, sentimentally art of communicuion. of understanding: 'This cultutt . . , wants wants music, provided they be clear, that they "tr:lnslate" an '"". and represent a signified (Ihe "meaning" of a poem): an art that lues pleasure (by reducing il to a known, coded emotion) and Ihe subject to what in music (an IN said; what is said about it b don, Criticism, Opinion.'71 On the other hand, there is an art which fen the sensible to sense, which htes clO<juence, grandiloquence, and the palhetic, lhe exprt$Sivc and Ihe dramatic. This is French Oupare, Ihe later Faure, Debussy. everything that in another age have been called pure music, the intimism of the piano, the instrument, and the intimacy of the bourgeois salon, In this between twO relations to music which are aways defined, more sciously than consciously, in relation (0 each olher-the taste for ists of the past, Panzera or Cortot, loved even for their i which evoke the freedom of the amateur, implies a distaste performen and thcir impcble recordings for mass again finds Ihe old opp05ition between the docte, who IS 10 {he code (in ,,'cry sense), the rules, and thetefore the and Criticism, and the hedonistic mondain, who, being on the of n2lute, the 'ntur:d', is contenl to fed and enjoy, and who all tr:lce of intdlCClUalism, didacticism, pedantry from his exp(tlence,

76 / Ii Sod'" Criti o ,btJud nnml o J qu, j g

I am



; "',':,



Every material inhetitance is, suiclly cultural inherilance, Family heirlooms not only bear muerial I the age and continuity of the lineage and so consecrate its social which is inseparable from permanence over time; they also a pr:lctical way to irs spiritual reproduction. thaI is, to

3 ( with the things of taste, SUI it is also the sense of belonging to a mo polire. ?tiler policed world, a world which is justi orC pOlished, lIS p(rfccllon. Its harmony and beauty, a world which fied In exisling by uced ,Beethoven and, M,ozart and continues to rruce p(ople (a. hlS prod , ble of pJaymg and pprcctatlng them, And finally It IS an Immediate hercnCC. at lhe deepest level of the habitus. to the lastes and distastes, )'mpathies and aversions. fanlasies 2nd phobias which, more than de opInions. forge the unconscious unify of a class. If a group's whole life.style can be read off from the style it adopts in furnishing or clothing, [his is not only bcouse these properties are the ob)tilication of ,he economic and cuitur:ll necessity which determined their selection, but also because the social relations objectified in familiar ob)l5, in thdr !UKUry or poverty, their 'distinction' or 'vulgarity', thdr 'bc:luty' or 'ugliness', imprtSl rhemselves through bodily exp(riences whICh may br: as profoundly unwnscious as [he quiet caress of beige car. ptlS or the thin clamminess of tattered, garish linoleum. lhe harsh smell of bleach or perfumes 2S imperceptible as a negative scent." Every inte rior exp, in its own language, the present and even tm: PlSt state of liS occupants, bespeaking the elegant self'assur:lnce of inherited wealth, the flashy arrogance of the nouvux riches, the discI'CCt shabbiness of the poor and the gilded shabbiness of 'poor relations' miving to live beyond thw means; one thinks of the child in O H, Lawrence's story 'The . O(klng.Horsc: Winner' who hears throughout Ihe house and even in s kdroom. full of expensive toys, an incessanl whispeling: 'There mUSt notc money.' Experiences of this son would be the material of a so ' '''t psychoa , nalysis which set OUt 10 grasp the logic wheteby the social rc anons oo' . ,, _ . , ,, f' 111 , ,,-, 10 rhmgs and also, of COUr1C, in people arc insensibly '"' . ern11zcd tak' . " 109 (hCit P,ace 10 a lasllng relauon to the world and.(o . alh<: whICh manifests itself, for example, in thresholds of lolerance of the nalu . . ral and SOCI'" worfd. 0f nOIse. overcrowdIng, physical or verbal '.' Ylolen (t--ad of which the mode of apptOpriarion of cuhur:ll goods is 0", d '. 'ITlenw_ >. "e effect of - . . mvue 0r acquISItion IS most marked in the ordinary ' " L 1 {'01C(S f eveday existence, such as furnjtute, clothing or cooking "'hlch a $111Ons e prllcularJy revealing of deep-roote.:! and long.standing dis L , . ur:cau ' Iy 9 OUtS' e thc scope 0f the e.:!ucallonal system, they ha 10 d Ve to be . confron' , II were, by naked taste. withou t any explicit t<! ripllOn or 18 18tnc, prOSCnptlon, other than from semilegitimate legitimiz. I(S such as women 's weeklies or 'ideal home' magnines.

wmp(tences which ''1.IU' ,.irlues ndois dynasties. What isarc the basis of legitimte memo u<Juircd in daily COntact with In bourge bC I objcctS, by regular visits to antique(!calers and galleries, or, more ac!C; by moving in a universe of familiar. intimate obiccls 'which ltt "P S" .Y"as Rilke .uys. 'guileless, good, simple. (emin', is of (ourse: a cer. is nothing other than telation of immediate familiar.

lhe;aste. which lrl




78 j A Soda' Crlllqllt o fht)lIdgtmtnl o J j

I am



It m1y

by every i I I 'sense', funCt o ing in i I ra (e.g.. lilerary history. at Iwt among the most has the eift o I the weight of what is abandoned to o economic and cultul"lLl inhetilance. e that these diff" t('nces (Ontinue to function in Olher cover .heir full force as soon as the logic moves real mkes into these areas-which it of course a to do.


Ihe p1

in f reducing. the diff"et('nces linked t iu

inheriled 'senses' and.

of.he Struggle f": :;,';,,f .

r ./Jk ,

The 1djectives the tapondenls ha chosen 10 describe an ;","'0" . the source of their furnirure. are more closely linked 10 their social than to their educational qualifications ( un l ke their judgement on togl"lLphs or their knowleJge of composers), more directly depends on etfly letm in , especi11ly Ihe letming takes place without any eprns imention to tC2Ch, than the and knowledge that are investeJ in clothi , furnishing and more precisely. n the way clothes, furniture and food the mode of acquisition of furniture (department store, shop Ot Flet Mukel) depends at leul 15 much on social sc ooling. A. equal eJucarional levels, .hose members of the class who were also born nto that class-who. more often than Olhers, in heri ted so e o .heir umi tut('"--1c<jui red their furniture cially those living in Pari ) from an anti<jue..detlcr more oftcn than artment born into other classes. who tcnded to buy from a dep spec alized shop or the Flea Market. (T e I:IS{ i

of rhe dom inant class who have ri ng h,nd by I capital. and on .he orher hand by mcbcrs of rhe dom rllt" cd ,nosr born into .hat class. w o have 1e5ii educanonal capi al than r 'lus. years 0fl' her 11.'; Ina" prom sed. i.e.. those who have h.d O e or tWO ir OTiSIn II>( iOn table .) (lf)l/ Ihat onc ""ould find thc strongest 't IS probably in lasles in f ' am learning. the Icssons which longest t Indelible mark of nf .... nd " .nd most rlUT' a Ihe dis a c ing or colbp c of t e native world ,,'Irhs an native world is. above all. thc maternal " in .for il..Thc hll' ,naln I oous . f- . ....orld of primordial lastes and basic '- 0 'he a. i . .Ch ple1Sure.gIVLng t an r d the pal cul mral good. in w I . ,d.lIon to the aIChe.y " Isposulon towards p easure ' art of pleasure and 0f the seieC([Ve d' . In!CS!1II P pIeuure. "'hich is


si mcmbers h i s

tJLId mOld t ,,0

tn nOSlalgia

1C<ju,rcd through c

f a chcypa S I

bec1Use nothing.

h ;' l


mS te s n n ' Cmlol lnd 'synrhelic" oo:casions, an i i ingthe sponden!s on : IS a lifc-style in s completc undem.nding fm be horne. mm.!: mco c " IS ,ml,1;<" lher g i 1 SYSlcm Th,s bcmg surprising ls m

m f s

e ce in food. h search for the O l y the 11m ,,'as to id l'lif pref rcn queslio s led me to quesl o indICator of the nteres! they served on special ,,hich fur. ' . of elf.procm.llon ,"iopled in 'showi ng off" , III Ih,s o .'ho n"UfC 11$0 plays a pm). For . rhc Style f faClnrs has '0 I t<: . ' p1tliCU\1r!y complex se' o h at r of thc . of mel1 th.. peopk like 10 offet 15 no doubl v ry good 1m- sys (h. ....ish 1 #vc or avo.d glvmg to OIhers and. as 0 udm . m adduLOI\ 10 .he md , of faClon nc .eml!I( expression of 1 . of Ihe position oo:cupicd in the economic and cultural hlc1':lrch'. CI'O'S

s especially f;;; ;;;d ; rc


in ,he dominan, d.... by \>C1I.ion .nd soci.l origin .heir furnitut<: from nch sou e) .' Social origin Oq>anmcru Specialized


Lowc. th.n b1{ Working .nd middle d.""




Upper cluses

Working and duses

Upper Working and middle cluses Upper cluses

middle dmcs

" "




41.) n

1l.0 1.O
,.., .,


. Some

and middle dmcs





.. ,





) .0


' ;\.,

cconomic rr.jectory. social Ifajtory and ,uhura! tl"lLleClory. . e thar the eff" C ..e mos! " I ibe in the w. " is nO! ('ClUe bourSCO'sie. Thc mcmbers of the csubloshe<l pcflte bour ro, , morc ofrcn sef','c ,he,r friend 'plenflful tnd good'. 's, ple bur ""el 'presen ted' m("1ls ,han he new petite bourgeoisic. who prefcr 10 'PO' luck' IIUI differences linked 10 1fOjen ry. Thus ilso finds ... pe." bourSCO's of ,dd e and good' mnls. ".hich ., '""" thc case ... jth rhose of upper-class o"l\ln. who. by conffOSI. t<: very and no",' to ,he e;-l1bl,shd pe,ite hourgeoisie. 'hc pr pe suy to off"er 'plentiful and good meals .s as among those in d dine 0$ . on,!: 'hose who uc Up...ardly mobile a d onginaiC from he "'orkin classes. The f r er nc,'C! o "Y 'hey <.>Ifer -PO' luck' or ori o al .nd exotic' mea s. whern$ the ("mC1 do m (.hough cour . as ofren as Ihc ncw peru bourg<:Qls). se
.... U C .


2U '2.0 '.0

14-' 2\.)

s g sc l s !iCrVC origm.1' mnls t Or o STrOng one m l or workingdass origin mOre often off"cr plentiful In mdlned Ihe 'ot;gin1 o n m e StrOng g m n t blfcr l ' gn nOt. of l! 'S Il .n;;aeO accident thn even Ihe p f St pleasures hose mOSt puritieJ of
of corpofCllllY (such as thc unlque. pure nOtc' of the PhtltbllJ. , lrndy reserve<.! thcm for {hc f ) . con.1In on element wh,ch. as ew 10 th food, !hc archetype of all 'aslC, of the er ref s d "c ly b a k c 10 the oldest and deepest CKpenen(es. Ihose which de ttml d <:," cr-<k,crmin the primLli"e opposilions-bl1tCrj5weer. lb I IlI' p,d, hOljcold. coar /delica c. aus!crejbnsht-whLCh at<: as se

responden.. indicuro mo ,h.n One )Oun:e.

crudest" plesurcs t ""'f:7 :n c r

!astes of

essemial [0 gastronomic commc:muy as 10 the: refined pprecia{i(ln$ aC'Sch(u:s. To different degrees. depending on the an, the genre Style, u[ is n(yer cmirdy the (11M mm/l1ft, the diS(:oul"S( intcnded 0"",' be read, de<:odw. interpreted, which the intdle<:lualist view makC$ This product of an 'arl' in Durkheim's n, I.e., 'a p :; rheory', and sometimes of a simple mimesis, a son , symbolic of . , Iks, always contains also something ineffable, not through excess. celebrants would ha,c it, but by default. something which ,om'n (2ICS,2S it wen::, from body to body, like the rhythm of music or t your of colours, [hat is, falling shorr of words and concqm. An is itual' of (he arts, 'bodily thing', and musIC, the most 'pure:' and 'spir perhaps simply the mOSI corporeal. linktd 10 ttlllJ d'8nu which , '" statts of the body or. s they ....ere once cl1ro. humours. it nvishn, riC'S Jway, movC'S. II is pitchro not so much beyond words a:s below in gntufC1 Jnd movements of the body, rhythms-which where s:ays char.lCterile the funClions located. like everything ems tste, u the articulation of the organic and the and slowing. CfC1Cendo and drC1Cendo. tension and relaX1tion.n 1111s no doubt why, once it leaves the realm of pure thnique. musical eism scarcely speaks other than in adjenivC'S and exclamations. As tics speak of divine love in the language of human love, so inadequate evocations of musical pleasure are thosc ....hich can pli,,* the peculiar forms of an experience as deeply rootro in the hody : primitive bodily experiences as the tastes of



nng erfl

t levels and in different and at the same moment, jl.{ dIfferen cnls 1 " h "!flhemors ' ' ....orfl Wlar ,I demands is more or less ldenncaI to what t e . p' . orms o, seCrorS and becausc it acknowledges more or less vale In orher , . It, J pital and mher dispositions (such as dOCI!try towards the !fl. bOdle<J . n itsclf) , lt"IIO sr


fl>C" I (a. and $0 cnjoy . I(Ural cap' amI I:lmy , gitimarc membership and rhe cue g,ven by ' 'I' ' (pamr fI 1SIuran( lack boIh educ:ltional upital opposed. firs!. to , ar<c g . ate situated Io....er eel cuitur.ll capilal (A) (:lnd 10 all 8 ".. fi .rod ,ohern capilal inro edu .... aXI '-r r rfn:r rn:oovcrsion of cuitur.ll -' ' ,, 0 rhe on (he one n . t t osc o nal). BUI rhey :Ire also ou CIllOnal P ui":licnr !flheri(ed cullUr.l1 cap,nl. have OOl1med 1?",'<Cr eduea h have an inhcrired euhunl caplr,1 gr(jlter (C or C') (or ,,'1'00. ,," oonalopua . " D' reI:l1I'e ro D) . ' ., L_ _ c lo al capllal_g.. C <cIa(lV( ro B' or , J Ihall r",1f e<JU U 1 cu1rUf(. ( lin Ihe ....... , -" .,- ' , -3rc ".....,.. 0 them' ($r 'all, a:s re"" , s genera '" _ -. cal1ons; and, 00 the orhcr hnd. 10 1hQs( ""h0 . holMn of idenrical quahfi J"C1(ional (apilal bUI ""ho Slatled off wl lh 1m culrural capnal o. r _ o m,1 " , rhey owe mo 10 r'" (001 D,) alld ""hose rel1don to culture. whIch amily, is 1m familillr lind mre scholaSftc, (ThC1C f and 1m 10 aXls_) 1C'C0ndary oppositions occur lI( every level of

: - O;:::;: 'i'""P,,,' who h;;;i""'"d; - " ,: "'":I:;;; " ":i," , ,,g ; - ' , ro"g :;::' :1 , ,, , 'oo ,: :;; a dual title ro eullUral nOOIIIlY. the self

; i

, n"'nl'C1Cnr'ng n


(hose who ,hose who h ' o h opposcd

Jnd ho school

' h



dOC'S nor have a monopoly on rhe production of cultural capital. I t irs sanction 10 in herired capinl 10 a greater or Ies;s eXlelll (i,c_. {h " 'iI Une<IUal conversion of inherired culrural capital) because, a( "i <"<

Thus. rhe which the relationship ro educarional capilal leavC$ ""hieh m1in!y appear in Ihe relarionship with social origin. may be differences rhe mode o( acquisition of Ihe culluraJ capillil no"" scsscd. Bur rhey may al$O be due to diffcrencC'S in rhe degree to whi'" rhis capital is recognized and gUlf"ante<:d by acad.:mic <jualifications: cerrain proportion of (he capin! a((ua!Jy o""ned may nor have iled and even ....hn acdemic sanction. when il ha:s bttn directly inher ha:s bttn acquired in school. Because of rhe long hysteresis of th of ac<juisition. 'he s:ame educalioMI qualifications may gU2rant(C differ<cnt r{lalions 10 cuhurc-but dreasingly so. a:s one riscs In eduC2fional hierarChy and a:s mon: valu comes; to be SCt on knowkd and less on merely knowing. If the same "olumc of tional capital (guaramc:ed cuhural apinl) may corfC1pond 10 i volumC'S of soci111y profitabk {uhural capital. this is firsr because . rhough fhc rouational systm. by its monopoly of certificalion. the conversion of inhnited cuhural apilal 'IlIO roucational cap'Ial. I


The rci.""nshlp bc''''ttn inh"i,w culrunl copiul and WU<:2"on.1 (lp".1




c .





, , , , ,

I ,


O"e could con$fru(t a simillr diagram fo( ech 'ype of npit.l nomic, culfu..! .nd social) po=SS<od initi.lIy nd :I( ,he rime of rion, .nd then ddine the set of possibl( ca!':s for rhe rd.rionship iniria! "piu! (defined as regards volumc and composition) and opit.l, characrerizc<'! in rhe same way. (There would be, for example, i vidu.ls declining in .1I types or capiul, or declining in only one and in orhers-ronversionfC_) If one sufficienliy refined thc i sp:ci of capit.1 (dividing cuitural capital, for example, into such as lite..ry, scientific and Iqpl-<:conomic capira!) or levet it would be poSl;ible fO find all rhe cases empirically their complexity but also ,n their <juasi-lllfini,e muitipliciry, To be entirely rigorous, one would have to .1I0w for s,ructur.l such as the devlluation of nominal <jualificarions which occurs in (as in recenr years) when the educational syslem is used (This devaluarion h.s be.:cn symbolized by pl.cing the hne i real equivalent, of 'Iualifications below Ihe bi!':C!or which marks lents of the nomin.1 value of <jualications ) One would also have , .1I0wance for ,he discrepancy be,wcrn the number of years of Sfudy and 'IU.lification obt.ined (which becomes more probable as initial capital i .nd schoolins becom more widespread th.t it now affects even the wotkins classes whose children of(en leave secondary school wilhour any <juali!ication). It would then be seen (hat, (0 explain cerrain p..ctices ide: <juarely (in particular, au,odidacdcism) one has to consider no, I the <jualific.tion ind the number of )'eus of schooling but also ,he I ' betwcrn the twO (which may general( self-assurance or I rogance or resentmcnt etC)_ One migh, also consider thc ,"'een age ar ,he end of schooling and the legitimare age for a i bar (barralaJir i al) ar 17 or ,he age limits for the (/J7I(()JlrJ (en such .s the mnce examinations for ,he gralldtJ kfll'J)_ One of ,he mc<'!iations ,hrough which cultur.1 capinl is transformed imo eduutional capi,al is sp:ed of , the

of a different rdarion 10 culture-'Studenrifinrion' effl,qu'SIUu(alional institulions differing greatly in thtir le:ichers, their (rc. l ,0 erhods, their social rruitment etc in order 10 obrain an r,,(I1n g rn'lification. II follows from this that the differences conneCted al i<kotlc .l'1U ,",'(:CIOry and Ihe volume of inheriled cultural capinl arc , . . ,,'I'h S()( l y differences, mainly viSIble among memutrs 0f lIe pemc L_ ' cd. b !C,nfole . who are Ihemselves born inro Ihe petlte bourgeOIsie or . . bOUI,c-olSle f m the working classes (and partlcularly represenred In Ihe C'Sdran ; ,ire bourgeoisie), which reflect changes in Ihe stale of Ihe re !ahsh r:ccn the educarional system and thc class srructure. To these bllOns be:udtJ 0/gmffdtion correspond different relations to the educa d,ffcrt'nt which are expressed in dif(erenr slraregics of .(ultural in . {Ion., systern . uucattona , . . . ( I_e_, aut00' InS\ltulton t ,'<!'Slmenr "0< guar.lll tttci by Ihe _" dacritism ). . ..
,,,".. ,, In t"e a.--"Ie of mOl( precise indicarors of Ihc overall style of cuiru..1 .. . cOnlumplion (c.g., the opposition between ,he sa"flol .weeklles Lt Canad Enchainl ind Char/if Htbik, or, in Ihe area of pular lCnce, be,ween Sa gif), one can Study 'he ",forma(lon the survey pro m fI Vi, ,nd PJyrMo .ioo on favou,;,e singers. lr might be thought ,hat ,he fact th.t, t .11 Ie,'els of eduution.l caplla!. the younges, respondents choose ,he slllgers of Ihe )'ounr generation (Fr-anoise Hardy or johnny Hallyday) more oftcn than fhe older respondentS, who more often choose older slIIgers (Gui'tary 0' Moriano), IS .dequ.tely explained by thc dates of ,he singers' firsr app:ar. .n(( 111 the field of cultural producrion. In facr, among b.cC:llauri'arholders, tk young<!'Sr more often choose jac<jues Douai (who was born in 1920.nd pt,formed at the Vieu. Colombier in 1963), ja('lues Brei (who was born in 1929, made his Pans debur in 193 at the Thane des Trois Budets and performed.t the Paris Olympi. in 1958 and 1961) or eyen lio Ferri' (born 1916, 'kgrtts in ArtS .nd Political .xiencc. debu' in Poris cabarets 1946), wherc-as the older ones more often choose Edi,h Pi.f (born 19n, diC<.! 1%.3, debut "' the ABC in 19>7), Luis Mariano (born 1<)20, 'OO Montparnasse, 194), Gdberr B&aud (born 1927, f"Sffitst success at bec1me nOwn III righ,.bank c.barets and then at Olympia: consecrated ,n 1954, the '1(1ud year') Or even Petula Clark (born 1933, tOP of Ihe bill .t Olympia 1%0, 'oltd 'moSf likeable and popular sm' in 1%3).'" It can be le<cn ,h., '0 One has to rake infO accoun, OOt only them.ke sccnse of ,hese relarionshipsthey made their b.nkthfOughs singers' ages or ,he d.,es when r beven the pl.ces where they were performing at the (ime of the survey, 11S<l--and especially-the degree of affinity betwcrn the styk of their SS, Iight more 'Intelltual' in one case, closer to pedt.bourgeo,s taSte for ',"o e7r. :od realiS! song in ,he orher, and ,he cultural dispositions of ucallo seh I n: SYSlCmnal gene..tions producc<1 by IWO very diffefl:nt States of Ihe e " "h . are similar differ(nces ber"'een edu(:Ition.1 generarions wi,hin the n'(1,n ' r . !f _ a much In Iheir CtiOn of 'he cl.ss_ The younger dIffer from the older not SO ' over.1! competence as ,n 'he exrem and freedom' of ,he!f in-

The discrepancy between educa(ional capt!1 and Ihe cuirural actually possessed, which is thc source of dtfferences belween idenrinl educational npirat can also result from rhe faci Ihat (he educational qualification may correspond to SChooling of very duralion (i_c., Ihcre is unC<jual conversion of scholastinlly acquired (ural opital). The dircct or indirect effects of one or several ycrs sludy my in fact nOt be sanctioned -by the award of a diploma-as I case with all those who dtop OUt in (he IWO )'ears le:iding to the b"'" lauriat or, at a higher level, those who have spent Ont or univcrsity withoul obtaining a <jualification. But til addition, frequency of this discrepancy has risen with [he chances of different elasSl's to Sl'condary and higher education, agcnts different generations (as identified by age-groups) are likely to voted a vcry diffcrenr number of years of study (wilh all lhe f(:Cls, including greater noncertified competence, of course, but also

""" '

,,''''" :

t older .mongst thost of them (rel.tively more numerous th.n ones) who origin.,e from [he middle or upper <I.sscs and who know a (!lel.tively) very high numr of musical works .nd composers, i tereste.! in modern Ut nd philosophy .nd often go to the cinema. But what perhaps most distinguish the twO gener:ations of thnici.ns .re the extern.1 signs-lress and haimylc, in particular-and also their declared prdetences; the younget ones, who seek to draw clost to ,he student say they follow f.shion .nd like clothes which 'suit their personality', whereas the oldet ones more often choosc 'sor and correct' or 'dassic.lIy I cut' clothes (choices char."eristic of establi shed

ves'mnfS. J..jk ,hir ddrs 'hey read scientific nd ,echninl works, but ,hey He slighdy mO!le Imeresu:d In philosophic.1 ess.ys Or poetry, no more fre<Juendy to museums, but when thy do, 'hey go mOre the Modern At! Museum. These ,endencies .re pmicularly

""n, .

ire n

;: uP . grO ( HiJlpfltl,

Sf rstic form, as others 'populanze (I.e., Itansmn beyond the r jn jOu !glrimale receivers) the products of the academic re.r.guard for example) or the consecrated vatll.garde (Lt Noul'el Obm', of the monopoly of manipulation of the sacred, the literati "[he holders ch, never have much time for those who 'claim to discover (very Chur of <"lves the sources of tl"3ditional authority' and 10 have direct , ,Ihln the, ,""" of which they .t"(C the guardians. As Gershom S<:hoW, 55 lO the treasure 3 Cc C s 'They usually do their besr 10 place obstacles in the path of lem sh0,":,, ' him no encou r,,,- etll, and if in the end the ob w t"m I Th J give ,he myS I accustomed f ghttn the mystic and bnn,ll him back 10 the old 511CI6 ' much the bener from Ihe standpoint of authoriry.'18 But pre , W2 ) p by Ihe institution can take place wi thout anyone hav. :nf e censorshi apply controls?r consmints. .Whereas mditional autodidcts srill g IIIS!l!UnOn to indicate nd on the short CUIS of expect Ihe academic , IfeCfIy or IIId' ' I!leCfIy, ularization and the vulgate, whlCh are aiways, d' . inaled by the institution,'9 the most liber:i!Cd of the new autodidacrs among Ihe hereSl 1rchs who sllil perform the func!1on sk Iheir ,Ilurus ulfilled by the aurhontics, namely. as Scholem also says, traditionally f that of 'showing exactly what the nOV1{e has to expect at every step' and 'pro\'idi ng the symbols wah which this experience can be described or

4"" etc) which offer the products f the in tellectal avanl.gude

The oldsryle autodidact was fundamemally defined by reverence cultut"(C which was induced by abrupt and early exclusion, and which to an exalted, misplaced piety, inevitably perceived by the possessors legitimate (uhure as a SOrt of groteS<jue homage. The reCO,llnition of in(Qmpetcnc( and eultur:al unwoflhiness which char;ac. ,(rizes old.sryle aurodidacticism is especially seen among of the t.blished petite bourgeoisie originating from the working or I who say very f re9uently (70 percent of Ihem, compared wilh 3 1 percem the new petite bourgeoisie originaring from the s.me cla) Ihar 'paim ings are nice bu, diffic lt. The cle.resl manifesmion of the cultural .Iien .tion of old-style .utodid.cts is their readiness '0 offer proof of rheir "',,. even when il is nOt asked for, ,r:ay ing ,heir exclusion by their eagerness to prove Iheir memrship {in comrast to the weU-born, who mask their ignor:ance by ignoring <Juestions or situations which might expose it).

S:--S :



In Ih outsiders, who seek 10 use a dceply orlhodox way of continuing. brutally foreshortened Itajtcrory by thtir own i tive, tht whole rdation ro culture and cultural authoritits beus Stamp of exclusion by a system that can get the txcluded to og'' their exclusion. By conltast, new.stylt autodidacts have often kept a in the educational system up to a relarively high level and in Ihe of this long, illrcwarded associadon have aC9uired a relation to I mate culture that is at once 'liberated' and disabused, familiar and chanted. It has nOlhing in common with the distant reverence old.style autodidacr, although ir le.ds ro ually intense and investments, but in 'luitt di/fet"(CtII areas, disclaimed or abandoned educational system--strip cartOOnS or jall rarher than history or omy. psychology (even par:apsychology) or ecology r;lther Ihan ogy or geology n These are Ihe caregories which provide the all the productions of the 'countercuiturc' (Charlie HtIxio,

P"'!''' :

':; ;

MARKETS The f amily and the school funCtion as sitcs in which the competences deemed nece55ary at a given time are constituted by usage itself, and, Simultaneously, as sues in which the trice of those compelenees is determltled, i.e., as markCls which, by their positive or orcing what is accep,able, negative sanctions, evalu.1e perf ance, reinf orm d,scour:aging whal is not, condemning valueless dispositions to extinc . lion (Iokes which 'fall Aat' or, though acceptable in anolhn context, in another mrket. here seem 'OUI of place' and only provoke embarrass -men Or disapproval, 9uOtatlons-in L:lIin, for example---which sound l ,po:danlic' Or 'laboured') In Olher words, the aC<Juisition of culrural compelcnce is Inseparble from insensibic acquisirion of 'sense' for SOund cuhur:al inveslment. . This investment sense, being the produ" of adjustment to {he objec. ch.nces of turning competence to good account, facilitates forward uslment e 10 chese chances, and is irself a dimension of a rdalion to 're--<lOSe or diSInt, off-hand or reverential, hedonistic or a a e e which is Ihe internalized form of the objective relationship be I,.,ml n the sire of aC<juisition and the 'centre of cuhur-:ll values'. The usc ofe b:.l. hra.sc 'sense of investmenf. as in 'sense of propriety' or 'sense of ee , IS Inlended to indicalC Ihal, when, for the purposes of obJectifi. (ati n, term s alC borrowed from the language of economics, il is in no

:;. .k\

way SUggeiled thaI th cormponding behaviour is guided by nlculation of maximum profil, as th ordinary usage of IIu:5c: no doubl miStaknly, implk$. Culture is th site.. par misrecognition, because, in generating str:l.legies objectively the objective chances of profit of which it is the product, the sense vestment secures profits which do not nted to be pursued as profits; so it brings to those who have legitimate cul{U as a second natur supplementary profit of being Sttn (and 5tC'ing themselves) disinterested. unblemished by any cyninl or mercenary use This means that the term investment'. for eample, must be in the dual sense of economic investmenr-which it objectively al ways though misrecogni=lnd the sense of affecliv inves.tmet wich . has in psychoanalysis. or, more exactly, 10 the sense of ,/lIISM, belief, ,:;;''"::';: , involvement in the game which produces the game. : no other guide than his love of UI, and when he moves. as i lowards what is. at each moment, rhe thing 10 be loved. like some nC$Smen who make money e\/tn when they art nOt trying 10, he is . pursuing a cynical calculation, but his own pleasure, the sincere um which, in such mailers, is one of rhe precondillons of successful ' vestment. So, for example. it is lrue thu the effect of t'; ':;;:i : ; ' :'.: ' : a (rhe hierahy of the ans, of genm ete.) nn be des<:ribed is ; case of the 'Iabelling' effect well known 10 social psychologisls. people set' a face differenrly depending on the ethnic label it is the value of the am. genres, works and authors depends on the marks attached 10 them at any given moment (e.g., pia" of I rion). BUI the fiet remains rhu the an..lover's sense of men! which leads him always to love what is lovable, and only ",.", '" always sincerely, can be supported by unconscious deciphering countless signs which at every moment say what is !O be loved and is not, what is or i.s nO! to be 5tC'n, without ever being explicitly "i'", by pursuit of Ihe associate<! symbolic profiu. The specific competence classinl music or jazz, theatre or film ere.) depends on the chances -,'" Ihe diffent markets. domeSI1C, scholaslic or occupational. IOgether for accumulating, applying and exploiring it, I.e., the degree IO,",, they encoutage aC'luisition of Ihis compelence by promising or leeing il profils which will inforce it and induc new i".vC'Stm'""., :; : chances of using cuilural compelence ptofitably III Ihe dlffent pl3Y 3 pare. in particular. in defining the propensity !O make investments and also the invC'Slments in extra..curricular 'general



: :

tu' which Sttm to owe nothing 10 the constraints or incentives of instilution. The mo legitimate a given area, the more necosary and is 10 competent in iI, and the more dam3ging and I compctent. [lUI this does not suffice 10 explain why it is t

wards the m05t legitimate arns. rhe slatistical diff erences related ($ ' to J1'lO ucatio nal npital become incrnsingly important, whereas lhe mo 1 0 ",0'1($ towards the lem legirimate areas, which might seem to be the on m and inexplicable choice, such as cooking or interior decora.. of Ulllilu. the mo importanl a the statistical choice of friends or f to ial tratory. (and capital ompositio), with rhe linke<! , are undergolllg legmmal1on, such as 'IIltellt<:tual song, pho Ihaf .. raphy or jau, occupying an intenne<!ialC position. He tOO, ir is in rdarionship tween te properties o the field (in paniculat, the hances of negaove or poslttve sanCllons 11 offers 'on average', for any C gent) and the properties of the agent, that the 'efficacy' of these proper.. s defined. Thus both the propensity towards 'non..academic' invcst.. i menlS and the area 10 which they a direeled dcpend. sitterly speaking, not on the 'average' rate of profit offed by the area in 'luestion but on rhe rate of profit it offers each agent or particular category of agents in terms of the volume and composition of their capital. 1llt' hienrchy of aver.age' ntes of profit broadly cormponds 10 the hi.. mrchy of dcgreC'S of legitimacy, so thaI knowledge of cimini or n 2vllll..garde liter.aturt yields higher 'average' profits, in rhe scholasdc market and dsewherc, than knowledge of cinema, or, a f ortiori, srrip car.. toons, dttective stories or sport. But the profits, and the conse.. quent propensities 10 invest, arc only defined in the Iationship belween a field and a put1cular agent with particular characteristics. For example, Ihose who owe most of their cultural capiral to the educational system, 5uh as primary and secondary teachers originating from the workin g and m,ddle classes, nc particularly subject ro the academic definit ion of legiti.. macy, and tend to proportion their investments very StriCTly to the ""Iue tht educational system selS on the different areas. By COntrasl, 'middle-ground' arrs such as cinema. jnl, and, even more, Str,p call?<>ns, scienc e fiction or defective SlOries are pdispose<l to at.. t the investmentS either of those who have entirely succtede<! in con.. er!'ng rheir cultu ral capiral inlO e<!ucational capital or Ihose who, 1'101 ::8 acquired gi im te cultu .re .in lhe legilimat ma ntr (i.e., t . . b 8 early famll11llZanon), mallltlln an uneasy rtlaoo nshlp WIth it, ! lIvdy or bjectively, or both. These ailS, nOt yet fully legitimate, ? h; are flO disdallled or neglected by the big holders of educ ational capi.. tal o a refuge and a veng e 10 Ihose who, by appropriuing them, se Cu; I e . best turn on their cultural capital (especialJy if il is nOl fully ltco n, tti8 scholaslically) while at the same rime taking credit for con.. esrblised hier.archy of legitimacies and profit s. In other t . propenSl!y 10 apply to the mldd uSualJ le..ground artS a dIsposition ItflO" cservcd for he legitimate arts-that measured, for example, by I thafl '0 gc of film dlf(tors-nds IC$S closely on e<!un (' -dcpc rional capital I)'$telll fl a .whole Iationship to seholastic culru re and the educuional wh1(h ilself depends on Ihe degree 10 which the cultural capit al

free :;r:nccs







possessed consists solely of (he capilli acquired in and recognized educational system. (Thus. membc:rs of the new recite bourgeoisie generally inherited more cuhur;lJ capital than the primary lcachers possess much the same educational capital: they know many mort ' tors but fewer composers.) [n fact. one can never entirely escape from the hierarchy CiC5_ ikcausc the very meaning and value of a cul{l,Hal object t cording to the system of objects in which it is placed. sdcncc ficcion or strip cartoons mly be entirely prtStigious cultural or bc: reduced to their ordinary value. depending on whether they art socialcd with avant-garde literature or music-in which case they : as manifestations of daring and freedom---<Jf combine to form a ,,; blian typical of middlebrow taste-when they appear as what they simpk substitutes for legitimate assets amily or SChOO ' . 'o , O ' ' Given that each social space-f competence is F;o , , ; tions both as one of the sItes where the sit where it is given its price, one might expen each field 10 hight prke on the products created within it. Thus one migh ' i the scholastic field to give the highest value 10 scholastically . i I tural capital and the scholastic modality, wherea.s the markets and dinners, or all {he by exnascholastic valu-'society' salons sions of profcssional life (appointment intervIews, board meetings, ferenc etc. ) or even academic life (oral examinations at ENA Sclenc Po, for example), in which the whole person is wotlld SCt the hight value on the familiar relation 10 t all the dispositions and competences which bear the mark acqtlisirion. But this would be to ignore the df e<:ts of whereby the products of the scholastic: mode of produnion may be valued as 'scholastic' in the scholastic: market itself.sl Indeed, ' : sign of the hetcronomy of the scholastic marker is secn in its a b I. ncatment of the products of thc 'scholastic' habittl s, which vanes verscly with thc ltllOnomy of the educational system as a whle , and of its conSlltuent I at different urnes and in different countri) IUtions, wah respect 10 thc demands of the dominant franion of dommant dass,) What is certam is that thcrc exists an immediate affinity betWeen disposItions that are acquIred by farTllliarization with legitimate and the 'highsociety' market (or the most 'highsociety' senors of educational market), The ordinary occasions of social lifc exclude i bllltal as a dosed qucstionnairc, the hmiting ose of thc nation which thc scholastic institution itself refuses whencver, an aepting the highsociety depreciation of the 'scholastic', i t turnS, . nl amination intended 10 vcrify and measurc competcnce mt : varta l high.socielY conversation. n contrast 10 the most 'scholastic, ric situations whic:h aIm 10 d,sarm and d.scourage strateglcs of high.society :Xcasions give unlimited scope to an art of playing

" d<P d ,

:; : X ;: :


:; ; : ::

I ,

questions about painters in such 2 wa tha[ the knowled<, 'fi m L L I 'meci (ould not X: ,'en <:<J any way. the aIm was not so much to mea the specific competence (whic:h, one may assume, depend, on the same JC!Ors 11 knowledge of composers) as to grasp indirt1y the relationship to kgitimate culture and the differenllal c:ffls of thc: survey situmon, Thus, roponcieMs whose knowledge was not ual to teir familiarity may have f,1I enritled to uSC str.Heg'c> of bluff whIch are hIghly suw:ssful In the or dinary uses of culture (this is pmicularly the case with the new petite by the vague bourgeoisie), But bluff itsclf is only profitable If II is knowledge given by familiarity, Thus,-whiie the room for manoeuvre in rhis <jucstion allowed the least competent to fastc:n on proper names which correspond neirher [0 knowledge nor preference. such as Picasso (men tioned by 21 percent of the unskilled and semiskilled 'Workers) or Braque (10 pernt), who was being celebrated in various ways at the !lme of the surver it also functioned as a trap with Rousseau (10 percent), who was P',1C!1call never mentioned by the other dasses and was probably wnfused wl.'h 'he writer, (Breughel, by contras" was never mentioned by ,he un s.,lIed and semiskilled, no doubt beuuse rhey would nOt risk pronoun cing n.me 'hey were nOt likely to have heard.) heo bring to light rhis 'SQ(iety sense', generally aSSQ(;ated with Strong in_ /ue ., d cultural capital bu, irreducible to a sum of strictly verifIable knowl c.g, one only has to comp.re the variations in ,wo dimensions of culrural ' PI --POcssion of specific knowledge of composers and the 'fhir' which $ d to moke it profitable. measure d by the capacity '0 rccognitc what . would have ulled thc: sma!! opinions' among rhe stateme f . nts of 'gure 4 wrrelates the proportion of individual> in each category who ' kno"' the composers 0 r at least twelve of the musical works with the proportIo who cl"m that abstract painting Interests them as much n a.l the dUsir , s '. chool$'. 0n the one hand there are the ft:ilctions whose strict com !>ete c ' n g.ter (han their sense of the 'right' .nswer high (secondary and uca on .r chers), and on the other, those whose sense of the g.'ti",. f'Os re IS '"commensurate , wllh their specific comperencc (new pe. u'g"o'SIt . .", ' , armur pruuueers). . , _ , ' The gp is smalbt Ong the "sIngne '"-peUt bourgeoi, or bourgeois (primary teac:hers, junior ad. I'Illni!''''tIve I1 "' eecu,IVes, eng.neers, sen or pubhesector . ' ' I "Ot f>Ossible [0 use ,he opinions on music because-unlike
- askin, ,n

c es ons of knowledge into qucstions of prcference, igno gro S Urns qu ti S. t tic ful refusal-a whole set of str.llcgics whic:h may IntO disdin " .tnc( r .assurance or tnsecunty, ease or embarrassmnt, and whic:h t self roanl ro on mode of acqUISition and the corresponding familiar " uch re as on educational capital. In other words, th lack of deep, . . or IS,an ' ItY =ge H1 a parttcular area of iegaimate cui ma!lc know, _ " 11, sySt . r . ethoul ro nO way prevcnts hIm rom Satlsfylng [he cultur:.d demands en tU. mOSt social SItuations. cvcn in (hc quasischolastic siruation of a c ull u g:.


c: ccomplished socialite chooses his terrain. sidcstcps difficul

which is to competcncc what 'play' is


thc 'hand' in <:ard




e: 5 : ; lire bo ,

w , uuurg<'Olslt.




F igurt 4

Spilic comp e'ence and ,alk abou,

9() /

A C)I!Clal Lrlllqu 1) 1

I hf

jUagwMIl " 1

I aJl(


So"'(I"'"'' Ab,,,.., 1"'""", ,.,. .. ",,,,h .. ,ht <I"", Khoo!, .

'"..:. poodo<''' .

. .... craf,,,,,,

"""" " ju..... -""


""";ro., ,,,; ,..." .;.

1"",,,.,,,,,,,, ""'u<,..,


: '-"""/'




. distaste which bourgeo!s,ants (especially those in dline) man " ,e ything 'scholasuc IS no doubt pardy c::tplalOed by the f ever s' or if( on which the scholastic muket inflicts, nonetheless, on the 1p dev..IU:I' knowledge and confused intuitions of f amiliarity. For exam e rejection of academic routine which underlies most of the ie, ( e p .ons of rhe new culrural intermediaries (youth organizc!S, pby is more easily unde!S:ood if on knows thal rhe establihed . . le:l bourgeoisie as relatively high educatlonal capital and a rclatlvly dtt . inhefltance, whereas the new pellte bourgcolslC (of which pC k cultural .. the limiting ca.sc:) has a StrOng cullul":ll inheritance and rebartistS are ' " no " , ovlOCIa . Iy low cducallOna] cap,ta], The rnSlan or even pr . ' ] pnmary u e who can beat rhe small employer, rhe provincial doctor or rhe h r antique-d1er in the tts of pure no,,:le<lgc, i likely TO appear , r sji complrably infenor to them 10 all the sltuallons whICh demand self or Aair, or even the bluff which can cover lacunae, r.lther than the prudence, discretion and awareness of limirs that arc .associalCd with scholastic acquisition, One can confuse Bernard Bu ff with Jean Dubuf et fef and yct be quitc capable of hiding one's ignorance under Ihe com monplaces of celebration or the knowing s ilence of a POUI, a nod or an inspired pose; one can identify philosophy wilh Saint.Exupery, Teilhatd de Chardin or even Leprince-Ringuct, and still hold one's own in today's most prestigious market.placcs-rcceprions, conferences, inlCrviews, de bares, seminars, commiltees, commi:ssion long as one possesses the SCI of distinctive features, bearing, posture, presence, diction and pronun ciation, manners and usages, without which, in these markers at least, all scholastic knowlcd is worth li{tle or nothing and which, partly because sch!s never. or never fully, teach {hem, define the essence of bourgeoiS distinction.


inn;r;rc.) urancc:

. ..- ",,,,,".,,,,.., ,."' .".....

Co<top."",,, "" ,-'


Educationally c:quialent indiidua ls (c,g., the students of rhe grllnmJ irrHn) ay d,ffer radically as regards bodily heis, pronunCiation, dress or familiar ?l ,y With lgitimi lC cultun:, not ro mention the whole set of specific compe c and capacities which function as admission tickets to the bourgeois rl , s Ch as dancing, the rare sportS, or parlour games (especially bridge) . n, sk,lls, through the enrounters they provide and the social capital th9 hel '0 lCcumul _ llc, no doubt explain subsequent differences ,n car_

: ;c

,be sel of Sta" mcms on paiming. which offered an imerm.,]i>le opinion lov, the ImpressionistS')-.he ..n of possible judmen!S prescnt.,] gfeit a discominuity between .he t)'pinlly middlebrow opinion ('I iLkc Smuss walt=') :lnd the chic opinion ('AI! muSIC of quality imerl'sts , so .ha. the choice of .he mosr legi.imilC judgement became . for all those who refused .0 make do wi.h a ,00 visibly 'naive'

: :er value to the value of rhe chooser, and because, to a large ex r 'h l f cf Ch alue makes itself known and recognized through the manncr git fl'l lng What is learnt through immersion
rt ten,
in a world in which Ie i at . e cultu re is as nall,lI"1 as the air one brl':lthes is a sense of the legit.

is so


the v pottan in all markets and especially in the markCl which decides '7 ." u htcl":lry and arristic wotks, only because choices always owe

e manncr which designares the infallible taste of the 'taste-maker' ,xposes the uncertain lastes of the possessors of an 'ill'gOlten' culture

im{c choice so $U of Itself {har it convinces by {he sheer the performance. like a successful bluff. II is no! only a sense of 10 in,'cst in, dirlors r:l.lhn than anol'S. thc avam.gardc mor<: I of rhe ci2SSial or, which amounts to fhe same thing. a sensewhen right men! [0 invest or disinvest, to move into olhn IKlds, the I distincrion become tOO unccmin. It is. ultimately. confidence, arrogance, which, normally being the viduah mOSt assured of profit from their Investments, hood-in a world in which cverything is a mattcr of I;': : : h, : : ,, [he absolute kgidmKy, and therefore Ihe maximum rheir investments. The padox of fhe imposition of legitimacy is Ihar ;1 makes it : sibk ever to determine whcther rhe dominant fe:,p,ture appe:.a ,," ,; guishd or noble because it is dominant-i,e., because it hu I , ,, I defining, by its very existence, what is noble or discinguished as' of exactly what itself is, a privilege which is expressed precisely in assunnCe--Qr whether it is only because il is dommant lhat it endowe<! with these qualities and uniquely entitled [0 defme no accident [hal, to designate the legitimue manners or [aste, language is Content co say 'manners' or 'Iaste', 'in the absolute gnmmarians say, The properties anache<! lo rhe [0 ford 'accents" bourgeois 'distinction' etc.-ha the po"'erand the intention of diseerning whal they 'in reality', in selves, and the distinctive value they derive from unconscious ,,', 10 lheir class distribution. h:; POWERS I t is now clea ' h FACTORS ";';: ";"f"::' ,. . :,:: : : was due 10 the fut that what [he very I, wh,ch -<l and social origin--esignate is being fought our in strugglesan-as rhe object of analysis-an and the relarion to rhe work of who prize: in reality itself. These snuggles ate fought between those identified with the schobslic definition of culture and thenal' I mode of aC<Juisition, and those who defend a 'non-institutio md relation to culture. The lanet, though mainly recruited from ('5t scctors of the bourgeoisie, receive unqu('5tioned support from and artiSIS and from the charismatic conceplion of the consumpcion of art, of which they are the inventors and Ihe 10 ties over aUlhors and schools, which hold the limelight those such as anistic srage, conceal more important struggles, rhe nineteenth pose teachers (from whose r:mks, throughout to critics were often recruired) and writers, who lendant be more fractio ' linked, by origin and 'connections', 10 the domin dominatedn,"",. the domiMnt class: or [he endless struggles between definicion of the as a whole and Ihe dominant fractions over the him. plished man and the education designed 10 produce




what xample,Jrion is 2t stake in the latenineleenth-century creation of e giing great imporunce to among fO're edu Dc:moltns, the founder of the Ecoleiporl-with, and dis. pro des Roches lllCl"S'fEdouard Lc Play, like Baron de Coubertin, another advoulC of a o le FridCric clp sylc of edcation-i5 th iitim o.f an aristocratic definition of n(Vo' d on wirhm the audeml( mstltutlon Ilsclf. Knowledge, erudition, edholasric' docility symbolize<! by -brrack-like' Iycee (this is where to<: \leh.repeated theme originates), and all the criteria of assessment ',lC rI1(1.ble to (he children of rhe petite bourgeoisie, through which the 1 . . J''OI,I affirms liS autonomy, are contlCd m ,he nme of such 'values' as 1>001 'couge',.'will', virtues of the !C2dcr (of the army or busi. 18Y" thr tIm II was ,het Ihe sae (mg) ad"perhaps especially, Im t . . (personal) InlUl(lVe, bapme<! self.help or enterpnsc, all V!tlues linked put 'education' fore 'instruct.io', 'character' before 'intel. fOJPOl1. To encc', SrI before culture IS to. asserr,. wllhm lhe scholastic world it. lig lf, the eXlstencc of a hler-:lrchy Irreduc,ble to the specifically academic hie!1lrchy which privileges the second term each of [hese oppositions.81 These sfruggles are not confined to the past, as is shown by the exis of tWO roUles [0 the scnior positions in luge firms, one leading (rom Ihe Ecok des Roches or the major Jesuit colleges and great bour. grolS Iyctes {in (he 16th arrondissement) to Ihe Law Faculty or, incrns- msly, &iences Po or HEC, the other running from Ihe ordinary provincia! or Parisin lycee 10 the Ecole Polytechnique.16 II is still more dorly seen in Ihe opposition, at the level of the grandes ecoles, between ["10 lcademic markets differing profoundly in Ihe Content of the cultunl COmpetence demanded, in the value SCt on manners and the criteria used 10 Iuate them, wilh at one extreme rhe Ecole Normale Suptrieure (ES) and Polytcchnique Po rhe Ecole N;u'ale d'Administr-:l[ionand at [he other Sciencesover and legitimate (ENA). Th struggles the nlll?n ofCulture nd Ihe legitimate way of evaluating it are only one r;:en;lon of the endless slruggles which divide every dominant class. I the tides ro the .xercosc ,of dvortues of !he accompliShed man the IegilimalCof 'character . . ommatlon are al stake. Thus Ihe 810rifiction hU''ld''ng sport and the valoriution of economic and nnlitic l culture, at 'he e 1' . Kpensc of rlI or altlSll' culture, are JUS[ tWO- of a strategies , the er-:lry th oll h hleh the dominanl fr-:lctions of rJ ' the dominant class aim to dlsc t t e values recognize<! by the "1111 c; and the petile bourgeoisi'intelleclual' fr-:lctions of the domi. e--whose dan. OU$ I:US . 'I<ldc:/2I'!h Ihe children of the bourgeoiSie on children compete most r de the retrain of the ,,'2tlons fined academic compclCnce. But more profoundly ,h= : ,Y , '''In;f .. . '. .1$", w of antHn[eIIC(rual,sm are only one aspect of an antago" h, (ar {ulrurc,hi"ouchcsbeyond the <Jucstion of Ihe legitimate uses of Ihe body " a.J 0n every dImenSlon 0, eXlsrence; the dominant . ""a)1 lend to ,oncive their relnionship. 10 the dominated fr-:lfnctions Ir'lrIs orthe crions in OPPOS'"on between the male and the female, the rious and
a m

- -




classes md the dau il records lbou[ them a thereo also

So reflective analysis of Ihe [ools of analysis is not an scple but. an indisJ:>Cnnble ptNondilion of scicntific knowledge . . I de errSive, effoT! oble([. PoS!ILVLS[ lnmess It:lds the whole, I fication to be focusd on the Imensity of I of bringing queslioning to be:ar on lhe very of lhe relationships, which may even explain the relarive i dIfferent relationShips. In order to believe in rhe independence dependem variables' of positivist me[hodology. one has 10 be rhal 'expbnatory faCtors' are also 'powers' which are onlt Ii tiv in a certain field, and thai Ihey rhe[eore depend on Ihe wh"h are foughl, within each f transform {he Ield, . mechanisms which define il. [f it is easy to imagine fields i

ivdy defined) tWO main varilblducadonal level ,nd SOCial can only be correctly imerpreted so long as il is remembered 'h,,, , bod up wilh. am'g(lOisti( definitions of legitimare cull u re and leg[umate relauon 10 culture. or. more precisely, with different " , in which the char:lcteristics associated with one or Ihe " " erenl prices. It would be wholly misr,ken 10 locate in any f . faclors an 'effic:lcy' which only appars in a cemin Iherefore be cancelled out or inverred in anorher field or rhe same field. The dispositions constiruting Ihe cultivated ormed, only funerion and are only valid in , field, in Ihe only f ship wih a field which. as GaslOn Bachelard nys of Ihe physical [tself a field of possLble forces', a 'dynamLc situation','7 in which are only manifesled in Iheir relationShip wilh cerrain dispositions. why [he same pracrico may receive opposile meanings and values e erent fields, in diff rem configurations or in opposing SCClOrs f same field.

;,::;:;:: 'socia-Iogial' division. The StltiSlical vuiations associated


the frivolous, the responsible ,nd Ihe irresponsible. the useful and die, [he realistic and the unrealistic. The principles of logical division which s[atistics uses to

" '''' ,;;;;


. ion which is the pre-condition for full nen.lization-<an. until one quesrions rhe relalionship within which these n e r;,{ be d . hive been cstablished. The rehtionship SCI up by a closed an minly devoted 10 legilimate culrure is akin to thaI of n n at luke); and it is qtiOf1 " n: albcir wilhou[ any insritulional nnctio ( market what a markelplace, as a TC'1l-worid site of ex

rent ,d:d b[jOMhlS a[l o ,lf!'lln.sc oaSric subject mattCf to [h !O fhe market of economic Iheory. Bo[h in its ch,ngCS:form ofexchange il imposes (a C[uesrioning, which, as Charles e:and In cd always implies a form of intrusion, violence. challeng y by <Jues 6ally nt ;tcnuations which normally accompany it), a surve l, asymmetrical o . hCn : ially when il takes Ihe .f rm ofr:"ethodica a iOJI galion.- is the compkle opposne of or y convef'$1110n; 11 has dmar [ rr 1!I{C o lhe cafe or campus discussions in which the in comm [hln<uhure' ison wilh cled, or Ihe high-society challCf which shuns constru no weighl of edu(1llional qualdiC::lllon and m on l observes al : % precision and didaCli{ insistence: Th varialionsheTled cullurin r {Cbuvt

'1" ;"."""'! '

(ontcnt h 2pplying,


If it is [fue that [he s[alislical relationships between rhe p" p,, , tached 10 agents and Iheir pr.lc[ices arr only fully defined in ship between the dispositions of a habitus and a particular limirs wilhin which (he n:lations observed relin their """d,,y"

grasped) .

would be the experimenlal expression of this. giVing !. I for example, [0 less 'scholastic' objects and forms of t:>tnuse wht is ultimalely a[ stake in everyday snuggles over rhe [ransformalion of the price-forming mechanisms d.:fining the values of the cultural productions associted with educatioml and social trajeclory (and [he primary variables Ihrough which Ihey

""eight of Ihe twO dominam 'faCiOrs' would be inverted (and tCSIS

:: i :;


offhandedness, modesty, t:lrnesrness, emba r:lssment eIC,) srrictly de nd, for their meaning and value, on [he market in which they are pled, becau!iC they are the visible [races of a mode of acquisition (da mesue or scholutic), i.e., a marker; and also because all .he markels ... able 10 assert Iheir autonomy of scholastic con trol give Ihem pflority. The emphasis on manne, and hrough Ihem on mode of ac I enables seniorit wilhin a clm 10 be made rhe basis of lhe hier y an:hy w,thin the das:89 il also gives lhe recognizc.:l possessors of the s

wilhin [his quasischolaslic situalion, from whal is tal as one moves, what is less academic either in academic in form and contenl 10 amiliarily withoul lesting knowled) or in fosm (queslions measuring f . prefertnces III cook (questions on knowledge of rhe cmema or be{een 'factors' and markets. Ing) give somc idea of rhis relalionship . , ) of the manner of AU t e indices (dIfficult to obtam by qucs[IOnnaLrr showing or exploiling competence (self assu n.nce, arrogance.

hich afC qU'mlon, kglllmatc manner an bsolute, arbirrary power {O recognile or exclude. "anner, by definilion, only eisrs for others, and the recognized holders
0 10 /)1/

l'S--dres "'ell wn s, th manner presume t n Ihe pili manner). i,e., hef(di tth .palVenu' who(so Ihey neveroihave togroup ofa legi[imate,By contrast,

t legitimale manner and of [he power ro define the value of man be:lring, pronuncial1on-have [he privile of indifference to

rs without being ,he prodUCl of the ' J>O$sesso of Ihe legilimale manner, s mc ial conditions, are !rapped, whatever Ihey do. in a choice be (,(: ",,

a and the n g [y which anlous hyper.identificationconformity ofalivi'mumed' admits its <kfea In Lts very revolt: either the behaviour an "hOse: Very correctness or hyper<orreclness betrays an imilalion. or lhe OStenallous assertion of difference which is bound 10 appear as an ad ItlIS$i Ik.: n of ,"abililY 10 identif y,90
ause Ihey are acqui"'" in $OCial fields whICh art al50 markets in

which rhey re<:eive rheir price, cultural eomperences re

the product of the endeavour of new.style aUlodidaclS 10 free <hom; from the conslraims of the scholasnc market (ro which the less dem old.style autodidacrs cominue to submit, ahhough it or imdlectual markelS, capable of challenging the pretension carional sysrem 10 impose the principles of evaluation of "ml'';; and manners which reign in the schobstic mrker, or ar least 'scholastic' sectOI'5, on a perfecrly unified market in cultural goods_ market, wilh its own consecrring agencies, rhat is. I their products In advance). They strive to do

ners, by a parricubr class of conditions of lC<juisition, i.e., a market. Thus, what is nowadays called the 'eoumerculrure'

market most favourable to rhe ptoducrs which are marked,

rhese markers, nd II struggles over cuhure re imed ar



T&e Econom;!7 of Practices


But on things whose rules and principles had been In stilled into her by her mother, on the way to make cer tam dishes, to play Bttthoven's sonatas, to 'm;eive' with cordiality, she was qutte SUr( that she had a right idea of perftiOn and of discerning how far others approximated to it_ For rhese three things, moreover, perfrion was almost the same, kind of simpliciry in the means, a sobriety and a charm. She repudiated with horror the in troduction of spices in dishes that did not absolutely rjuire them, affectation and abuse of the pedals in piano playing, departure from perft naturalness, and exag rated ralking of oneself in 'm;eiving.' From the first mouthful, from the first notes, from a simple lctter she preened herself on knowing if she had ro deal with a good cook, a real musician, a woman properly brought up. 'She may have many mOf( fingers than I, but she lacks tntc, pb.ying that very simple IIndantt with so much emphasis.' 'No doubt a most brilliant woman full of parts, but it is a wam of tact to speak of oneself in such a case.' 'Possibly a very knowing cook, but she does nOt know how to do steak and fried potatoes.' Steak and fried pot2IOCS, an ideal competition-piecc, a kind of culi nary Palhttir Sonata, a g-amonomic equivalent 10 what is in social life the visit of a lady who comes for a servant'$ 'characrer' and who, in an acr n simple as thaf, can suffi ciently display the presence or absen(e of tact and education. Marcel PrOUSt, O.. ys

u Rt..mng f

Tbe Sociaf Space and Its Transformations

If rhe r,h had Slopped al {his poiol if would probably nOf n.iSl: great obfCCllonS. so lkvidem is ,hc ida of {he irrWucibiliry of artistic 1;lSle. Ho",.cer. as has already been shown by Ihe analysis of {he $(Kial condi tions of the a('Slhcric disposition. Ihe dispositions which govern choices bclwC(On Ihe goods of legitimate culture cannot be f ully understood un'

"'hleh thIS (uhiVlte<l disposition tends ro produce by presenting itself in the gUise of an innte disposition. must seNe. for once, ro remind uS that taSlt tn the sense of the 'fcuhy of immediately and intuitively judging tl lellc values' is insepanble from taStC in the sense of the eapcily to e n he : l r flavour.; of foods which implies a preferen(c for some of t; The absll'2Ction ""hkh isolates dispositions towards legitimte wi lUI ds to a further abstl"Ktion at the level of the system of expbna I Q tors. whkh. though lway5 present and xlive. only offcrs itself r Q rvallo n through those: eIcments (cuhunl capital and tnjc<:tory in Ihe analsed below) whkh a the principles of its efficcy in the fi.:ld c Iluesllon, onsumption of the most legitimate cuhunl goods is pHticuhr caS/: doubO COmpetition for nre goods and pncti(es. whose: pHt1cularity no l owes more to the logic of supply. i.c., the spceinc form of compo:-

'cuhure' in Ihe br<):ld, anthropological sensc and thc elaborated astc for t most rdined objtt"IS IS broughl back infO relation with fhc clemen ,;II)' taste for the Aavours of food,' The dUlll meaning of the word 'tastC', "'h'eh usually serves [0 justify Ihc illusion of spontUICOUS ner:.l(ion

'n Ihc rcsfri,ud, normative sensc of ordinary usage. is reinserted infO

kss they a rtintcgn.ted infO the system of dispositions, unless 'culture',


: (


tirion between the producers, Ihn to the logic of demmd and <u,," rhe logic of competition between the consumers. One only h , mo,"c rhe magical barrier which makes icgitimate culture into a universe, in order to sec irllC:lIigiblc relationships between " ' i,' seemingly incommc:nsun-blc lS preferences in music or cooking, politics. l;u:r.nurc: or ha irstyle. This barbarous reirltcgruion of consumption into the world of ordinary consumption (against endlessly defines itself) has, inter alia, rhe yircue of reminding us that consumption of goods no doubt always presupposes a labour of priadon, 10 different degrees depending on the goods and or, more precisely, [hac rhe consumer helps {O produce the consumes, by a labour of identificarion and decoding which, of a work of an, may constitute the whole of Ihe consumption '"'. ficadon, and ... hich requirt$ lime and dispositions acquired . Over Economists, ....ho never jib at an abstraction, can ignore ....hu Co.. (0 products in the rehtionship ....ilh Ihe consumers, that is, ....i th positions ....hich define their useful properties and real uses To hypo< . size, as one of them does, that consumers perceive the same attributes, ....hich amounts to assuming that products possc:ss or, as [hey are known, 'tcchniol' characteristics ....hich can selves as such on all perceiving subjccts, is to proceed u only sei on the character istics designnC'd by the churcs (and sox.lled 'informative' publicity) and as if social uses be derived from the operating inmuctions Obiccts. even indumial . ucts, are not objective in the ordinaty sen$/: of Ihe ....ord i.e" . of the intert$t and tUtes of those ...ho perceive them, and they . impose the sdkvidencc of a univerut, unanimously approved ,w'i' The sociologist's task ....ould be much easier if, ....hen faced ....ith tlCh tionship between an 'intkpcndent variable' and a 'dependent variable', did not have to determine how the perception and appreciation of is designated by [he 'dependent variable' vaty according [0 [he classes termined by [he 'independent variable', or in other ....ords, identify . system of perrinent features on the basis of ....hich each of 'h''''''; agems ....as really determined,I What science has to establish is the tiviry of the object ....hich is established in The relaTionship bet....een object defined by the possibilities and i j i e it off rs, which only rrvcaled in the ....orld ofsocial uses I in the cue: of a nical ob;CCt, the usc or function for it was and the positions of an agent or class of agems, that is, the appreciation and action ....hich constitute its objective utility cal usage.) The aim is nOI, of course (0 reinTroduce any f orm of . . called 'lived experience', ....hich is most often merely a i projeclion of the researcher's 'lived experience';' but to move abSlracl relationship bet....een consumet$ .... ith interChangeable TU(lS products with uniformly perceived and appreciued properties to thc tionship between tUtes ....hich vaty in a necessaty way Kcording 10


cconomie conditions of produCtion. and the produCls on O al a. .... eonfer their differem social identities. One only has to ask the ".. ,..... i II . . LIIons el1 "", ... . h economists stran"..ly ignore, 0f the economIc cood , ..""'i 0....,,'e . . ,,011, demanded by the ecooomy, [.e., In . ... q...... adUCII" of thc disntKitions . ". . Pr ... of o(11lC <1' \ t"e que5tion . the .economIc and soc[al detetmlnams of tastts, . . _ nnmon 0f t"e pr....... _, is e,..... melud[ng m the complete ..... . . of ,l1 C th C ,0 so:c: ex..... riences ....hieh the consumers have of il as a func . e d,nenrial "' , . ' ' [ II ' ."""itions they derive from theIr posmon m c<onom[c UC ( the , b ,_ _ _ . uoo 0 ,x.....tienees do not hve to be felt m order to be understood . . e. 1best ,. . ,. _ spJc g which may owe no[hmg to IV,"" exper[encc, SI1,' "",[h)O undcrslandin The habilUs, n objecrive relationship bet....een tWO <>b IOS fO sympathy. abies n intelligible lnd necessaty relation 10 be established [ tc' I" Iiees and a silunion, the meaning of ....hich s produced by bc[",ee P through cnegories of perception and appfCClallon that are . , [he habitUS . L, _ , v . produced by 1n obscrvau e SOCIa condItlon. ,hemS!:



Class Condition

the series of elketS ....hich


underlie them, analYSIS [nmally conceals the S[ru(tuof the life-style characteristic of an agent or class of agents, that . ,[C" is. the unity hidden under the diversity and mu,lip ' ty 0f the SCI 0f different logls and thercfo prlc[icCS performed in fields govered : . ormula. orms of realoulloo. In accordance ....[th the f Inducing different f [(hlbi,us) (capital)1 + field " practice. It also (onceals the structure of the: symbolic space marked out by the whole SCI of thcst structured pl1lc, lices. all the distinct and distinCtive life.styles ....hich arc al....ays defined oottivcly and sometimes subjectively in and through theit mutual la lIonshlPS. So it is occessaty to reconstruCl what has been taken apart, Iirst by way of veriOC2lion but also in order to rediscO"er the kernel of lruth 'n the approach chal1lcteris!ic of common-scnse kno....ledge, namely, hc 'ntui[ion of the systematic na[l.lre of life-styles and of the ....hole SCI h ch [hey constitute. To do this, one must return to the pl1le\lccuntfymg and Pt:lc[ice'gcneratlng principle, i,e., class habitus. the internalized form of class condilion and of Ihe conditionings it entails. One must therefore cOnslluC! the 06jli ellUl, the set of agents ....ho uc placed in homogene. w US COnditions of existence impos ing homogeneous conditionings nd o Pr duc, ng homogeneous syStemS of dispositions capable of genel1lung mllar pllCtices; and who possess a sc, of common properties, objectified I"Op(rllcs, SOmetimes legally guaramced (as possession of goods and po....cr) Or properties embodied as class habitus (and, in panicular, sys[ s em uf c,aSSIficat ory schemes),

and Social Conditioning ely Bec:lUS!: it un only KCOUn[ for pl1lClices by bringn [? _light successiv Y

AND SYSTEMS O V"R[AIILES In desig?atig these elasses of agents or, which amounts 10 Ihe same thmg In thIS conteX[, (I asses asses of condi tions of e)!:is[enee) by the name of an occuJ'I'tion. one is


... au.s


Ill? ?f a

ral principles of selt(:tion or eclusion without e"er Slaled (this is the 05C with ethnic origin and $(). A number riteria in acr ser:e as a mask for hidden crileria; for eamplc, Ihe

defined not only by ils position in the rc:bt;ons lied through indices such as occupation, income or even eI, but also by a cenain 5e>;r;u;o, a enta;n dislribulion i space (which is never socially neutral) and by a whole set char.lCferisrics which may funcrion, in (he form of tKit

IS nOI a way 0f reverllng to 1 prc:-<ons!ruc,,:d variable such as occupational category'. 11u: individuals grouped in a class rhal is mUCled in a plrticular rtSpe<:1 ( rhal is, in a puticuJuly cklcrmin alit speer) always bring with [hem , ; n addition to the peflincm which rhey arc: classified, sondary prnies which arc: thus into rhc cplannory mood.' This means that a elm or class

merely indicating rhat rhe position in the rtiltions of productio ems pr.lClices, in particu lu through the mechanisms which contro

[0 posirions and produce or sden a pankula! elm of habitus. B" .

!> absen l from [he offICial job descriprion. function 15 [aci( re thOUs ...hlch. such as age, sex. social or c,hnic origin. ovcrtly or implicitly en i choices, from enlry in,o the profession and right through qVII'Cm C pt on I!>ese tr:lil$ 1fe cxcluded O! &u,dln& that membel$ of ,he corps who lack r (",omen doc,ol$ and lawyers ,ending ro be ro:sniClcd to a fc , ,", ' n l m,rSl " cle and black doctols and lawyers fO black c1ienrs or research). en n'I,k ch I c property emphasized by the name used 10 clcsign1<e a (alt orl III sh gory. usuaUY oupation, is lible 10 m..sk lhe effC'Ct of all the secondary ",hlCh although cons[itulive of lhe calCSOry, :lrC nOf exprnsly r0"'wcs '

gIven dIploma can be a way of demanding a particular

One needs to examine what Ihe list of Ihe crileria u by Ihe analrs! de rives from the state of Ihe struggle betWtcn ,' (rileria, or more precisely from the capacity : leria, to gel Ihemselves recognized as such. There would be of forgtling thaI unskilled workers are '0 a brge extent women grants ,f groups bued on scx or nationali!y of origin had cons!iTutcd sclves as such within The working class. Furthermore, the fallacy of the apparent facror would nor be so frequem if il were nOI the simpk '"'''''' , non onto Ihc lerrain of seience of Ihe kgilimaling stratcgio:s whereby groups len [0 pUt. fo,:",ard [his Of lhat legidma!e prOp<'rly. ,he overl . "pk of {he'r eonsmunOll, 10 nmoulbge the rc-al basis of their i Thus {he mOSt selective groups (a conccrr audience or rhe of a gran. Ceok) may doubly conceal [he real rincipk of their selection: by r dcclrn,ng to annOOIl(( Ihe rc-al principles 0 their nislmce and [heir ducri, hey 1f obliged to rely on mC'Chanisms which lack ,hc spific, lemmc ngoul of an nplicn condition of mtry and rherefore allow exceptions (unlike clubs and all 'ditcs' on co-oplion, tilq canno lhe whole SCt of propcnics of rhe 'Clecl', i.c., rhe rotal . The membel$ of g.oups on (O'Of>lion, as are lceled by an oven or coven ""mHlIJ dallJltJ (docrol$. architC'C(S, enin.n elc) always have somelhins else in common beyond t <', [enSIICS cxpl'(lIly demanded. Tho: common image of rhe professions, is no doubl one of [he real determinants of 'vocations', is less absrraCI and unre:al Ihan Ihu prncmed by sla!isticians; it [ako:s imo Iccoonl nOI only lhe nature of the job and rhe income, bur lhosc secondary char:lcter CS isti . which arc oflen Ihe basis of .heir social value (prO:Slige or diseredil) and

1,.d'c:I' I ",hm one is TryinS 10 assess the .....olu!ion of a social cuegory Y Som! b . y oo:euparion), crude crrOI$ are in....ilabJc if, by considering of Ihe pertincn1 prope'li(:l, one ignores all he sU?slilution effccs . {ollC'C've rr:llory of a ' also exprcsscd.. lhe evolulion . (11\ hiCh ,femlllized, or 'mas ay be manifnted III lhe fael that II IS bC'ComlllS growing older or youn, sc[inf f>O?re. f r cher. (Tho: ck<linc u n . . O:Sled euher Ill femllllZ>.nn -:-wl(h .my may be. mani . of' po$Ulon III 'dcmOCr:ltlZ>.lIon or m agemg .) comn.cd by a risc ,n SOCial ollgm--or TllI' mc woold be lrue of lny group defined by referencc !O a posilion in in ,he hier:lrchy of di$Ciplines,. a title of , licld-e.g., a univel$i[y. diipline . In the lIiS\ocr:lllC hierarchy, an cducallonal qualdicallon III lhe aca

('tn ! ' "




demIC hierarchy.


'';:;:,,:'; :

kSS'Ii'"':;;; ;

gion. or even educadonal level, income lnd occupation lend to mask the

The particular relations be(wn depen dcnt variable (such as poliricll opinion) lnd $(rcalled indep<'ndent vatiabl" such as sex, age lnd reli

complete system of relationships which constirules Ihe (ruc principle of ,he specific strength nd form of the effccts registered in any particulaf

corrclllion. The mt independent of 'indcp<'ndent' varibl" conce:als a whole nelwork of statistic1 relations which Ire present, implicitly, in ils relllionship wilh any given opinion or practice. Here tOO, instead of ask IIlg smistical lcchnology to solve a problem which il can only d isplace, il
'S ne<:nury "



:k on.of ,he class, is not con$Ciously liken into account in lhe nominal I I. falsc independence between so-called independent v1!iablcs is r,onShlp belWttn educational qualification and occupation. This is nol '1Ort Yu bC'(au, It leas, in somt areas of social space (ro which edun qUal,r:! hficanons give some deSr of access), occupalion depends on

ondary varilbl" (scx, 1ge elc.) bring into the class defined by Ihe main "anable, and consider cvcrylhing which, Ihough prescnt in the real defi,

to analyse rhe divisions lnd variations which lhe differenl sec

nl(lOn, the onc summed up in the name used !O designale ii, or t'; refore in interpreting Ihc relationship in which il is placed.

to. suar:lnltt depends on lhe holder's occupalion, which may p sU P!>osc (It I sc'ntenance o. increase of (he capital acquire<! within the family I (by and for promolion) or a dimini$hing of (his capilal (by

1111Ofl. but also bC'Cause the cullunl npiul which the qualincuion is

Or 'de-qual ification' ). To ,his effect of occup3tional in which one has 10 di inguish the spe<ifK dfeel of the work very na.ul"(', may mand mol"(' Of 1$ grelf. mol"(' or 1m men! of (ullul':Il upiul. and <he.dol"(' morc' or 1m continuous of this Upitll, and .hot effect of II\(, possible eludes cul!ur:l1 investments likely to ;mlSI or I i he ad<kd tl>( ,tree! of occupational milieu, i.e., i uh ural, rdiSious or poli(ical dispositions) by ions (especially IS homogeneous In most of the [('SpeCIS which define it. Thus one hl"C to ex.amine i.n cach asc to what. txtent occupational conditions Istenet aSSIst or hmder thiS effec'. which would mean taking in o K"" the. chr:I(crisfi{s of tile ... (unpkUlnmcss etc.), the condirions In ork ICh II IS pc'rformro-noisc, or silence permitflng COIl'"CfSllion wh remponl rhythms i( Impo:>KS, (he sre lime II ,lIows, and ; II (or of Ihe hor;onral or venical rdilions II encour:lgcs al dUring work Of .In fCSl penoos---or oUlside. This eff Ci no doubl explains numlxr of dlffel'(nccs Ixtween office e wOlkers (leds<"r derks, bank derks, agency clerks, typistS ) ": :::: ,. fu:' "OI: ": d employees (mainly sh.op assisnnu), which are nOI entirely 1 : I ellher by dlfferenccs hnkro to class (raCl;on of origin (offICe workers 1 IlIlher more o(len Ihe children o( (armers: commerCIal emplo}'ccs Ihe 1'( dren of small emplors) or by dlfferenccs in rouu[ional upiral ([he more o(len have lhe BEPC. Ihe le(:ond a C.... P). Tht commercial employccs and the office workers, woo arc d;smbulro much lhe s:&me wly I'(gards 5CX, age and income, arc stpalllled by I lin.[ differenccs in disposi tions and prac[iccs. Office workers arc more (ellc-they more oflCn expecl (heir friends to Ix conscienlious or well btoghl up, more oflen prefer a neal, clean and lidy inicrim and like Gueury. Manano. Ille Htmgariall RhapJody, l.'//d/jin71l/, Raphad "" ' ;;. ' ad leonardo. By C?nlf1lSI. commercial emplo)'ccs more often Ik fr nds wh.o a sociable. bons vivants, amusing and Slylish. fOf a ':::I;. able. cosy mtcllOf. and ptcfer Brassen!, ft.orrt. Ft:l.n(oi5C Hardy, III ' GodJ, lhe FOil. , i" BI"', Urrillo 01 Van Gogh JIM J ....m)Ilg 11K cff" eclS ...1I"h lhe rdallOlulllp Ixlween class fra{fion and . IICCS 51mullancously reveals and conceals. there is also Ihe effC<1 of ,h, i"" tion in Ihc dimibution of Ihe sc<ondary properlies a!l1(hed [0 a I Thus, melxrs of [he dass ,,:ho do nOI possess all Ihe mooal properlies . c.g., mc In a.sl,?ngl feminized occupation or a worker's son al ENA ave their soclal. Iden lllY deeply marked by tIllS memlxrship and Ihe $OC11i . Imas<" whICh II Imposes and ...hich Ihey have [0 situale [hem5Ch'cs ;n reia non 10, whether by acpllnce or rejeClion. Si-:nilarly, rcJauonshlflS such as IhO$( Ixl... en wucauonal capilal, or ast. e an ,"come muk rhe rcialionshlp l inkins Ihe r...o arrarcntly indcpcmknr . . varlabl. "ge Ierm,"cs Income 10 an eK[em which vuics according edcallonal .capllal and occup2lion, ....hich is il lf pard)' delermined by catlonal capllal and also by olher, more hidden faclors sucll as sex nd in' heriled cultural or social capil2!. In another ca5C. one of the variables IS 10 degree me.rely a IfInsformw form of rhe other. Thus, schol:l.Slic age (i.e., as<" al a s,ven roucallOfla! level) 1$ a lransformro form of inherited 'i"'''
H 1 ( "01 U as ... 5C 10

d losl years are a slep toward c>I" IJI.lan he educalional capinl IKld al a given moment expresses. among r:lJ Y, lhe economic and social level of rhe family of origin. (This ln no .... a mechanical oIJ>tfSIh a long I"occss behich is artiallayconenro inforelalionship, since c-duclIional upi ,-tSuiI f:r11 capinl rna)' only p y l 'u I produce eKeclS irrroucibk [0 ,hose of roucarionil qUilifKarion, In,lll ar 01 or ".:c ds whenever social o,igin diSlinguishes individuals whose qUllifin n' nare IMndca,.) lIS 0 callons in every relalionship Ixlween roucalional capilal and a given "'CWI wilh gender .... e sees the elfC<1 of rhe disposilions associ2lro led capi[il intohich aCllct'; rr [ermlllf! Ihe logic of Ihe reconversion of inheri help {OfIll capllal. thaI is. the choice o he type of rouC2lional capilal . .Imual Illenry for cd III bc oblained from the samegain. Ihcap'lal. mOle oflengiven pnc e relarionship of a ..h" ofren scienli for boys .... g"ls. ;, may conceal ficrela[ionship 10 rou(2lional capillI ...hen age is in a _, L . 1", 10 a,,- 10 differenl moocs 0f access 10 Ihe POS'llon--...y qua, II...auon or bet he key rnotion---:md different school generati ns and different chanccs . ,nter..., pro Ihe educational syslem (the 01dCSt agents have lower eduea' 10 f aCCCSS by I). or 10 social ,onal capllal Ihan Ihe younlousncss or backcb,nessv.iflue of !e differ, Ihe vanous areas, wlld enl ial definitions of prC<OC parucularly '" schoo],ng.chanccs of :Kress is only On<! aspecl of a more sys In fael, lhe change in lematlC change- whICh also invoh'CS lhe very definirion of competence. and increasingly difficull. tends 10 make comparisons Ixl...een Ihe s<"nerations crcn[ a cs ind differenr diff The conAl(u bel....een holders of compelenccs of h11 lIl i (baeo roucallonal Icvels-l--o d school-(:enir.c1lc holder Versus new l nce,". ilh Ihe laurc'or,holder)-ccn[re precisely on Ihe definition of compele .. Ihe old gcnCr.llion complai ning Ihal Ihe new genemion docs not possess <ompercnCts formerly defined 1$ elementary and basic: 'They can'l spell nowadays', "They nn'[ even add up'. And finally. the varialions in culluf1ll praCtice by si:te of lo...n of resi den" cannol be ascribro 10 Ihe direrl effecr of spalial distana and 11K """aIlOOI '" Ihe supply of culture. until il i$ eonfirmro Ihn the differcnccs J'C'fSlsr aflcr dlscounlins Ihe effecl or Ihe inequalitics in rouutional capilal COnc<:lIlcd (evcn in 11K occupational C2legOry) b)' geographical d,mibUlion. n.., Opposilion bel....een !':aris and [he provi nccs nceds 10 be analysed in a ;o-ay Similar 10 that used for the nOlion of 'eouC1lional levcl'. Relalionshi ps InvolVing Ihe variable 'place of residence' maniftsl nOI only Ihe effec( of cultUral supply. linked to Ihe tknsily of objeCtified cultul1ll capital and so IO lhc oblCClive opportunitics for cullural consumplion and lhe rcia[ro re 'nOr{emcnl to consume. ual spallal of rhe aspiralionpl"O(Xrlics and bUI also all ,he effectS of thesun IlKir owners (e.g., possesrso of d,mibuflon of 8 upcducalional upinl). in rticulal lhe circular reinforcemenl each ':t on il5Clf, nCl <ulllvaperformsouraging irfor enmple, intensifying cullur:a1ispnot.ice if i! is led, dise hostililY if;( by indifference or _ Wh as often happens. [he an31ysi5 is condUCted variable by variable, [ht e cn,d nger of a atlnbuling 10 one of the variables (such as 5CX or age. eoc o} which may express in ils o'Wn 'Way Ihe whole silualion or trend of s relegation or elimin2lion.
.... ,, .




SocLal class is not defined by a property (nO! " rhe most determinant one, such as the volume and composition "',, tal) nor by a cllcction of properties (of sex, age, sodal origin, " " ongm-proporuon of blacks and whites, for example, or natives and migrants-income, educational level etc.), nor even by a chain, undamental property (position in [he rtI ties Strung out from a f ,,[, conditioner and production) in a relation of cause: and clf tioned; but by the srruCture of relations between all the pertinent ties which gives its specific value to each of them and to exert on pl':ICtices.8 Constructing, as we have here, classes as geneous as possible wirh respect to the fundamental L material condirions of exisrence and the conditionings [hey therefore means [hal even in constructing the classes and in the variarions of the distribution of properties and pl':lctices in these: classe:s, one consciously lakes into account the network of L ary characteristics which are more or Jess unconsciously the classes are defined in terms of a single criterion, even whenever perrinent as occupacion. It also means grasping the prinople of the 0b s jective divisions, i.e., divisions internalized or obieetified in di tinctj..e properties, on the basis of which the agents are mosr likely to divide and come togecher in realiry in their ordinary practices, and also to mobiJilt themselves or be mobilized (in accordance with the specific logic, linked co a specific history, of the mobilizing organizations) by and for Lndivid

a cbss) [he (free! of the stt ofvariabJes (an uror which is the conscious or unconscious tendency to substitute generc e.g., those: linked to sex or age, for sptcific alienations, linked Economic and social condition, <l$ identified by occupation, dlic form to all the properties of scx and age, so that it is the whole structure of factors associated with a position in ested in the correlations between which is manif and The naivety of the inclination TO amibure {he buon to age (0 a generic effect of biological ageing bemmcs when one $tts, for example, that the ageing which, in the classes, is associated with a move to the right, IS j manual workel'5, by a move to the left. Similarly, in the of executives, measured for example by the age at which they given posilion, one sees in fact the expression of everything whkh vides [hem, despite the apparent identity of condition at a given ment, namely their whole previous and subsequent tl':ljCClOry, capLtal volume and structure which govern it,



the name of 1 trade ne extreme, there is Ihe simple exisrence of s, O'le80ry', the product of classification by a governmemal a8<"ncy. "on I Of 'SO' 'ISEJ: (Insritut nalional de 11 staristique et des etudes onomi, s,h as the social bargaining which leads to industrial '(QlIoxtive agrtt s)'" "< 0f at the other extreme. there are groups posse1fl8 i ra1 SOCIa1 d <lue ",cot5 . ognized pokcsmen and institut;onalied '.hinnds for. xpressing idcn[ldiog their Intercsts el': The ondry pnClpks of diVISIon 5sueh ... aod d ry of oriSin or sex), whIch are lokdy 10 be Ignored by an ordlfliry (ou.OI as they serve as 1 basis for some form of mobilization, Indiote nalySIS otil of division along which a group socially perceived 1S unimy a I"'ICOII ' lines t more or less dttply and permanently. &cauS( the different factors ma) SP of determinallons constituting a class condition (which can re S!Cm 10 15 real principles of division betwttn objt;vely serante or ;!C' fU[ln mobilized groups) vary greatl y in their fun".ional weights and Ihere !U I y sllucturins force, ,heS( pnnoples of d,v,s,on are themselves S(t " forc w their suell .LI __ ' " rchy; groups mUUI ILI;U on tile baSl5 0f a seeondary cmenon ( in I hie are likely 10 be bound t08<"ther less permanently and less or age) Iy than thoS( mobilied on Ihe basis of the fundamental dClerminants of Iheir condition.




; ;


To account for the infinite diversity of practices in a way thaI is both unitary and specific, one has to break with fintar thinking, which only rec ognizes the simple ordinal structures of direct determination. and endea, "our 10 10nS(fuct the networks of mterrelated relationships which are prrsenr in each of the facrors.9 The srru(tut:.ll causality of a network of

acfOrs is quite irreducible [0 Ihe cumulated effects of the se:t of linear re f lations, of different explanatory force, which {he necessities of analysis oblige one 10 isolate, those: which are established belwttn the different faClOrs, taken one by one, and the practice in question; through each of [he faCtors is exerted the efficacy of all the others, and the multiplicity of determinatiOns leads not to indeterminacy but 10 overdetermlnation, Thus the superimposition of biological, psychological and social determi, nanons In the formation of socially denned sexual identity (a basic di mension of SOCial personality) is only a particular. bur very important, caS( of a logic that is also at work in other biological determinations,

SUch as ageing
d It
ass do

produce re The principles of logi o l division which are used the classes , to of coutS<' very unequally constituted socially in prexisting social classin'"

ual or collective political action,

without saying [hat the factors consl11uting the constructed not all depend on one another to the $.;Ime extent, and that the rUqUre of [he system they constitute is determined by thoS( which - 'h. greatest . " " lunCllonal Weight. Thus, the volume and composLllon of (a .tal p give specific form and value 10 the determinations which the olher a ors (age, se:x, place of residence etc.) impoS( on practices, Sex q ual pr0 rnes are as inseparable from class properties as the )'ellowness of aI e on 1$ from its acidity: a class is defined in an essential respect by the PI.cm a disn.d value it gives to the twO se:xes and to their socially constituted 1hOns, This is why there are as many ways of realizing f emininity liS



mtdiol and social services. {he personal-orc trades. old ones hkc dressing, new ones like beaUty care, and cspcdal!y domestic --. which combine lhe IWO aspeclS of (he mditional definition -,; and the horne-ar( practically reserved for women. 11Sks, scrvicc Nor is it accidental that the oldcst cbsses or class fflctions are also umen and indusuial and commercial classes in decline, such as f IOn; moS! of the young people originaling from these clasSC'S , CSClpe collective decline by reconvening into the eKpanding ""'"'''' Similarly, an incfC:lSC in Ihe proponion of women indintes !fend of an occupation, in particular the absolute 0' ""i" d,,,,,',,,," organization of which may result from changes in the nature work itsclf (this is Ihe case with office Jobs, for eKample, with Ihe plintion of repelitlve, mechanical tuks thu are commonly left women) or from changes in relative posilion in social space (n In ing, whose position has been affected by Ihe overall displacement profession resulting from the oveflll increase in Ihe "", ;'b,,- of prui"" ' offered). One would have to analyse in the same way [he reladonship mari131 sta[us and clm or class fracrion. It has been clearly shown, eumple, Iha[ male celibacy is not a of Ihe small i anu), bUI an essenlial clemenl of the crisis peasant class, The breakdown of the mechanisms ::,i : ' ;:; ,:: : i reproduclion brought about by Ihe spc.:ific logic 0 i is onc of the mediations of the process of concentration which leads

there rc clUSC'S and class f ractions. and the division of labour {he sexes nkcs quite different forms, both in practices and In , lions, in the dilk1 social lasses. So the true nature of fr.llcrion is expressed in irs diStribution by sex or age. and more, since its (ulure is then at stake. by lhe trend of (his over time. The lowest positions are designated by lhe bel that elude a Jarge----\ilnd growing-proportion of immigrams or women skilled and scmiskilkd workers) or immigrant women ( h : ,: , : Similuly, it is no accident Ihal I (Kcupalions in persoal


deep lransformation of Ihe class. But here too. one would have 10 the commonsense nmion to close analysis, as has been done for tional level. Being married is nm opposed to being unmarried the fact of having a legitimale spouse to the fact of nOI only has to think of a few limiting cases (some much more others), the 'housewife'. (he artist supponed by his wife, eKccutive who owes his position to his fatherin,bw. 10 sec Ihat i ficult to Chnlcteri:ec an indIVidual wilhoul including all Ihe p" no[ (and propeny) which are broughl 10 each of the spouSC'S, the wife. through the olher-a namc (sometimes a distinguished ' well ). goods, an income, 'connections'. a social StatuS (each Ihe couple being charaCterized by the spouse's social pOsition, to




By! this is nOI all On Ihe one hand, agents arc not completdy defined by (he properlics they pos scs! 11 1 gIven lime, whose condilions of acquisition persist in the hab (Ihe hysteresis eff el); and on the Olher hand, the relationShip c "'etn Initial capinl and present capilal, or, 10 put il anOlher way. be r I"'etn Ihe inilial and present positions in social space, is a Slalistinl rela :,onShl of very variable imensilY. Although they are always perpetualed r e dIspositions consliluling the habitus, the conditions of acquisition o I <1 propellics synchronically observed only make themselvcs visible in of dl5Cotd nce between the condilions of acquisition and the con dl I nS . . O of usc," I.e., when Ihe pracllccs generated by Ihe hab nus appear as I)] d aplcd becausc they are anuned 10 an earliel slate of the objective (on I $tlIIS' .'OflS (this is whal mighl be called the Don QuixolC effect). 1bc hell analY !.arne r crl Sis which compares the pl':I.cticcs of agents poSSC$sing the b l $ P O)"> leS and occupying the same social position at a given time Cparatcd by rheir origin performs an operation analogous 10 oroi
so... Zo\l Clo\SS O\NO Co\SS OF TRo\JECTQRtES

ordtng 10 sex, position and the gap belween the IWO posi. through mmiagc will be e properties uquired or S) III Ihe SYSlem of properties which may determine praCtiCes IIQI'I df offIllfc ies if. as usually happens. one f orgets to uk oneself who is the the practices or. more simply, if the 'subject' qucstioned is of Ihe pr.l(liccs on which he or she is queSlioned. e subject re,lIy I qucslion is raised, it can be secn that a number of suale SOO as (he ,, ncretcly defined only in Ihe relationship belween [he members SIC:S tiC group (J household or, sometimes. an eXlended family), of' self depends on the reltionship between the tWO sYSlems of whIch aswcialed with Ihe tl\'O spouSC$, The common goods. cspc l r P Orf l n they are of some economic and social imporrnce, such as the he al y w " a!lCn! or furnilUre, or even pelsonal goods, such as clorhing, arc a e choice of a spouse for son or daughter in other societics--the II ( these (denied) power relalions which define the domcstic , outeo" e of . . . For example' there IS every reason 10 suppose Ihat, g[ven the logl( ynll . . { lhe dIvision of labour between Ihe sexes, whICh gIVes precedence to omcn in mailers of lute (and 10 men in politics), the weight of the man's own tUle in choosing his clothcs (and lheldore the degree 10 "'h,ch his clothcs express his IUle) depends nOI only on his own in heme<! cullur.ll capinl and educalional capital (the traditional division of IOks lends to weaken, here and elsewhere, as educational capinl grows) bUI also on his wife's educational and cullural capital and on Ihe gap bclween Ihem. (The same is Hue of the weight of [he wife's own prtfercnccs in polilies: the effen of assignmem by St1tUS which makes poluics a man's business is less likely to occur, Ihe greuer the wifc's edu nuonal capital, or when Ihe gap belwccn her npital and her husband's is small or in her f avour.)

dcSfCCS ;" ,ndPrort'; subid\O '



e /

nary perception which, wirhin a gr?up, idenrjfi rhe parvens an d or bnnng d&lasses by picking up rhe subtle IndiCes of betr::ly rhe efl"! of condirions of existence diffent or, which amounlS 10 rhe same rhing, a social {r;ljecrory the modal trajectory for {he group in Cjuesrion. Individuals do no! move about in social space in a nndoID I' bco.use rhey an: subject to {he fOfCes which strunure this . through rhe objcnivt mechanisms of diminalion and ' l' pudy because they resisl rhe forces of the field with thir : {hal is. Iheir properties, which may exist in embodied form, as lions, or in objectified f orm, in goods, qualifications tIC- To a i umc of inhcrirtd capital chen: corresponds a band of mon: probabk trajcctories leading to more or cquivall"nt po$itions (he fltld fl 'lNjIOSJibin objecrively offered 10 a given agent), and l from one rflljlory 10 another often depends on coJlecri\'e aClors crises etc.--<lr individual eventcounters, affairs, benef ....hich are usually described as (fortunace or unf ortunate) accidents, though they themselves depend statistically on the posirion and {ion of {hose ....hom they befall (e.g., the skill in operating :o ....hich enables the holders of high social capital to prve or rhis capital), when. that is, they ue not deliberately contrived . d amily reunions, old.boys' or alumni associations etc.) tions (elubs, f the 'spontaneous' intervention of individuals or groups. I t follows this that position and individual trajectory are not statistically dent: all positions of arrival are not equally probable for all points. This implies that there is a snong corn:lation between social silions and the dispositions of the agents who occupy them. or, amounts to the same thing. the trajectories which have led them cupy them. and consequently that the moclal trajlOry is an i of the system of bctors constituting the class. (The more _ trajectories arc-a.s in the pelite bourgeoiSie-the less ible 10 the eff ct of synchronically defined position.) e The homogeneity of tm: dispositions associated with a iti?n

'::; ;
: "" " _"


: ::


their seemingly miraculous adjustment to the <kmands ins.cnbc:d III suit p:mly from the mechanisms which channel towards positions viduals who an: already adjusted to them, either beouse they feel I for jobs that are 'made' for them-this is 'vocation', the sumption of an objti oXstiny that is imposed by the moclal trajectory in tm: cla.u of origin--<lr beouse they are on this light by the occupants of the posts-this is co-option. ie<:lLc immediate harmony of dispositions--and pardy from the d,a . .ecn dispositions and is established. throughout a lifetime, bet... ' than aspirations and achievements. Social ageing is nothing other slow renunciation or disinvestment (socially assisted and ' o which l(';Ids agents to adjUSt their aspirations to their objecti; ve . to espouse their condition, become what they are and make do wllh

even if this entails deceiving themselves as to what they are ave ley t' they have. ....ith collective complicity, and accepting bereave ... aJ the 'Iateral possibles' they have abandoned along the ....ay. l Cl,t 0 charaCler of the relanonship betwecn initial elpital and (I1 s atistical e"plains why pr.llctices cannot be completely accounted apital t pt SC of the properties defining the position occupied in so t I in terms for o at a given moment. T 52y that Ihe members of a cla.u initially sp economic a nd cultural cpital re destined with a {.,J ing a certain : . to an educallonal and soc,al IrajCClOry l(';IdlOg to a probbility, a n g,. e position m(';lns in fact that a fraction of the class (which cannot be e g,,' ine<l a priori within the limits of this eplanatory system) .... ill . de(e (r.lljcctory mOSt common fOf (he class as a whole and fol. e from the er) trajeclOry which was most probable for tile (higher or lo... I class. I The trajectory effect which then manifests il' embc of another . If. :15 it docs ... henever individuals occupying similar positions at a time arc separated by differences associated with the evolution over gll'en "me of ,lie volume and Structure of their capital. i.e., by thl'ir individual tr.l)tories. is very likcly 10 be wrongly interpreted. The correlation be a practice and social origin (measured by the falher's position, the ' !"tal value of which may have suffered a decline conC(';lled by constant nominal value) is the resultant of twO effects (....hich may either reinforce or offsct each Other): on (he one hand. the inculcatton effeCl directly e. metl by ,he family or the original conditions of e",stence: on the other nand. 'he specific effl'CI of social mjectory.') thai is, the effects of social rise or decline on dispositions and opinions. posirion of origlO being, in this logic. merely the staning point of a mjl'ctory, the refl'rence whl'reby the slope of the social career is defined. The necd to make {his distinnion 1$ seJfYident in all cases in which individuals from the same class frac. lion Or the same f amily. and therefore presumably subjccl to identical moral. rdigio\ls or political inculcat ions, are inclined towards dtvergefl! stan<e! in rc:ltgion or politics by the different rdation! to the social world ...h'ch they o.... 10 e divergent individual trajeclories. having. for exampk. or f ilcd in ,he rttonversion strategies nccCSS2ry to escape the tlve dec],ne of their cla ss. tra/ttlory effect no doubt plays a large part in blurring the reb. tl $ be''':'ecn social class and religious or polirica l opinions. owing to t $0(. t that " governs the reprcsefl!arion of the position occupied in the aI ""orld and hence the vision of its world and its futun:. In connast to ardly mobile individu als lUll: 'o\l ... ,0 have their future, i.e., or groups, 'commoners' of birth or (ul. g their being, before them, individuals or .." ,"' tn , dttline endlessly reinvent the dis.couT$C of all ariSlocracies' es. a . ' ' ]lu . '$t allh tn the eternlly of natures, cdebration of tr.lldirion and the l , cuh of .Sfory and . ,tS rituals. because ,he best they can e"ptel , froO't the uture t res . l'h, tOrauon IS the return of the old order. from which they expect of their social being." S blur ring is particularly visible in the middle elasses and especially


... cen

; 'fhe


But everything would still be . it were sufficient to Teplace a I a part J as socio-occupational category, which from the secondary variables it governs, a system of factors tally defined by its srrunure.'6 In fact, what is dercrminant in a is a particular configuration of the system of properties COnStruCted elus, defined in an entirely thretical way by the of factors oper:ating in all areas of practice-volume and struClure tal, defined synchronictily and diachronically (tn.jectory), tal sratu5, pl:l(e of residence elC. It is the specific logic ,I or what is " stake and of the type of opital needed to play f it,


may have embarked on individual tr:ajectories running in 'h', 0ppM;., rection to that of the fr:action as a whole. This does not me:.ln practices :are not marked by the collective destiny. ( I t is example, whether cn.ftsmen or farmers whose individul s run counter !O (he collenive decline cease to be affecTed cline.)') But here tOO one must avoid substami:alism. Thus, ';m, o,'d properties associated with social elus which may remain Without or value in a given field, such as ease and familiarity with culture in uea striClly controlled by the eduotional system, can take on their ;: ' : force in :another field, such as high society, or in '"O'h<' " ''' : field, like the aptitudn which, after the French : : French aristocracy to become, in Mux's phr:ase, 'the Europe'.

In the ne.... fr:.acI;ons of these classes, which a grey areas, located in the social stru((ure, inhabited by individuals who are erremeJy 5C;lncred. This dispersion of {r:lljecrori is even at the level of Ihc: domestic unii, which is more likely [han III classes to bring IOfher spousa (rei)r;vely) ill mal(hed not only : S ; :; gards social origin and trajectories bUI al$O : ' ' carional levcl. (This has the effect, among ; : what (he new vulgare calls 'the problems couple', i.e. , thc problems of the sexual division of bOOu! and the division bbour.) In com{ 10 the effect of individual tr:.ljcclOry, which, being a !Ion from {he (Qilea;vl' rrajcoory (that may have a zero slope), is diardy visibk, the effect of collective lr:.ljCCIOry may not be such. When {he U':ljeclOry effect concerns a whole elm or class thaI is, a set of individuals who occupy an identiol position gaged in the ume collective tntjectory, the one which defines :II or declining elus, there is :II danr of attributing to the properties religious chronictily a!!:l(hed to the elus, eff cts (e.g., politiol e ions) which are in mllity the prodUCl of collective i an:alysis is complicated by the faCl thu some memben of a <Ius

f: : :


q:::,":;, ,:


;h ; ; ' .

o T Ill1delStal1d why the ume system of properties (which determines 2Ild is Octermined by the position occupied in the field of class struggles) test expl1natry por, whatvef th rea in es a1W1.YS has the g . tiofl---"Oting habits, use of cred!!, ferullty, pollllcal opmron, rellgLon Cfc.-and why, simultanusly, Ihe rdative weight of the facton which cOl1Stitute i. varies from one fidd to anolher-ducational capitti being mos! imporrant in one area, economic capin.1 in :lnmhc:r, and so on-one only has 10 see that, because capital is a social relation, i.e., an energy ",hkh only exists and only produces its effcclS in the field in which it is produced and reproduced, each of the properties attached to class is given its value and dlic:l(y by the specific laws of each field. In pntcrice, that is, n i 1 pmicular field, the properties, internalized in dispositions Ot objecti. lied in economic or cu]tuntl goods, which are attached to agentS are not all simultanrously oper:ative; the specific logic of the field determines rhose which are valid in .his marker, which are peninent and active in g me in question, and which, in the relationship with this field, a . nCt,on as specific opitaJ...-and, conseqllently, as a factor explaining . Il(es. This mons, concretely, thn the social r:ank and specific power '" h ars are usigned in a patlicular field depend fintly on the LC "'p"al they on mobilize, whatever their additional wealth in 01 r . types of capital (though this may also exert an cffC(t of contami. ItLon) . iS xplains why the relationship which analysis uncovers between CI n rnclLces appears to be established in each C:lSI': through the me diati n 0 a factor or particular combination of factolS which varies ac, COrdin to the field. This appean.nce itself leads to the mistake of in"Cn L ga ing s many explanatory syStems as Ihere are fields, instead of scc+ of them as a tr:ansformed form of all the Others; or worse, the . trror o stltlng up a particular combination of factors letive in a panicu Jar Id o practi ces as a univerul explanatory principle. The singular {Orr6gu !"alLon of the system of explanatory (letors which has to be con.

uOt)' fKor is not perf ormed, every bk correbtion of each expla . S th rTOf is likdy, all of them rtSlilung from Ignonng the fact that whu If o ,ott 0f e epends on the system it i$ pl:&(ed in .'/C. in tnt faClor in quation d i ns il 'opcn.tes' in; or, more simply, from filing 1 n.ise the 0 ' ndirio il: opCl1-o t t t rc:II principle of.he effiocy of lhe 'independent Vlriable', qo( uon of t l S ng :IS if the relationShip f ound between the ia Clor-designated i g., eduearional lcvel) by pr;;ct is usually no more than an indicalor of it (e. lhi5 or that pr.lctice (e.g., th rae of.' !ponse 10 political. questions, to adopt Ihe acsthcuc dlSPOSrll0n, or museumsomg elC.) pacilY or thr c d. itself have to be explarne did not

t' through which the relationship between elus hoS properties cro .o s \ c is established. p"-'u

struclCil in order (0 a(CQUnl for a StHC of [he distribution of a elm of goods or practices. i.e, :I. balancshtt[, drawn up :1.1 a moment, of [he class slruggk over that particular class of dces (oviar or aV:l.m.gardc paiming. Nobd prizes or Slale enlightened opinion or a chic sport), is the form laken, in [hal {he objectified and internalilC'd capital (proper!ies and habitus) defines social class and consli!Ulcs [he principle of the proou(!ion classified and classifying practices. It reprcsc:nu a Slate of the properties which make class a universal principle of explanation sifiC:l.tion, dtofining the rank occupied in all possibk fields.

----- difficulties which this modd aims to accOUlll for in a unillry I ,he

. . . ...





. ... ....

:h ':::"

,l.JIIOf rr,,'ic ""'Y, the most visible is the fV:lItion. which Others have e "'" s made (e.g., CS. VII), Ihat the hier.r.rchies. borh in the dominanl ofrd' ,ween the executivcs and the employers, and in the mlddk dass. be . !It . cI).IS. rl>( junIOr execul!ves and the cr.r.flsmen or shopkeepers. vary accord 'n Ihe :activity or asset in qucstion. This dfect secms 10 support the InS critique of the social classes unril. it is seen thaI rhele is , !CIa. . . ,e 1 2!11 tic , f h h hip between t e nature 0 t ese actlvlUCS or assetS, or example. .ons pos.sess,on of a colour TV, and Ihe strucrun: of each :,rc.going or .



pace Three-Dimensional S

Endovouring (0 fonsrillHc the units mOSI homogeneous from point of vicw of the conditions of production of habItus, i.e.. with specr to the c1emcnluy conditions of existence and the resul ''" " ; I donings, one can conSHUCt a space whose three fundamental di : , 1fe defined by volume of capital, composition of capinl. and : t twO propertics over time (manifcsted by past and potential tory in social space)." The primary differences. those which distinguish the major cJnsa conditions of existence. derive from the over.r.ll volume of capital, stood as [he set of actually usable n:wurces and capitl1. cuhural capital and alw social capital. The distribution ferenl classes (and class fractions) thus runs from those who an: provided with both economic and cultural capilal to those who 1fe deprived in both pects (sec figure ), la[er in this secrion). r essions, who have high incomes and high bers of the prof who very often (2.9 percenr) originate from the dominant class sions or senior execurives), who receive and consume a large both material and cultur.r.1 goods, an: opposed in almosr all the office workers, who have low <jualifications, often originate working or middle classes, who receive little and consume little, a high proporrion of their time !O car maintenance and home ' menl; and [hey are even mon: opposed to the have ers, and still more 10 unskilled workers or farm bboun:rs, who ively 10""est incomes, no qualifications. and originare almost exclus from percent of farm laboun:rs, 84.' percent of unskilled workers) working classes. ' almOS! The differences stemming from {he total volume of capital ' ways conceal. both from common awan:ness and alw from the I knowledge. the secondary dIfferences which, within each of defined by over.r.ll volume of capilli, sepulHe class fr.r.ctions. IOtal diffen:nt a5S(r struClU, i.e., diffen:nt distribulions of their among the different kinds of capiral.

the structure of total a$Se(5-1nd nOt only, Once OtIC takes account o( :always bn done implicitly, of the dominanl kind in a given :IS has 'birth', 'forrune' or /alents. as the nineteenth century PUt it J{tuctun:, one has the means of making more precise divisions and alw o( observing tMe specific cifeCts of the StruCfttn: of distribution bcrwccn Ihe differenr kinds of capital. This may, for example, be symmetrical (as in the case o( essions. which combine very high income with very high cultur.r.1 the prof capital) or asymmetrical (in the cue of higher<ducation and secondary or employers, with cultural capital dominanr in one case, eco nomic capital in the other). One Ihus discovers tWO setS of homologous posirions. The fractions whose reproduction depends on economic capi tai, usually inherited-induStrial and commercial employers a( the higher kvet cr.r.ftsmen and shopkeepers at (he intermediate level_re opposed 10 [he fr.r.clons whICh are least endowed (relatively, of course) with eco . nom".cap'(al, and whose reproduction mainly depends on cultur.r.1 capi t2l--htgher-educuion and SC'Condary tcachers at the higher level. primary tcar:hers a( the inrermedia/e level.

C , I ':: ,,"pCN ":. : -

t \

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ _ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __


The indusiliar I$IS. ':"h0 an: grouped with the commercial employers in survtys by nrulve sample because of [heir small number, declale consid. a (' bl h het Incomes than [he laller (H.6 percenr say they earn more than a or noo-(omrntrc,al profits. For the ..-orking I te $!tongly ",nked by over.r.1I capital volume. Ihe dua avaIlable ;:'ab OI'te . grasp the differenccs o in [he second dimenSion ( com"'" "tio" of . , ..... Capllal) Hwever, d. ' e,:nccs such :IS 1hase berween semi.skilled. lICa"ona J ' . l Y nqualtfied. prov,"c!al factory workers of rur.r.l origin, livinS inhe . e: atmhouse. and skilled workers in [he Paris ....gion who have (. n in h" l t '!Ualifir :otklng dass for genemions. who posscs.s a 'mde' or thnical ario ' Ut be the source of differences in lik-style and ....Iigious d PoliticaJ -.....:...::::. opinIon. do
c r ro the I1CW boutgeoisie than are ,he commercia! employer s: llUny InOl"C ?f them declan: salaries and invcstmenr income, many fewer de:cbrc, i . (nduSlnai cmrnt r(l. ho v

100 French ncs. as against 14.' percent of the commercial employ. Ill). 10 classIfied as indu5lrialiS ls in [he INSEE survey (C.S. I) an: mUch


,." J

" " .....,,"''') " J

,,... ",


, .. _.





Givtn rh:l.I, liS ont movC'S from lht uriSIS to (ht industrill mtrc:ill tmplors, volumt of onomic upiul riSC'S lind volumt lills, il un be n lh1 1m: dominant class is tUDI upiul f chiaslic structure. To C'S,abl ish rhis, i, is ne(C'SSary (0 use tors borrowed from a SUl"\'ey which has the advamage of be'... een publiNcClor and privue-sector cxurivcs (CS. successively , Ihe: distribution of onomic capital lind tht i (uhunl capiul among the: fractions; (hc Structures of (hese must then be correlated.

" . ...._" . - I . "



i\hhough it is self-evident when one (Onsidcrs indiotors of ... nhh (1$ be done lafcr), the hicnrchy of the class fnctions as rcguds SIOl"l economic capilli, running from induwial and commercial cmployen to teachers, is alread)' less visible: when, as here, one IS onl y dc.hng with dices of (OmMmpI/M (cars. boars, hOlels) which arc nei ther enrirely nor cntlrely unambiguous (see rable 6). The first (ors) also thc type of professional aCfivity, and rhe other tWO depend on spare which, as one Inrl'ls in Olher ways, varies II'Ivemlr ....ith c(onomic Homc o""nership also pends on stability in the same placc I (Io""er among eeculI''CS, CI'Igineers and lochcrs). Incomes arc very un C"cnly unrc:stimate-d (he rale of non-<k-cbrallon may be (Onslre-d dlCalor of the tendcncy to umkr-<ledare ) and "cry unequally by fringe benefitS such as expense-account mnls business arc known 10 rise as one moves from rcachers to P';"""'" ,:w.. , ' lind employcrs) . As regards cuhural capinl, except for a few Inversions. which ondary v;lfilbln such as place of residence, with the of culture, and II'ICOm(, ....ith tlK mnns " prOVIdes, Ihe arc ot8l'nize-d 11'1 an opposne hierarchy (set" !able: ( i ercntial1on l possessed. literary, $ClCnl1fic or onomic nd mg to the type or capitl 'ilical. is mainly seen 11'1 tlK fl(1 Ih1 engineers sho... morc i n1c.o; , ; , " and ';ntdleclu1' gmes such as bridge or chess Ih.an in lirerary rhe1rc-go;ng or leading Lt Figaro Lillirain.) These indicators no doubt lend 10 minimIze: the gaps be,,"ecn thc enl fractions. Most cultural consumption also tnnils an alrc'going, for campk, depends on income as ...ell as educrion. equipment such as FM radios or hifi systems un be used in "ery i ""ars (e.g. cbnlul music or dance music). whose valun, in terms of dominant hierarchy of possible uses, may vary 15 much as the of mding-maltcr or lhelrc. In facI, thc position of the ranke-d ac{ordll'lg to tlKir imern1 in the ddl'cren1 1)'pes I lends 10 corrnpand 10 their pasHion when ranked according 10 cultural C1pital IS one moves towards the rarer Iypes of reading, known 10 b t hose 1}l0St linked ro educational level and highcst in e Itchy of cultural !cSilimacy (see uble S) Onc also finds (C.S, XIV. table 211) thaI ' ' ' ' : ' d fn<hcrs (a nd sludents) in the audiencc of Ihe :

" "'''' ''.


7). D ff

;:; ;;::

';;:: l::::: :: '


- - -. - - -. -. ... ... ... ... .... ... ---- -

.... "' ... ... N N ... N _ N _ ", _

- -

Ifl ifl il lfl ll!

.... ... ... ." ... ... ... ... .... ... _ 00

8 ,

- - - -- -

_ N ... .... .... "' .... -- -- - - - - -

- N _ -- ,

., , ,

- - - - -- ... "' - _ .... .... ... - - - - - - --

N -

- -- - --- .... "' .... - ... '"

.. -- -- - - - -- - - 0. 0 "' 0 , _ _ ,,< N ... N _ _


----- -

"' ''' ",. N N _ _ - - - -- -- -- --

O N - -


le members of the n of the other clinesulan<esl tiandove,-representatioprofessions, fr1lnions exct: isurisdcs) increases as one moves from n the iaVant-8,'arde theatre to classical theaHe and especial y vard Iheatre,lStwhincldJdr1ltual'belw<xnnsa of theand a nquanerass. ils 'auditonc from Ihe Je 'i h ws fnetio third domi ant cl of e esnbl fio and opposire: to of of s uti n , Havinisgsymme:islhedlIhu Ihe: strucrure: thatthe: dicultriWbr1l1 ocapioftaloo.. capiralto rhe: qucstion of the hierarchy of the IWO principlcs of turn (without forgcuing thu this hierarchy is all rimes a flounUIcs and Ihu, in cernin conjunCiUrtS, in present-day str l capital may one: of rhe: conditions for a((ess Control IUr1l diOlOf ati n state: of nomiocncapital). We may uke:ncipanesinof dominof otheIhe: fqo,rhe:"",,,. ri ational Ihcsc IWO bet . l relragene:rIxlwctnmovements pri .ctn the: fnctions_ " Ie: If we usc indices of the nrily of a position (or, which '; proporti the orig aleg, r degree of clo class Ihe whol o o , whosameointhinwefrofiimsdthe dominantsure)gashiacr:archye: andnfrofmitthebirly resultin n, in qucsti both indinces,that the hie:rarchy by volumecorresponds c for aClly.table 9). The proportiIhe:n of members of each of economi (see from Ihe dominant cloass. and the proportion fractidinviwhos o dual of rmednalCd from Ihe fraction to which they now Ixlong. idecline origasi one moves from ,he industrial e:mploye:TS Ihe lnCachers, lcldear break betWeen Ihe thrct higher-ranking fracdons (industrial al employers and sector executiv and reachers) commerci(engineers, public-,he: profe:ssions)csand rhe: Ihree Clio usc fr:.lThe:ns of rhcsc indicators may COntcsled on ,he: grounds ,hat dil arlent fr:.l(lio have very unC<:Jhiu control on of proporti lY thcsc soci1e:mayreproduCtinson, ng,hat ,hethangalh,he capaciove:rof,he: condirions e:le:fSasl of cxprcss nOlhi o(other members) ro transmit rh('ir proportimedi on a without on atitheiror COntrol. lndctd, Ihis capaCity privIhI:-gcsrcst plivikgcs, which, by giving gmte:r freedom vis_ivis of ilcc \'r:a('rdi(lS, reduces the necessity or ulg('ney of making the: demi nts which cannot be avoided by thosc who depend i invCSlm(' on syslCm (or their reproduCtion_ The fractions richcs! ruraleducatial hdo in fan tend lik inyvcst mainta childdren's educatioin capircu ural praclices to to in their i h as iny;rhe: franions richCSI in C'Conomic opilal .SCt:"; raritonalrheinvcstmentS in (avourdof C'Conomic ji": ' ':,::.:'. '.,'.::.: i" cari comm('srcial employerscsmore so, how('vthe: rhan Ihe: ne:w forurgIn_:Sal_I.t ('r, same concern bo rarto privtate:-nenor exC'Cutiv . who manifcdstucational mat(e:fS. Th(' vC'$ m(' t both in economic and in ('
as as












0 '.1

t ]

(he profesis ons (especially with bolh forms of eapilal,doclol'$ and lawyel'$), rdativody well li(I bUI tOO . us(lheireapital in il actively, investliuk i ii int econol'l in ' and espt'ciaJJy in culuml pr.lelices which terial and cuhur.ll means of maintaining provide a social capilal, capilal of social a respectabilily Ihat is often essc:ntial in winning cknce of high sociely, and wilh il a clientele, olmple, in making political earec:r. Given Ihat scholastic SllCCns mainly dept'nds on inheriled I and on lhe.propensity 10 invest in the eduulional syslem (and IeI' Y1Ilics .ilh Ihe degm: to which maintained or improved social dept'nds on succCS is ckat why the propo given schoolsuchcollegl: $), it come from Ihe cuitur.lrtion t il i 01 who lly rich.cs wilh the position of that school in the spificatly aeademic hier.lf(hy su, f?r eample" previous academic succns), rnching iu pak In mSIJ(Ullon responsIble for reproducing the professorial corps (the E.;o Normale reproduce,Supbieure). IniofaCl. like tionsdominant class which they I higher-educat n inllitu the are organi in accordance (wo oppos of educationaling principlec.s. Ihehief1lrchy. The hierarchy dominant withinII . syslem. i. one which ranks i demk (filelia, cOlre {10m Ihe culturand. richCSlativecly. by thediametrically oppos'edsludents .llly t fr.l tions. is proportion to chy dominant oUlside the educalional sysrcm. i.e., the one whichrhe . stitutions by the proporlion of their sludents dr.lwn from the f.actions richcst in economi.c capital or in power and by the position in rhe nomtc or power hIerarchy of ,he occupations they I"d 10. If the off'p" ominated arc less ?f teuons (such fractions 0' HEC)leprcsenrcd in the economically mSlllu as ENA than be CXpl vious academic success and the position ofmight schools ined from scholaSTic hier"1rchy, this is. of (outse. becauthese schools se purely scholastic criteria. bUI II is also because thesescholastic hicrirchy . Ihe mOST faithfully respted (so that the science section of the ENS is {erred 10 Polyu'"chniqu or the Arts (acuity 10 are mmt dependent onc,,he educational system. Sciences Po), byernall>'C' (Blindness to alr those: r:Inking principles is m05t n".ly complCie in the c of tC'lChel'$' il whose: whole upbringing inclines them 10 ,denlify all success w;th Slt(cns.)
1 1





by l businessmen, are 10 othet smalcapital. which bringssel apart from ,hemnew them doser 10 Ihe. th f t'<resSy 'sie, The medical and social services, drawn to a relaltvely b"ve high cultural ufgeol , tit'< lJ" (rom the dominant class,19 are ' a cenlra poSlnon,lilted hiy tens 10 Ihal of Ihe professions (although slighlly more roug to. \,r c . )lonlOlogo Ie of cul!ural <1.pital): Ihey arc the only ones who rc<elve I le ot'S "rds ) ro or laries but also' in some Ca5CS, non-commerclal profitS .. I)' ttOlOnthe ""'D-- sions) . (hk( I ediately be $(Cn that the homology between the space of Ihe . rofes It an tCiISS and thai ofthe middle classes is eplained by Ihe f.t(l Ihat . dO"'lnan ffilffi is the product of Ihe me pnnnp es. I h here IS . SffuClU" betwecn owners (of theIr own home, 0f rur.l or urn'n tlltl' . . a an ....ctfy. Of slOcks and shares) oflen 0 ucr, WIIh l'IIIle spare I1me. 0flen ' ' .... n of induslI'lal or agncu tu.ra empIoyers, nd nownrs, . r'e til-'chlldnrc wilh edu(;llional capllal and spare nme, ongmanng d 'hidl wge-earning fr.lClions of the middle and upper .,!asses or. from poSlI ons, pnmary The OCcuMnl$ wor profCS. $OI'$. for example,of homologousccper5 Ian commet or small shopk and hcrs-",urs ale mainly by Ihe volume of the kllld of up" is dominant in tndlvlduals of !hell end I e WIt",elenc 0 tlaI lh'twhich scparate the.structureunequaIlyaSSl'ts,owe.dby ' h !he sesme . . . ons lower positions--an, correla!ld. (heod,sposmfact sc!rce fC$Our(es. The ive some of thelf char:Klen$ttCS fr Ihe of ,heit occupanls--der to Ihe (orrespondmg polfIons at the that they are objectively relaled tend and p.e.t nd. ThIs IS. dearly secn hIgher level, lowards which Ihey . . ing pt'lite bourgeoiSIe, whose ascencofVITlues the case of the wage-carn ways. cultural good intentions-which it manifests in all SOflSelC.:-vry aking evening classes. enrolling in librariC5, collening stamps Ibrly CKpress the aspir.llion 10 rise to the higher posilion, the obl'e{[ve tksuny of who manifest such dlspo $I1ions. Ihe occupants of (he lower posilion
(,. I)ft


_, non "t" ' r

''''''' lit de

I ." , ,

" ' ..,., k109 ,I



a <n> -. med


I'" I I

n eac

. use




In md

The me chiaSlic structure is found at the level of Ihe middk whre volume of cultural upital again decl;nes, while';:: i inc:un. one moves from primary teachefS to sma ll ' : i commercial employefS. wilh junior eeculives, lechnicians and workers in an intrmediJle position. homologous 10 Iht of and ecutives at Ihe (;lrn their living fromhigher Ivd. ;'rliSlic craftsmprofits, and indusllial and commercial en and

rtlOnSlrlt(t the SOCII] conditions of production of Ihe habilus fully cclory of the class t ant has '0 consider the social Ir:Ij,he probable slope of the col 1C'1OIl also to. which. th.ough future, cngct\dcrs progressive or regressive dispositions tOw:l.rds Ihe Uturc; and h 1II"IC:lgl:the C'\'OIUIiOn. ovet $('"Cr:l1 gcner:ltions, of the lSS(t slruCture of which IS rpetuated in the habitus and inlloduces :;;: "'"hln.group$ ,hat are as homogeneous as IheJrxtions. Todivisions t r:Ingl: ofpossibilities. il need only be pomted Out thll give In \>o u 'I tIfIr:!a;Vi<!01al's social tr:ljCCtory rep.esenTS the combination of: the lifelanng o "l'I tU;1 o the volume of his capilli. which un be described, very appro ' I t a I'I<reasing, dccreasins or stationary: tht volume of each sort of ( l'llc (since o(h::I (tP"alnable to the samt dls,in(fions). and thetefore the composition s (OI'lSIanl volume can (onceal ! changl: in stru(lure);
To poss,b].









an<t in (he s:arTle way, ,he father's and ffiO!her's { volum.. and , and lhoti, respective ....(ights in ,he diffem kind, of Upilll ((.g., ( Sfronger in onomlC capilal and mOlher Hl cultur:al (lpill], or vicc equivalence): and therdor.: the volume and struCture of the capilli XIS or gr:andparems.

": , ;::.-

dagcs]-C.S. V percent of the industrialists had from 1 (0 , ttS; 70 percent, 6 to 49; 24 percent, mort than '0; in commerce, corresponding figures are 30 percent, 42 percent and 12 percenl) mostly li"e in the provmccs and even in the country (according 1968 census. 22.3 percent of the industrialists and I '. percent commercial employers lived in a rural commune, 14.1 percent and percent in communcs of less than 10,000 inhabitants). Thee mockl which nnergcs ....ould not be so difficult to arri"e a r '

poundrd by their spatial dispersion. Similarly. many of Ihe obscr.'ed in rhe (cultuul and other) punlccs of Ihc differtnt f Ihe dominant class are no doubt amibutable 10 Ihe size of Ihe t live in. ConSC<Juendy. the opposition betwttn engineers and scctor executivcs on the one hand, and industrial and plo)'ers on the Olher, JY.Irtiy stems from the f1Ct thaI Ihe former percenr I"'e in Paris and work for relatively luge firms (only vatescCtor execulives work in firms employing from 1 ro , ,..op" : against 34 percent in mediumsi=! firms and 40 percent in, ploying more than '0 people), wherc:l$ the latter mainly run S l (in the 1966 survey by SOFRES {Sodetl fun<;aisc d'enquetcs par

To IOUn{ mOr( fully for the differences in life-style Ixrwec:n fncm fflclions---<specially as regards cuhure--one would have account of (htir distribution in a J()(iallJ ranktti gMgraphkal '", ' .. group's chances of appropriuing any given class of nrc assets sured by rhe rn;lIhcmaliOiI probability of access) depend Plrfly On pKily (or the specific approprinion, ddincd by the economic, and social capilal it can deploy in order !O appropriate materially or bohuJly the asselS in question. Ihal is, irs posi!ion in 5()Cial sPl. pardy on Ihe reladonship bet,,:ttn its distribution in graphiC11 and th distribution of th SC1r( asselS in thai SJY.IC.lO (This 1Cilities, or in can be measured in average distnc from goods or f ling time-which involvcs access to privale or public transport,) words, a group's real social distance from cerrain assets mUSI graphiC11 dimnce, which itself depends on the group's sl budon and, more precisely, its distribution with respecl (0 the ' point' of economic and cultural valucs, i.e.. Paris rhe major centres {in some can--c.g., in the postal ment or promotion entails a period of exile)." Thus, i workers from legilimale cuilure would not be so vast if the cultural distance implied by their low cullural C1pinl were



" """,,;;,, 7

: :

a brc:lk with the commonscnse picturc of the social up in thl': metaphor of IhI': 'social ladder' and suggested (101 , su orld , d,y " "gua.... of'mobility', with itS 'rises' and 'falls'; and a ' . . II IC 0d" soclologl(a, tra 1{10n wh ' h , when ' y' d'caI bleak with the whole . " <ra , , ,mage 0f soc,a space, ' " (10 1< accepting the one-dimenSlona e I lacitly lOI subjls II 10 a pseudo is f rch on 'social mobilil( . m of al> ahoration, rc.:Iucing th SOCial universe (0 a continuu e1 :as (t"I sei<nunc , "p""f middle class', 'lower middle elm' etc. ) ,11 obtained by . rstrata ( ' sll1lct . erent forms of capital, thanks 10 the conStruC{lon 0f m anng diff , a ggrt' .... Kh ,' p'r excellence the deslroyers 0f struCtures) ." . . ( h' ' . . ' J,CC:S tion OnlO a single aXIS, I order 10 construct Ihe conunuous: ,m Pt " Oi mogent'Ous. onedimenSlonal series w!lh whICh the SOCIal .hlra. dl, o m,IIy idenlified implies an etremely difficult (and, ,f It IS . ' y IS nor Ch . d" __!... ' g, extremely dangerous) rallon, lO:he.....y the merent Iypes nwlflln ' IS L rc<Iuced 10 a .single stand1!d. Th' a""tUCl opcunon has an . . . . , of ",p,taI arc ' " a ways aval ab'e , of convcrtmg 'cctiv( basis in the posslbtlllY, whlCh IS ob, . however, the exchange ratcs vary m ac ,f "pital into another one Iypc .' ,"ercnt ",, the ho'"_ 1"$ 0f Ih e d" ' , o ncc \10'1Ih thl': power rclauon betwttn r. oa c ' . ormulate Ihe pnnClple 0f Ihe con , ms or "pital. By obli,ing one to f or . mon .or 'b"',y of the differtnt kinds of capital, which IS the precond' " ,"(eTU " . Imen mlucing the space 10 one dimension, Ih construction f a two-d' . Slonal space makcs il elcar that the exchange rate of the dlffercnt kinds of .... pltal is one of the fundamental Slakes i the siruggies bel cen class fractions ....hose po....er and priyileges are ltked ro one or the othcr of IMse t)'pes. [n p-.irrieular. Ihis echange rate IS a stake n Ihe struggle o.ver (he dominant plinciple of domination (onomlC C1pltal, cullUul capital . Of social capilal), ....hich goes on al all times betllo,n Ihe dlffercnt fnc lions of the dominant class.

,' thecv "


Rtconversion Strategies
Rtproduction strategics, IhI': SCI of out....ardly very differenl pucticcs whcrtby mdividuals or f amilics lend, unconsciously and consciously, to mainlain or incrca.sc their assets and consequently 10 maintain or im proe their position in Ihe class structure, constitute a system which, bring lilt prodUCf of a single: unifying, generative principle, lends (0 nc"on and change in a systematic way. Through the mediation of Ihe ition towards the future, which is itself determined by Ihe group's POS tlve chances of reprodunion. these slutegies depend, first, on the t( umc and composllion of the C1pilal to be reproduced; and, secondly. \'u lhe Slate of the instruments of rcproduction (inheritance law and rn, lhe labour markel, the educational system ere.), which itself dc . s On the State of the pollo'er relations bctwttn the classes. Any change in c het Ihe inslruments of rcprotiuClion or the Slate of the capital 10 be rtpr uc theref ore leads to a fCSllucturing of rhe system of rcproduc-

O:: I

like all languase. if unfolds in ${ticdy linear whion, whereas, (0 escape oversimplification and one sidednns, one ought (0 be able 10 =all 1r every paim Ihe whole n(t work of rdatiQnships f ound cilCCl'l:. Thar is why il hu sccrrn:d us({ul to present 1 diagram which has rhe property. as Sa...ssure says, of being able to 'preKnt simultaneous com pticuions in severa! dimensions', as a means of grasping ,he cor<npon <knee bcr"ttn the srfU((ure of $00 cia! space-whose two f undamcnlaJ dinsions (Or=pond 10 rhe yol. umc and composition of rhe (Ipiut of rhe groups distributed within ;,-;and the SlrU(IUI'l: of rhe space of the symbolic properties 11tIChed 10 tOOse groups. 81,1{ this diagram docs nO' aim [0 be lhe CI)'$I:tI ball in which rhe alchemists claimed to Sol:\" al a gbnce cry(hing happening in the wor!d and like malhemari,i'ns who also lrot whr rhey call 'imig' el)" :I.! a ncccsury evil, I am tempred ro withdraw ir in rhe very act of presenring it. For the is ro. $On ro fear rhat ir will CfIcourage rodings which will [(duce rhe ho mologies tween sy$ tems of differ. ences to direct, mechnical [(luionships between groups and propcnies; or that ir will encourage rhe form of voyeurism ....hich is in herent in rhe objectivist inrenrion, putting the sociologist in rhe role of the lame devil who takes off the roofs and [(vels the secrets of do mestic life to hi, fascinared rad.:rs. To have :l.$ exacr an idea :I.! paui. ble of rhe rhcor(tiaJ model rhar is proposed, ;t h:l.$ ro imagined thar thm: diagrams a superimposed (:I.$ could be done ""ith transparent

Onc.o of lhe difIKuhies of sociologi. nJ discouQ( lies in fM fa({ rllll,

rions, :I.! or8l'nized by the synchronic and diachronic . , , lion 0( the volume and of the various kinds of po$ition of each (ion) in space the SCt the respects :1.$ nent. The sccond (figure rhe space of lUestyles, i.e., bution of the practices and ties which constitute ; which etCh of these ,di if('Sts itselL Finally. twetn lbe pv;ous diagrrm one ought to set! a third, presenting the cal Space of habitus, that is generative formulae (e.g., f r o ers, aristocratic asceticism) underlie each of the I rkes and properties, thar is, the tr:lnsformarion into a distinct dis!incrive life-style of the nd facilities charctcri$ !ic ... dition and a po$ition. The presented here Ire nOt grams of corresponden .: ] I though various such " :]r.:: drawn on in ordet ro eonsrruCl f o them, and although lh are organized in ....ilh a similar srruetu[( data rhe analyses of which are Among construCt, the most i due to the laeun;l( in which are much bener at ,

presencs the JPlce of SOCial

sheers). 1lle fil1l (he, figu




' ;i;o;' ;


vcsred in due to the lytical ealegorics.

...- e<)US even IS . -n . . . h(llTlb " nl cmena an" '" , JlIY nine r/IC / industrial an com. . , o IC make 11 lmpou" rllt cVCe'" Lo)'(;rs. 1 the ....((11 eaP ple' 10 identify rl " . , " m or exe can bit.'. s o( a "pual Ihnb' ' . ' ] '"r l,e., 19 busmess pilal, 110 ,e ' rors 0( o, r ca 'I ' rigorouS Ind>ca 1""" llck f of lhe diffe[(nt CIte iofl (For d,!ope"; lilt ecooomic and cuhur:ll t"'id. ne of lhe mosl helelOge , indu$1riaJ oori(S-""farmcl$ us C3IC... ]oyers, cra, ts ",erci,l emp o d com ecpcrs-has been I" and shopk (he correspond. ,td by writinS n the ex (1o rtlCS vertiully betwee , , , defining the IIroup.) It red ,hat ,he po$i. (0 be remembe ,he nam a!WOIYs (Ion ",3rked by po,",. '" a reprCS(ntS Ihe ccntral ch may f spue o variable ex,ent wh' field ,n some = be organized as ofcompcrllion. In lhe absencc of a survey (per' hlj'S 'mposis ble 10 Clrry OU, in pr1C' IOce) ,h,l would provide. with rt$p1 to ,he same [(presentative S1mple. 111 Ihe indicators of (Co nomic, cultural and social wealth us evolution ....hich II( needed In ordor ro COflSI1U(1 an adc<juate rtprt:so:mallon of social space, a sim model of th1 space has been cons'rUcred. based on information "u"ed . rhrou,h arlier rarch' .nd On 1 lie! of d.la take from v:ar. n all done by INSEE and Ie homou, a, Icas , :1.$ "'8ards r constructio of ,he U!e n 1 (sec append ix 3), From Ihe E survey of 1967 on leisu ae !lvl( '0:$ (lables rda!ing to men) I have . ' 'CI,ors of spare lime liken 'nd' 'u<:h (C.S i englh of the workins week ), frorn r 1970 survey on "o.:al'Onal . . I1:1,n,ng {tables [(bting 't} file fllher,n) I have taken da,a on the (" I : :cupar;onal category (so"I tory), Ihe fa,her'$ eduea.


'::;' ' hml!S l!I

phlitd ;;


:nrc)"S, J

lional level (inherited cuhu11l1 capi. ,all and the subject's edUClliOnl1 level (schollStic capilal) (C.S. II); ftom the 1970 survey on incomes, [ hve taken informalion on 101.1 in comes. rural and urban properly, shares, indumial and commelci.l profiu, wases and salaries (eco nomic upinl) (C.S. I); from the 1972 survey on houschold consump I;on, dan on the loral amount spent, p<mC$sion of a w:l.$hing. machine and telephone, forms of lenancy of main and second resi denee (C.S. Ill); and from Ihe 1<)68 census, dat on rhe sitt of the lown of residence. For och of the groups repre sented, I have also indiClled, firstly, Ihe dimibution of the occupants of ach group according 10 ,he social mieclory which has brough, ,hem the, wilh hisrogr.lmJ mowing the proporlion of each group havinS e (ome from each of 'he diff renl cI:wcs. For the sake of legibility, ,hese hislograms are reproduced only for a fe"" illuSlr:llive catesor;es. They suffice 10 sho"" ,hit the pro ponion of individual! from the dominant cla.ss (black) rises llrongly, while ,he proportion from ,he workins cl:wcs (while) de clines. as one moves up the social hierarchy. (The hislosram for Ihe 'scmi-skilled' workers, nOI repro duced here, is imermedia,e between illed IhO$C' of the unskilled nd sk workers.) For the upper and middle classes II lC:l.$t, one really needs 10 be able 10 sive the disrribUlion by {raCiion of origin. 5c<ondly, I hive indiel1ed ,he his lOry of rhe sroup :1.$ a whole. This is snown by rhe arrows. pointing up. down or horizomally, ...hich in dicle ,har berween 1962 and 1<)68 Ihe group in 'luC$lion expanded (by a, le:l.$' 2 percem), conrrac,ed 01

;---s-I 'P'" I 1: . ; ",,","" I



< i !


remained Slable. Thcy thus make visible the opposition IxtwCI!n the new. mongly growing franions .nd t'J<: established. sl.ble or declining 1'2(:1;on5. I have thus endeavoured ( to show both the SI.le of the por rdation bcfwn IIxe dassn which conU;tU1C'S the structure of the so c;,1 sp.ce 1t given moment and .lso something which is simultane_ ously an cfi"e<t of lind . faCtor in Ihe transformation of that seructure, namely the ronv(l1ion strategiC'S whereby individuals (and groups) strive 10 maintain or improve their position in social space The synoptic schema, by bringing together information from are" which ,he: usu.1 d:lSSific.lory 5y$ lems SCPU:lft'---!iO much so that they make mere juxnposillon .J>Pnr un ,hin\c)bk or scand.lous-,md so making manifest the rdarionships among ,II the prorriC'S and pna( ricC'S (h.raC!< risti( of. group, which are perceivtd imuicivcly nd which guide (he cla5$ifi(ations of everyday orces one (0 look (or the basis life, ( of each of thCK syStems of 'choi(', on the one hand in the social condi, tioM and conditionings chuctcris, tic of a givcn posilion in objenivc social SPKC, which are cxprc55ed in those choic" but in a mistccogniz, ablc form: and on thc Other hand, in Iheir relationship to the olher syStems of 'choic"', by Icf crcnce to which their specifically symbolic meaning and value arc defined. Sc UU$C [if,.sty[" arc essentially dis tinctiv" a number of fcalur" do not takc on Iheir full sisnificance unlit they are brought imo rclation nOI only with the social positions ell ,hey express bUI also with f ,um appearing at an opposite pole of this space. This is the case. for eumple, with the oppositions which an: es tablished primordially betwn the

XXVI!l); and on various cultur;l[ activities (cel":l.mics. ponery. funfairs cte.) from the suI'" vey by the Ministry of Culture (CS. VII). In the multing fisure. each ncnt item ppcars only oncc then:forc vlid for a whole zone varying extent dcpcndinS on the cas-e) of __ial space. a[lhough it

from surveys by the SOFRES and CESP (CS. V and VI); i, "m". i" theatregoing from a survey on SEMA (Socien: d'economie CI de matllematiqu app[iqu:s) (CS XIV): on (avourite actors, from survcys by lFOP (irutitul de ["opinion pub[ique) (CS. on the reading of daily and ncpapcrs and magazines, from surveys by Ihe CSE (Centre de $OCio[ogie europeenne) and CESP

positions mOSt remote frOm other in one or bo,h of Ihe mental dimensions of social (i.c., with mpcct [ i of Goya theatrr Brei Tino ROS$i, Fnnce-inter or cinema clubs and so f orth. In addition to the ,nformario gathered directly by the survey, have used a number of indices cuitUr;I[ consumption, such as session of a piano or rt.:ords. vicwing, visils to mU$Curns, tions, variety sho and membership in a Ii claSS($, coJltions, sports" aJl (rom lhe 1967 INSEE survey sun: activities (CS. IV): informa tion on the consumption and litylcs of e O rn ; nant dau (hifi "'" ; ' cruises, bridge, pictun: II Champagne. whisky, sports el<-)


rizes the Catc I chaN.cte .-nit !trOo it is dosesl. (Thus . . ... '" ,eh ' -n t , Isa cs, mark" o h Ct1 Jan 'j;c 'iterfl kf'hand side of fig. l 10 'tnduslrial and f..n1 O ;S valid (or Ihe rt' I al "' ""m< , .. . kfl,hand side of the "0 stly _ i.e., for the unt\-cr o:;lchers, s-enior exu, "",,! sP ' r)' t d nd also the pri. ',i . , CIl nters d 10 ... . s, junior exultV r " I ro:;l'hc and ry . m ho" " n,. clerical workers . ' ," . StmllarIy, t he !tem aI '"orkers ' lou m k nd sharcs'-tOP ngh1-11" IOC 'crs, the professions, I 1,_plo , ', . , . Id tO '" r exuuves an enSt . "vale.5O:(tor en Immn . teIy - lll ) It an be se and the ion of pi:mo t " fM JJft f ..:.cc o the UPM6f(li mbers an: mo5t Iypical of me. that W1[ktn8 and f the professions: y .o.. :.nl1,nrinS an: particularl

dU ts',
I' ''' cc



s s s S S S i S s s s S ' S 'S' s S' S, , s , , s " S S

chll":l.ctcristic of secondary leachers and pub[ic.sector exutivcs; or that swimming, placed halfway betwn the new pctite bourgeoisie and lhe priVJte-$C(tOf exutivcs Of the engi. . Attn belongs to the lif"c.styJc of both these $CIS of occupations. Thus. grouped around lhe name of each class {raction are those featum of its life-style which ue the mOil pertinent bn:au$C Ihey are the most distinctive-though il may in fael shan: them wirh other groups. This is the case, for example, with the usc of a [ibmy, which appea's in the area of rhe juniOt exutivcs, prim:lry Iellchers and tcchnicians. a[ though it is at lellst as frl'<!uent amons secondary and university tochers; but the latter an: las ince it is marked by the practice s pan of the;, occupational role.

tion wlttegies. The reconversion of capit[ held in onc form to anolher.

mOil: accessible, more profitable or more legitimate form tends to induce

social space which a h s nOlhinS in common with the unreal and yet naively rcalisric space of JO.c'Illcd '5OCial mobility' studies. The ume positivistic naiv"y which e 'upward mobility' in the morphological Il":I.nsformations of diff rent

I tr:lnsf onnlllon of asse:t structure. These: rt.:onversions correspond to movements in


cl1S:ic:s or fractions is also unaware that the reproduction of the social cture may, in cenain conditions" demand very littlc 'occupational he :ty' This is ' tRlC whenever agents can only maintain their poSitiOn in he aJ StRIcture by means of a shift into a new condition (e.g., the '7' ft m ' rom small landowner to junior civil se:rvant. 0' from small CI":I.(tS ofl!.ce worker or commercial employee). SOctal sfY,lcc, being structured in tWO dimensions (overall capital vol a \nd dominant/dominated capital), allows ("'0 types of movc w 'ch tl":l.ditio nal mobility studies confuse:, al(hough they are in no . dUIValcn( and are unequally probable: vcrtical movements, upwards Or wards, in the same verrica[ sector, that is, in (he same field (e.g., lOrn : f lflil1 lteacher to professor. or from small businessman to big busi .... ..... ) . :lnd , tl":l.nsversc movemcnts, from one field to another, which "'- C Ur . L _ horizontally ( a schoolteacher, or his son, becomes a "nil[ shopt"oo::, ceper ) or betwn different levels (a shopkeeper, or his son.

"3 y

i"dusuialis.), Vertical movemems, the most only requIre an increase i n t volume of the type of capi'lIl nlln. in the IsseI srructure, and Iherefore a moYemem in the Ihe distribution of total capital ....hich rak($; .he form of a llIithin a fidd (business field, amic field, admi n srntiye ' ;;.'
bo:comes lin fidd ere_)_ TflInsyersc movements enrail a shift into another onvefSion of one type of capit l into another or Of:" " :":, ; ; anolhe. sub-type (e,g" from landowning to industrial ;i:,;; , )

er:l.tu.e to

economics) and therefore a IflInsformation asset which pro.[s overa l capi[al volume and mainrains posI.ion in tical dimension.

rds scholasric invcslmenr, Many fewer small cnfrsmen and BEPC ( in OnS !O....I .gt<! 4''" th n office workers have at !east ti ktcfC" f1lt :IS against 10.1 p:'rcent), but their lS.ynr-old sons are 12' "'0 !O be in school (42.1 p:'rcent and 4}.} petCCIII in 19(2). Simi e l t<lu,Ir h srJal slf and commercial CIIlrcpreneurs have Ie$s educational capi_ ndu I,M ,ln hnicians and junior exC'(utiycs (20 perccn[ and 28,9 percenl f "I th ; BEPC), but Iheir sons are equally likd to be at InS! nt and 64.2 percent). The same process has begun perce "'1 fm workers, s is shown by the npid risc in [heir children's 'f 16'.8 in h " 1 V'.'f,ng r,ltC belwe<:n 1962 and 19n. ......,.


i have


The of enrering a gi"en fn([ion of [he dominanr dass other dm is, :IS ....e have $ttn, in inyerse fll.io '0 [hc position of [hal tion in the hienrch of ccollOmic capital. (The onl exccp.ion is 'libeflll professions', ....hich tend to transmit bolh economic an: capiul and have the higheu fllte of endogenous rccrulfment.) a major side.... movcmems within the eli" (indumialists' sons secondary or higheriucation tnchcf'S" or vice versa) arc eK.rcmdy Thus, n 1970, the probability of i>oming an industrial or plocr W:lS 1.9 percelll for a profcssor'11Of1, lind Ihe probabi lit ' I U ing a tcacher W:lS 0.8 percenr for an commercial enrrcpreneur's son. The 't shopke<:per WliS 1.2 percent for a pri ary of i>oming 1 pri a ry teacher ....as 2.4 percen t ' for 1 mlll son (C.S, II,

probabili.y i

i:::: ,; ::; ;

u y :ion !O step up Iheir investmentS so as 10 maintain the relative scar qualifications and, consequentl , rheir position in the class of (heir (;crure. Academic qualifications and the school system which awards :t.rm thuS becomc one of the key stakes in an interclass competition "'hich gc-netales a general and continuous growth in the demand for e<lucation and an inflation of academic qualifications_ r

IlIho previously made little use of the school s o f r academic u lificnion the eifC'(t force the ler the race fC1T' C11 whose reprod ti n was m nly o excl s vel achieved through Whc'n class ffllctions

uc o

q a ai


is 10



The tC'(cm chan in 1I)e onship Ixtwe<:n Ihe different d:.lSSCS and the educational 'y,,,,m-" ti the 'schooli ng boom' and Ihe aompanying changes in self---1lfld also the changes in the social struClure resulting from the re ationship Ixtwe<:n qualifications and jobs, are the consequences tensified competition for academic qualifications. One importan t in imensifYlflg this competition has doubtless been the faCt thaI ractions of the domin an t class and middle class who arc richest ill f om mercial e plo ers. no ic cap i tal i .e., mdesmen) have had to make greatly incrc-ascd u of the

( industrial and c

system in order to ensure their social reproduction.

m y ';'':;;,

The diparit

Ihe scholastic capital of Ihe adul.s of a cl:lS by !he proportion who have a qUllificarion perior TO the BEPC) and rhe schooling fllre of the corrcsponding ,,'01.' cen.s is much more ptonounced among (f.fumen, shopkeepers,;;:: indumialim rhan among office workers and junior CKCCUrivCS. , ," in the usual corrcspondo::ncc between the children's educarioml fll!1"I and !he parents' cul!uflll capital indicates a profound

y ffllction (measured

t ring in mind that the volume of corresponding jo s may also have over Ihe -hme to h ave undergone period, one may a"ume Iha. a qualification is likely gro"'n dev2luation if the numlxr of diploma-holders has mOre fllpidly Ihan Ihe numlxr of suitable positions. Everyfhing s to su rn ssest Ihar the baaalaurial and 10lller qualifications are the d such devalua!ion. To this must Ix added the less olrviou;:ffcc[e I o aluatl,on resulting from the fact {hal if [he num er of corre. P din . sarn tt:'s does keep pace, the positions themselves are likely '0 lose ol lObs ", l' lf scarC t value. This is ",hat has happened, for cKample, to a l evels of the teaching profession. . lhc v ry rapId growth i n girls' and women's education has been sig-

'rn!itkmcnts' by which groups assert and constitute their own scarcity the effcct of what migh. be ,'.Iul .is-i-vis other groups. must be '.rmro a )/'II(/lIr,,1 faCtor. Geneflllly incrc-ased schooling has the effect of in :faS,ng rhe mm of cultural apilal which, al eyery moment, eists in an school's educarive action and Ihe rmbodir-d' slllte_ Since the success of UrabiliCy o( liS cif ts depend on how much cullur:l.l capi'al has been C'( ';:Iy tr:msm,uro by the efficiency of Cln be prC$umed l-b eduCitiye action tends 10 risc contandy, Olher Ihings being I< . n shorr, ,he same scholastic invC$tment bomes more profitable, a l h'" ICh no doubt conrributes to inAation by bringing diplomas within ' of. grealer number of people.

the elfccls of the comp:'tition betwe<:n groups struggling for 'upclming' nd Igl'nst 'downdassing' (didammrt ), a competition that is organized I academic qualification (liITt) and more geneflllly around all the around


the family, it

added the


by iy

nificam factor in the devaluing of academic qualifications. image of the division of labour between the sexes has women now bring academic qualifications OntO the I previously were partly held in reserve (and were 'invested' marriage market); and the higher the diploma, the more m,,,k," growth has been (sec table 10). JUSt as all segregation (by se other criterion) tends to slow down devaluation by its effect, all desegregation lends to restore full strength to mechanisms; and, as an American study of the e!tects of racial tion has shown, the least qualified are the ones .,,ho fed the dirtly. Indeed, it presentS no paradox to suggest that the chief " " '""" devaluing of aodemic qualifications are those who emer the . market without such qualifications. The devaluuion of I companied by the gradual extension of the monopoly qualification.holders over positions previously open to the unqualified, which has the effect of limiting the devaluation tions by limiting the competition, but only the COSt of "'"'<""1 career openings available to the unqualified and of rc:inforcing , demic predetermination of occupational opportunity. In, cercain particularly the civil service, this leads to a decline borh in the d". the holders of the same qualifications among di!terem jobs >;,, dispersal of the qualifications of holders of equivalent jobs, or, . words, a reinforced correlation between academic qualification and occupied. The market in jobs open to formally qualified candidates has constantly, inevitably at lhe expense of the formaHy unqualified. sal recognition of academic qualifications no doubt has unifying the official set of qualifications for social positions ,,,' " nating local anomalies due to the existence of social spaces with own rank-ordering principles. However, academic qualifications achieve: tOtal, elCclusive acccptancr. Ourside the specifically market. a diploma is worrh what irs holder is worth, socially; the rate of return on educational capital is a function nomic and social capital that can be devoted to I i it. The chang.: in the disuibution of postS among



which }ndiYid !lies ploy with a ;rateglnimpromg therals an.d. famIn SOCia space arc: view SJe posltlon l reRened

,jeo'll u r their own careers) or in the long lerm (through th srrategi cOurse 0 loy for rheir children's schooling), constitute one of (he deci t(c rtnP the growth in the volume of qualifications awarded. which ;triburcs devaluation. The dialcctic of devaluation and com usel/ 'n thuS tends to fcc-d on ilsel. pt(1....n

,i( e t Illeans thaI at every moment a propot!ion of rhe qualifica. fitd ag J rS-'S,arting, no doubt, with rhose who ue least well endowed ti,,o nherired means of explOiting Ihir qualific21ions-ar victims .. ,h Ih:uaI [Ion. The srrategies by which those who arc: most subject to i of ,jI:V2 l ar on endeavour to fight against iI, in Ihe short term (in the

Its auromatically from the increased number of formally quah. rCS





TIIbk 10
y, ""



"'" '"




by <:<Iue..;on, 1962 :and


t5168 IISus. o. It .... no' f'O"ibk '0 ilOlo, W1)mn wi,hou' quolific:uions.


.,. .. .


67.1 7.}

has been construCted $0 as 10 give al leasl an approximate idea of transform:uions. Srnce il was nor po;$sible (though it would have bttn dn,rable) to eslablish in Mrrowly defined Cllegories the changes in lOul ,nCOme and income SlrUClure for th period 194-197 (ins,ead. table mdic::n 'hese changes, in broad categories, for the period 19H-I96B), I n"c indiol<:<l Ihe diSlribution by $Ource of incom and Ihe 10lal income dccla,ed 10 rhc tax aUlhorities. Ih $Ource used by INSEE. I I is known. however. that the degree or underestimation varies sreatly. IIccordrns to V,llel\('uve.l' wases and salaries should be multiplied by 1.1, farmcrs orth. Once these corre<. p,o/i15 by 3.6, nv l men, income by 2.9 and $0 f a applied, the members of rhe prof sions and espially fh farmrs. (r:lftlmcn and sm ll shopkeepers, Iurn to Iheir r(:ll pbccs. Tho: ntesorics ( relatively ) riches, in econo ic m upital (as represented by ind"ators such Jlocks and shun. ru....! or urban prrry etc.) tend to g7:: Ycry sharply is shown by ,he decline in their f1fmers. ,....flSmen. shopkapcrs and industrialists)volumt (in Ihe Cl$( and by the fall or tdy mall 'ncrease in Ih proportion of younS propie. (lbe fac, tha, thlS f t'PI . OC(Ur rn ,he 'small shopkeeper' and craftsman ca'gories is . \Or ,he by eomrng of w Style of r and 'he rent IIlcreas.e 'n theneducational shopkccpcdoubt,craftSman.) Parr (and, no <xonomic) 1.11 of = ch COlcSO,ics is probably dlUC to the fCt that ,he uC1ion in up' their 8y ,dly conUms their lower st.... ( 'lQnlJ ;n' , Ihe fractions richest ;n cultural opital (measured by cduo uaanons) , hav 10unll tlOrt1 ::r a. h'sher proportion of womn, and a higher ....Ie of educa. ',on The gr(:l<iy up:onded. lbey ha, acquired mo "'o'k.: 80ries mos, Iypical of this procas ar office a the shop ....orkers, technici:ans, junior and s.enior exutives. prj. and especially secondary and .erriary l(:Ichrs (in th 10" CIS( 'ilt 'tclli kcd changes :ar particularly inten). Amons ensinr:ers. ho.....
T:ablc I I
,he!<: t2 lIons II ;

In . uardlng or whICh modIfy both Ihe volume of rhe dl!terent cla$S g sformations structure 0( thelr assets. . frawons and the



. Il





q h ,b n U , 11, I. . h


"' _ _ Q O _ _ _ _. 4 . N _ " ' N ' ___ _O

-> '.

, ,

i js! i i

, % - . i"g "" 0. - I'. !

-! "

'> '. <

,J % .,. .

- ,

'j IF l b

" -.



-. "

i ; o. t ! S & l , , ; g ! S

O _ . N _ . _____N O O O

of _/l","/IS da/lJIIJ has pn'enrl"d numC1'ic1 8ro...,h and l l,t pO ICY tL nd hdped '0 minrlin scarcity vlu(. io ... rq>roduCiion !trllt(giL"$ which underlie the'$( morphological '(he impornnce of $aluies in fhe income pardy ,w,gdr3di tionally 'sclf.employl"d' categorics and pudy in rhe diversified ' of senior execu,ies, who tend to hold ,heir upi. investments of s d a%' :;,h (Conomic and (ultunl form, employers, who mainly I;r n " co omic capitaL Salaries and pensions, as a proportion of employers' hO()ll>tS. rise from 12.9 percent in 19)6 ,0 16.4 percent in 196): in 197),

fi>I ( )'" ""Ie kl'u ((


h3V SlOpped, since (he rue of increase is lower Punges' gener ion than for lhe group as a whole. Another remark. . (( ,s Ih( n'I:I{i( sfbilily of fh( 'Iiber:ll profasions', ... hose deliber

coCC$S seems IQ

1t"" n,zJ:(( seen nf tM ,t ..

II new

in ,he increased the

unlike Ihe

-l f



_ . N __ N __O O _ . __O N O O O O O _ N N _ N 44 O_ _ _N . . _ _ N . N O O O O O N _ _ t4 0 4

dassific.l.lions. they make up 19.2 percent of the income of cnfls pen:enl of the incom( of industrialists and small shopkIXpers and 31.8 (ommef('Lal enlfpn'neurs. (By conlraSt, among farmers, Ihe proportion much the m(: 23.8 percent in 19)6, B,' percent in 196) and , percenl In 197). ) In 197\ the proportion of income deried from in slOcb a d sham is much higher among pri. Imtnr p lic.sect r SCIlLO' cxcculiv('J (.9 p ccn! and 2.7 p<:',cent !<Spl'Clively) .


4 land, buildings. rin,hln ub o ' : tNl'Cro J of

l, n!


N_N_O.OO_OO._ o o o o o .... 4 _ - o _ o -


iF ' -

- -

, > ,



I. -

. _ o ... ... _ o _ .. _ "' o _ _ ... o o itgi;i$;t

::: ; :<!

"' _ . ... $ :: '! , ::": :I( " " :51: . - :::' '"

:::; 'f ;

::: ;!: :::; :;; ! , , u: IE ;;; . ... -.

.. ... . ... , . ... .. ... - - -'"

;; 1,; ;::: -

:u: :g :5I: ;' - ,.. ... .

8 .. !i! . ;::: . ; " S(


:U: i; ;! - -

- .. "' '" lil ;;:: =

In' a more discrcelnd no doubt more reliable-mod!'of appropriation

profits industrial and commercial firms in the form of

sition of some or all of ils heirs. by enabling them to

,he S(f1lt(gles which enable lhe business bourgroisie to maintain he p0The Ionv(rsion of economic capilal imo educational

capi,al is on<: of

exn1(t some of the

salaries, which

... perform. wilh varying degrees of success, in a( (0d 1ncc with th demands of their particular Situalion, and which reo ; in s t 1 Innsf rm1lion of the relalive weight of the different franions o o t middle elasses (SC'C table 14). Here. roo, the decrease in Ihe lOn of small shopkeepen, craftsmen, and farmers has bttn accompa ::U :: ' b tch . r an increase in Iht proportion of primary,school rnchcrs, t I' nlClans. and th personnel of the medical and social services. ullhermore. the relative morphological stabiliry of an occupuional ay conceal a transf . ormation of ils Sllucture resulting from the . r p<: ' s'on of agelllS presclll in the group at the beginning of th( r or their children) or their rcplaccm(llI by agents from Olhcr gru ( ps. For relalively small decline in Ihe overall volume of

...ho owed their posilion ro cheir academic qua1ificat;onxccut;ves. en gUlttl'$. lCachers lnd intellectuals (ahhough, 11 1('151 in Ihe case of Vlttor execulives. a significant proporlion of total income may be dc"ved from shaICS, as table 13 indicales). Similarly of . 1111ny small commercial or craft firms COnceals Ihe reconversion work

"'hcfC:!s chere was a very sllong rise in Ihe proportion of saJary.arners,

Ihan 'unearned' inveslment income. Thus. between 194 and 1915 the proporrion of induslrial and commercial entrepreneurs f ell sharply,

pri. Ihe disappearance

hich individual agellls



gro (OI)P


eX1mpk, the



o , .

.,. .... ... ... "' ''' 00 0 _


"! .0: "! .., .... 0 -.: "! " 0 0 0 _ .... _ _ "' ....

0 0 .,; "" ",; ...; ... 0; ";

.... ,.. _ ... ''' 0 0 ''" <>"' .... -0 "' _ "' .... ", '"

.,. "' .... _ "' . _ 0 _ '" - '" '" '" " .. , " " , - - -

- - - - - -

s:: 0 $ S ;:: I I I I
"' '''

''' -

_ N ", ,,,, "' ''' _ 'C '-'

"' '<> - ... ... '" 00 - ''' - - -



-- ....

' ",; . , "

''' '''


< -

, ' ,!


... - - -

"' ... ... ... ... ", "';' 0' '''; ''';'

0; _ "; "; ... .,: _ N


..,: ,..: ....; ..; .

... .... ... - ....

Ii ,

I 8
H .

... st "' -:> ..,: '<> ...; ,.: ....; "' ,.. -

", ,,, "' 0 "' ''' ,, " ....; ..; '" '" .. ", -..,: - ", ,,, -:> .,. -

0.. "' ... .... ... ... ...

C: ",! O -: "' - ... "' - "' ... - ... ... ... .... '"


''' '''' '''' -

.. ..; ... "' .,: $ ,.: '"

- ... ... ... - ... ... 0 " 0 '" ' ... "' ...; ...; .,: ..;

''' .... ... 0 0 "' ....

, , , ,

T i ....

"' ... "' .... ... ,.; .,:

< < <


0 .... 0 _ _ ...; .... ...; ..;


: g ci
0 ... -



< ,


, !

, . , ,


< < <

, , ,

< .,



U f i ...; ...; ...

... ... .

"' ''' ''' ''' ..,: ,.:

. N

"; "'; 0 "; ";

- - _

.... 0

... .... "' .... '" .Q - o ,,; ... . - 0 "' .... 0 ... - - -

" ,

... ,

- "' ''' ''' 0 - ''' ..; ..; ..; ... .,: ,.:


" > e

"; ": ", ": '"

0 "


0 0 "" "' '' ... ..; ... - .,: "' ''' - ""

. ,

, <

'o j

-! , .< , . ,i ,-


- ..; "' aj .... "' '''

- -

"" .... _ ... 0 _ ..



", ... ", "; "; i "

.... ... ... ... _ ... 0 - -

.... ..; ..; :;:: 0; - - ,.: ,.;

" 0 0 "' 0 ...

": "': aj "; o ": ", - '" "' ""

"" - ...

... ... ...




j ] ] tl:i

l E .."i

e ,

; g i

, ,

, ,

h " , , ""' .


, "


> "


] j i j )(

... 1 " "' E " .. - i1 i !: -! -g .... .. to '" .. C _ E " o " " .. E

r" ,
, < ,

J .

of incrc:lSCd housc:hold consumption, conceals a uf>'oers rlIy wailS(' S p ht struCTure of this occupation. The SI:l.gnadon or decline of c(151 r 'hJ/1gc stOres, fX1llkululy hud hil by supermarket competition, and ',JI clothing stores has alosl n b70lan by growt in r re'iI. dornesflc UlpmCn! (mcludmg f umlnnc, mlcnor ( ulomobil 0 :lJld SO on) and especially SpoHS, lrisun: and cuhur:al goods ,g f'1.fln8 . deCO be records etc.) and pharmaccuuols. it may assumed thaI, even retailing, thc figures lend to conceal changes that have led (0 (. . .,!h,nS,food reddinition of ,he occupation: the dosing-down of small e pr08ressiv J stofCS and rural bakeries may coexist with the oJXning of shops oods, or ofbakoods 'natural' regional produClS and health f die! f sd'"8 . . '.n 0Id-styIe bmid. spec,ahzll"lg I cn changes in the nature of retail firms-which are rebtw to same JXriod, in the structure of household consump(h1ngts. ovcr the n rhc sdves relarw to the growth in incomes and above all (0 the in cultural capilal fCSulting from the upward shift of the StrucruJ"r of niucltional opportunitre dialectically linked (0 a rise in the cultural capital of their owners or managers. Everything suggestS that the 'craftsman' category hu undergone chanS" very similar to the 'shopkeeper' cuegory, with the decline of the mosl exposed str:m of traditional craftsmanShip bring offset by the boom In luxury and 'aesrhetic' crafts, which require economic assets but also cultural Glpital. This would explain why the fall in the volume of these middle-cbss caregories is accompanied by a rise in cultural capital as measured by educarional leveL Craftsmen and tradesmen specializing in luury, cultural or artisric lIems, man gers of fashion 'bouriqucs', rerailcrs of 'famous maker' a tr:ars in exotic garmelllS and jewels or rustic obicc,$, ford Ius, antique dalers, illlerior decorators, dc:signcrs, photographers, resurs, managers of trendy 'bistros', Proven",l 'potters'. aVant-gaMe lIers, all ,hose vendors of cuhural goods and services seeking to ptoIong ,h e char (ellzes fusion of leisure nd work, militancy and dilettantism, that "h use ,heir ambiguous occupations, in l succ ,he s,udent life-style, ess depends a, least as much on the subtly casual distinction of rhe Cl IC$ rllni man as on the nature and quality of his waTCS, as a way of obhe r(nee f ; bcs, return on a culcural capital in whkh ,echnical comJXess lmporran, than f amiliarity wirh ,he culture of rhe dominant 112$$ lall5!: .2 mastery of the signs and emblems of distinction and taste. Beth tyJX of culture.intensive craftsmanship and commerce trl'lblts IS , ,o bc drawn from ,he cultural heritage transmiltw dift!:lly . am,]y, i, is pm:lisposcd ro serve as a rdugc for those sons lnd o:4ug e f h()I'IJ SYS t rs of ,he dominant class who arc eliminued by the wucale

, e , ! S;s ml11 indiVidual firms whrch hlve been able to wuhsland thc rt>t

rr 'shopk

rs', consisting vcry largdy

(93 percem)

of the


8fry ::



cw b:

Among the (!Teets of the infbrion of dons and their associatr:ci devaluation, undoubtedly the most uc: (he: 5(t of sll1Itcgia whereby the holden of devalued have sought to maintain thdr inherited positions or to qualifications the Inl equivakm of ....hat they gUlnmeed Slatt of the rtbtionship between diplomas and jobs. It is clear that what an :aodc:mic qualification guarantees is than, and different from, the r ight to occupy a pos ition lmd 11 to perform the corresponding job. In this respect the diploma is more like a palcnt of nobility (/;1" tit nlJblmt) than the properly (Ii'" 'qroprilli) which strictly technical definitions m,,,, So one nn well understand that the victims of devaluation dined perceive and acknowledge the devaluing of quali'' '','"' ,, ; , ;,;; which they are closely identified, both objectively (Ihey , impomnt pm o( these people's sodal identity) and subjectively. concern 10 presc:rve sel(-estttm, which encoul1lges allachment nominal value of '1ualifications and jobs, would nOI be ,"f" ' maintain a mispcrccption of this devaluation, if there were not complidty from objective mechanisms. The mOSI importanl of first, thc hysteresis of habitus, which causes previously 'P1P" ,;", ; gories o( perception and appreciation to be applied to a qualification market; and, second, the exislence of relali"ely markets in which the value of '1ualifications declines at a The hystercsis effect is proporlionatcly greater for agents who remOte from the educational system and who are poody or oof, ". informed aboul Ihe muket in educational qualifiGlions. One mOSI valuable sons of information constiluting inherited is practiGl or theoretical knowledge of Ihe Auctualions of Ihe academic qualifications, the sense of invCSlment the best tum on inheriled cultul1l1 capital in the scholalIic on scholaslie Gpital in the labour muket, (or example, by righl moment 10 pull OUt of devalued disciplines and cafCCrs switch into those: with a futurc, I1Ilher than cling ing to Ihe values which secured the highest profits in an earlier Slale of the By contrast, the hysteresis effecl mC"lns Ihat Ihe hOld' '" 'f . I in their own n , I plomas become, in a sense, ' , rhey bestOW by a typical effect of alloMxia ' i is nOI j on their devalued i explains how those I informed about the diploma market, long been able to recognile a decline in real wages behind Ihe


; ;



: : ; d ::

nance of nominal wages, can nonetheless continue to acCepl paper certificates which Ihey receive in payment for . ing (despite the fact Ihal Ihey are the firsl victims tion, because of lheir lack of social capilal). " This allachmcnt to an anachroniSlic idea of the " ,,f q"';.

Ihe members of a school genel1ltion, bUI 10 a varying eXlent mg on rhe I1Irtly of Ihdr '1ualificalions and on rhdt social origins. Newc rs 10 secondary l(<:o:sso"' educalion are led, by Ihe mere fa" of having h . _ . . . ' IO eXpecl 11 10 give Ihem whal It gave 01hers at a time when I.... , th elve$ were still exdu.:le olhe, "'s d (rom it. In an (;;Idier period and for <kdasses. Ihese c aspil1ltions were perfectly realistic, since Ihey eorre. lhe veld.to obJCCtive probabilitics, but Ihey arc oflen quickly deAared by ,s or the ':tod scholaslic muket or Ihe labour markel. One of the o "'he" 0f ","at is called Ihe 'demOCl1ltiution ofschooling' I Work1 is Ihal only l1g classes. who had previously ignored or al best vaguely


:[d(.ftE...TlNG ... GENUATION In a period of 'diploma inRation' 'Sf'arlly be'","ccn the aspil1ltlons Ihal Ihe educational syslem pro du( Id the opponunirics il '(;Illy offers is a structural r(;llicy which af.

in Ihe uistence of markels in which diplomas can bI plays a pan U d , al leasl) escape devaluation. The value objectively and sub. pe.:lO y ('f'I'a laced on an academic qualificalion is in fact defined only by Ihe ) Ihe social uses thai Gn be made of it. Thus Ihe evaluation of oohlY l by lhe clOSCSI peer groups, such :as relativcs. neighbours, fellow .:Ilplortl (ones d:ass' or 'y(;lr') and coll(;lgucs, Gn play an importanl n' sluJc l$king Ihe effe<:ts of devaluation. These phenomena of individ. n 1 colle<:tive misre<:ognition are in no way illusory, since Ihey Cln .:l uJl an I pracriccs. cspecially Ihe individual lnd collecrive slralegies or -establishing Ihe objective realiry of rhe value al csl,blishing n or position; and these stralegies C3n make real con l ouaifle'lio o. ", l,e , . d acluaI I(vaIuallon. IOwar b don Ihe Il1Insaclions in which the market value of academic (lualifica. defined, Ihe slrenglh of Ihe vendors of labour power depends I !IS is !lng aside Iheir social capil1l-on Ihe value of thdr diplomas, cspe. iJ.llv when Ihe rclationship betwccn qualificalions and jobs is strictly ,odlficd (1$ is the case wilh cstablished posilions, as opposed 10 new QIlC$) So it is cl(;lr Ihal Ihe devalul1ion o( lCadcmic diplomas is of .:Iirect :adn11gr to Ihe suppliers of jobs, and Ihat, while lhe inlefCSts of'lualifi. nllonholdcrs are bound up wilh Ihe nominal value o( qualifiGtions, i.e., "'1Ih ""hal Ihey guanmlccd by right in Ihe C"lrlier silualion, Ihe intete$ts of rob suppliers are bound up wilh Ihe real vlue of qualifiC3tions, in Olher words. Ihe value Ihal is determined al the moment in qucstion in the compelition among Ihe candidatcs. (This is a SIrucrul1l1 deskilling [dlqJJaliiralion] which aggravalS Ihe effects of the deskilllng slralegics f Ihal firms have been using for a long lime.) The grealeSI losers in Ihis lIruggle a Ihose whose diplomas have leasl rebllve value in rhe hierar. Ihy of diplomas and arc mOSI devalued. In some C1SCS the qualification. holik, finds he has no other way defend the value of his qualtficallon Ihan 10 refuse 10 sell his labour pawel al Ihe price offered; Ihe decision 10 i"tmaln unemployed is Ihen C<juivalelll 10 a one.man sltike.16

7 ''C rt<11





10 11


concurred in [he Third Repl.lblic ideology of 'schooling as a ]' f orce' (I'kq/t libiralria), actually entered secondary CdUC1lion,


tlrolt (()1ISn'IJalrirr,

schooling as a consccrvar;v(

sondclass courses or eliminated.

men{ which results from {he SlruClural mismatch between and rt:ll probabilities, between the social idcnliry {he school system 10 promise:. or the: one if offers on a Icmpor.try buis, and the lily thar Ihe labour markef in fa" offers is the: source of Ihe {Owards work, thaI


r't llJai o sDda!fi"ituat, j f


als and neguions of Ihe adolescem cOuntCHu]lure. This discordance-and ,he discnchammenr it cngcn<krs-12kn [hat are ob;eclivcly and subjectively different in {he vuious SOCial ing and Ihrough Ihe ambiguous Slatus of a 'S[I"dcm'. (rom the demands of the ....orld of ....ork, produees lenic of aspir:uions and probabilities ....hich led their predecessors cept their social destiny, almost al....ays unquestioningly" ,"d O ....ith positive e:.\gerness (like the miners' sons ....ho use<! .t , : , . entry into manhood ....ith Iheir first descem imo (he mine). The chammem ....ith their work (hat is felt and expressed panicululy by the most obvious vinims of do....ncbssing, such holders obliged to take iobs 15 bnory workers or postmen, is, in common to a ....hole generation. It finds expression in unusual volved in induSlfial or political struggle find hard to understand, something mon: [han ....orking conditions is at stake. These

Thus. for working<lass youngsters, Ihe Il1Insil through

: :;;:

struggle, protest and escapism {hat the organizations oo,di" oo,',',

pie, whose social identity and self.image have been undermined cial system and an educational syStem that have fobbed them ....orthless paper, can find no other ....ay of restoring their personal (ial integrity than by a lo[al refusal. It is as if they felt that ....hal

YO,;,o, I ' :

gc-t less out of [heir qualifications than [he previous gc-neu!ion have obtained, engc-nders a $Or( of collec[ive disillusionment: a gc-ner:r.tion, finding il hu been taken for a ride. is inclined to all inslitutions the mixture of revoh and resentment it f eels

stake is no longer jusl penonal f ailure, 15 the educational system ages them to believe, but rather the ....hole logic of the academic i lion. The structuul de.skilling of a ....hole generation, ....ho are ____

educational system. This antiinstitutional CUt of mind strength from ideological and scientific critiques) poims rowards nunciation of the tuit assumptions of the social order. a pUClical sion of doxic adherence to the prittS it offers and the values " ' , and a ....ithholding of the investmems ....hich an: a necessary c< its funClioning. So it is understandable that, not only ....ithin families but

: ; ;.i,:"

cltional institutions and political or union organizarions and .

'Finl I did markel I'CSC)rdl s...rveys. had a friend in L ",ho "':IS i Ihal. I BOI a lisl of all Inc I'CSC)rch Paris. Mler t"'O months phoning and finally I gol something. seenl lJler they hadn't gol lo...ch . ",ilh me. They OIICrcn', doing any m ...rvcys. I "':as e l lk.! 10 un employment benefit, a lho...nd fnncs a month. We lived on Ihal fol 5CVCfl monlhs, lhen "'e did gnpc-picking. Then [ went back to for seven monlhs, I q...it; t e working fftt-lance. ... lesbians and place ....:as f gave 0...1 Ihe ....olk 10 fa so [ gol 01,11. Any....ay, ....e och ....olk a turns. In sort sociely, ....ork isn't Ihe life. ..... if Ihings ....ere 1 r... Ihe ....ay Ihey are mighl ....ant 10 ....olk ho...rs a baeca1a...,,:al and a day' (F., fe.... an Am f c...1ry; fa a Iher: priJle


firms in

",riting, Then. still

months in


o s






ll of

vo...rites, of thing in n


h lhey

finc'lOoth comb. ! did a power I the papc:l. [ co...ldn'l be fight. After Slopped $0 1 taken in by Ihe ., mYlh and I signc<:l on II Office. I ....:as on sorting for ...ccks. I co...ldnt take y W:lS a work Cflvi.onment I'd known befole. It ....:asn't so th people up flOSI: Inc relations bet....ccn the w:as solidarity. wccks [ ch...ckcd ;1 Aflel Thc we five of us li . ...a fired the S OI fr , P o,

But Ihe w:as

pho<o" ,

ause wan (Cd I lefl bc<y, 1nd! Ih11'S hoto. I hID<" f..,.., Co M"ney. L'",,.;. "", I" ... ",on l s'l counu ,." "''''"'. uhl<n du un". d'f,us de (G., age 21. (ailed h'"(" In f'I\Cn:' Icmplo,. I (Po",. PUF. 1977). 479-6'8 n: pmim (in'."' ..... "','h Xl unemplOj"...t <"Jedl "'; farher: policma " tu" a Ch.-'man). young pt<>pk) ,V toel'

six giving me



, , , " " " , , , , ,.,'" S S " S" "



Ihlt gOl

lelling. llle three


my them,

; ; ;;

bit in No

this main

ag<: 24, months in mons).

in China. ICfl

...hile so [ don't g<:1 into 1 lUI. 'Mlel [ failed Inc bac, I $p(n, the a summer "'orking :as a monitor V)(:;Ilion camp. Then I gOt a job ....i,h a in Dre"'K. I ....:IS a tnincc s...itor ...t aflcl I'NO 10 take 0...1 months it "':as union card SO I .... frttbncc. I didn'I fit in. 1 wIOle. lh ... gh .... a

'Once you've A...nked yo...r bac, yo...'re allody in Ihe shit. There are n no possible calccn and the jobs yo... In ,.." find a completely ...seless. 'All tnc jobs I did OIIC.e boring, so SCOOter for six m n h . I saved ...p some money so I could Ihing SlOp ....olking for . fe.... months. Its I ghurly job, yo... SCI com' Anyway, I prefel 10 Slop once in a

i exams, yo... ,- -'; school. and you up being intellce""a!' 'Nexi gOI a employmenl <kaling a bonus gi e
...alked 0...1. The ...om of t , you H...nk yo.... end trealed as an I job a8en9. as a office with wholesale here ...as a .0.... .bo...t T ...am'l v n 10 everyone. a slanging.match and I there Scptembcr I i lhen I wcnl 10 ment ag<:ncy. I was a o t s Th.I ..... I'vc ever done. lhe cruiol pletely pU:l.noid on yo... r SCOOlCi, all Il)'ing 10 )'0'" do...n. I ch ...cked il in, I ...ldn'r rake any more. Ihe .. 'Afler " got a lemporary job, ju t . holiday peliod, was on elcelronic called it. or like and I 51ayed for

:: ; on tccn minutes' extra break,


Ordcf-'oreer. 'SI21uS', 'promOlion' and 'gelling on.'

nlS(cnt of the mood of the first Romamic genera.ion. this disenchanled r(mramenl utKks Iht fundamental dogmas of lhe tilbourgeois

;; JdSk : n

$llullion, whenever oldstyle autodidans. who SialiC<! out Ih ...'(Irk IS c;lrlier wilh a Ctrlifual d'iludn (CEP) or a SEPC and bound. Ih'It . 1 for c...llure, comt imo conran ... ;,h young hachtlim or new who bring Iheir amiinstitutional s.ance ...ilh ,hem a...todidaclS. the 11I$IIIUlion, Ihe duh of .g<:nerations often tako the form of a

vry foundnions of rhe social order. MOle radical. ...do... over lhe: . lf<onfKk:nl than the usu.1 fOlm of polilical comtation. and remi Ic5s

cllss wlllch Ihe ed...calional syslem scrvo JiafJlirally and the inlCls of i

rltr TR(I(;(;I.E TO KI!I!P UP The specific comradiccion of the scholastic mOlk of reproduction lies in {he opposilion betwctn the inter1S of Ihe

tho!: class members whom it sacrifices, Ihat is. the 'failures' who are Ihrealened wilh didaJJtmmi for lack of rhe qualilic21ions formally rt. 'I",red of "gll(ful members. Nor should one forgel those holders of 9ual.
,(,(jflons which normally'-i.e.. in an earlier Siale of Ihe relationship

imagining they're

when lt1ns are offered 10 all Iheoretically e9...al chnces of obuining (lualifi. .he off spring o( Ihe bourgeoisie (regardless of rank or sex) while (he access of Olhn classes to these 9ualilications , 'nc..... ( In ," __I , ' .. ' ,., ule lerms). The s.ra.eglcs whICh one group may a, I or: oyd10 (ry 10 escapc downclassing and to relurn to theil clau lraj. I a (hOSe which another group employs 10 rebuild the interrupled ' Ih
' 10 C ln 'n '" .. ..... .

hcl"'ccn diplomas and jobs-gave access 10 a bourgeois occupation, who. b.:-cau);( Ihey do nOI oliginale (rom Ihat clau. lack Ihe social capital 10 extract Ihe (u ll y,eld from their academic <jualili(ation. The ovrplod...c.
lion of <j...alolic3Iions and {he consc9...ent devl... ation, {end to bome a IlfU""'f".l1 (Onstanl .




b time my ent But seem to Everything ey went thro ith

month on s on rh

eraTOI" lhey Iha


0 hope l < .for 1r:ljlOry, a now one of the mosl important fanon t sformalion of social Slrun...res. The flllll individual s...bstiwtion whICh enable Ihe holden; of a social capital inheriled 'conII 1Itlm s 10 make up for Iheir Jack of formal <jualifiotions or 10 p,el the tel...ln flom thos.:: rhey have, by moving into rdnivdy un. lito", h fllaJ areas of social space (where social dispositions coum for l n academ,cally guuanlctd compclenco) )lk.: 'v . are combined with IIId <>b e S f".lle8'c .1 asserting rhe value of ( ormal 9ualificl1iolls la Ihe rewanls Ihey in ur of {he fOuke!.

it,II; ,,

!: buu:m


t 'n,ng

s aimed


an earlier s e

Whereas in 1962 only I., pcrcem of scmi-skilkd ....orkers aged 1)-24 had Ihe BEPC. and 0.2 pcrcCnI til<: hac "[lureu Of 1. hig},(,r diploma, in 197) ,At corresponding pcrccnr1gc1 ",.,re 8.2 and 1.0. Amt)ng ...hite collar workers, who:n: by 1962 even in ,he oldest ago:-group ,her( was a r.:luive1y high percentage of di ploma.holden, the proponion of ,he very highly <Jualific<l lose fntcr among (he young, SO th?1 by 197) a lugcr proportion of them had higher 'lualitiotions (han did the older workers (in 1962, n.o percent of offICe workers aged I )-24 had the BEPC. 2.0 pcrccm the bacnbureal, Ind 0.2 pcrm a higher educmon dcgrtt. compartd with }S.O pcrccm, 8.0 ptrccnr Ind 1.0 percent in 197); IhI: cOTraponding figura in 19n for oldc:r snll" members wtfC \6.1 percent. 3.3 pe.cen, and 1.4 per cent). In addition 10 111 1h( changes in the rdadons bctwttn collcagu($ of differenl gener:l!ions that aft im plied in these statistics, one has to btar in mind the chulged relatiOn to ""ork which re5ulrs from puuing 1gents with higher qualifications into job-; that arC oftcn deskillw (by automadon and all tnc forms of fob mechanizuion ....hich ha'{c rurnw white-(ollar staR' ;nlO tnc produC!1on.line workers of the great bUfC'iu(racics). There is eery reason to think that tnc opposirion bt tween the 5Ome"'hat SttlCt and e>;en stuff)' rigour of the older staR' and the casual style of the younger workers, whkh is doubtlcss per ceived as sloppincss, especially when it indudes long hair and a beard (the traditional emblems of Ihe b0hemian utist or intellcctual), cx pr ?,lhcr more than a simple gencn!1on gap.

to c:ncour.agc the: emdon of a brge "'0;, J _;'&!IIgtoi positions, produced by redefining old positions or ing new ones, and designed to save un<;jualificd 'inheritors' from classing and to provio:k parvenus with an approximate pay-off devalued <.juaJifications. The: strategies agents uS/: to avoid the devaluation . grounded in the: discrepancy bctwt(" opportunities al any given moment 2nd aspir.l(ions based on an earlier tective opportunitics. This discrepancy, which is particularly lain moments and in ccnain social positions. generally reflcCls a achieve the individual or colk<:rivc occupational Ir:aiecrory which scribed :.IS an obicctivc potentiality in the former position and in j jtory lClIding to iI, When this 'broken effect example, in the ( of a man whose: father nkif1lJ and who becomes a sales engineer or a psychologist, or in of Iw gr.ldutc who, for Ick of soci1 capi[al, becomes a "'nm culwr.l1 workcr-the agent's aspirations, flying on above his real [01)' like a pro;ectile carried on by its own iner!i, describe an ItOI)' that is no less raJ, or is at any r.lte in no way ordinary sense of [he word, ThLS impossible objective scribe.:! at the deepest level o( their dispositions as or frustr.lted promise, is the common (Klor, behind 11 i belween Ihose sons and daughters of Ihe bourgeoisie 10 whom calional syslem has nOI given the means of pursuing (he InIjCl:tory likdy for their class and rhose sons and daughters of the middle working elasses who have not oblained the rewards whkh 'h ' ;;" ... : '1ualifintions would have gU2r.1ntec:d in an earlier state of the -11'1'0 categories who arc puticularly likely to II)' to rno"e inro positions. Agents who seek to avoid downdassing can either pations more closely malChing their pretensions justified in an earlkt state of relations between can Il:furbish the occupations to whkh redefining and upgr.lding them in with their When genrs sur! to arrive in a job who qualifications from those of the usual occupantS, they bring hilherro tudes, dispositions and demands with them into [heir Il:lation with job, in terms of both ilS technical and social definition; and this ily caU5CS changes in [he job itsdf. Among rhe mOSI visible served when the newcomers have high qualifications are n i division of labour, with autonomous status being given ro some tasks previously performed, in principle or in practice, by less -all-rr:ades (e.g., the diversification of rhe education jacks-of wdfarc fields); and, oflen, a redefinition of careers, relared ro [he genee o( expc'CIuions nd demands rhat are new in both form

The combined effect is

,lQr the break ...ilh ,he mlist, sratic model implied in certain o( the sociology of work, it h:l$ 10 be: cmph:l$ized [hal the pas' 1"0 [f.ld,r ;oo uccd eirher 10 rhe theorerical POSt, i.e., as de$Cribcd in Il:gula "nnor 'f(uJar5 or organization charts, or to the real posr, j,e., 1S de$Cribed n5, (is of observation o( the occupant'S real function. or even to rhe r;o {WOo In fact, po5tS, as Il:gards borh their thcoKri ip betWCC1l [he l[ioOSh re! r ition nd their pr.lclieal mlily, 1K Ihe sire of pcrm11lCnt srruggles, "I di. posi[ion.holders may cl:l$h with their supctiors or their subor h ,n ,, 'C with the occupanrs of neighbouring and rival poSitions, or ' themselves (old.eimers and newcomers, gr:adu1tcs and non.gr.ldu aspiring ro or lding 1 position 'y have an inler so on). [ . g It In such 1 way that II cannOt be occup,ed by anyone . .:s redefinin so cS;;" [han the possesrs of propcrtics identical ro their own. (Consider rhe 01 bc:1'Nttn ,Ilr:aduatcs of ENA and Polytcchnique or, in the middle . S[rueo I ell:nt generlILons 0f nUI'SC$. ) : be[WCC1I d' cll.

,..,fd. 0;


, : .Jes




There is every reason [0 suppose that the job redefinition f"CSulting rom 1 change in Ihe scholastic properties of the occupants-and all their ( :WQ(i.led propenin-is likely to be more or less extensive depending on lhe tliJJlidfJ of the technical and social definition of the position (which robably greater at highet levels in the hierarchy of positions) and on is p rhe J()(itJi origin o( the new occupant5, since the higher their origin, the kss inclined they will be [0 accept the limited ambitions of pelit. bour8CQis agentS looking for modest, predictable progms over a lifetime. Thest faclGrs ue probably not independent, Whether led by their 5ClIS( of 1 good investment and Iheir awareness of the opportunities .waiting ,heir eapil.l, or by the refusal to demean themselves by entering oroe o( the cslwlished occupations whose dementaty definition makes them invidious, those sons and daughters of the bourgeoiSie who arc thratencd with downclassing tend to move, if they possibly can, inlG the mas[ Lndererminue of the older professions and into the sectors where new professions are undc;r constructi n. This 'crealive redefinition' is ,;, . <tfore ( ound p.mcularly In rhe mOSI IIIMned and professionally un. . . StruCture d OCCUpafLons and m the newesl sectors 0f cuirural and unstic ProdUCtlon, s ch as 'h big public nd private enle!priscs engaged in cui IUra.] roducfLon (rullo, TV, markCling, advertising, social science re sear P h and $0 on), where jobs and careers have not yet ajuired the rigi ' o( the lder bu ucr.lfic professions and recruitment is generally cO habir Y -Opnon, Ihat IS, on the basis o( 'eonneclions' and affinities of I1Ither than formal qualifications. ns that [he sons and daughters ?f the Paris bo rgeoisie, rather than . log), di 1 essLon (e.g., tC:ILch Y ent.ermg a wdl-dcfined and hfelong prof e ore r hkely to enter and to succeed in positions, hal(-way be s nrhood and a profession, thar all: offered by the big cuitur:al


done' n,s, : bultau.



. 1($,

OCcupations (or which the specific qualifications (e_g., a photogr.lphy or filmmaking, or a sociology or psychology

mem the official quali cations with the

degree) uc a ,genuine ticket ofentry only for those who are able

u I



'-W"''''') , " ... )




The rdative .. .. e::ight of rhe differenr (uegorin invohed in duction system has radially changed in the last t.. dc::adcs. TlKc o gori of """sc-nrning producers (r("atcd by the ,x...eloprJl(nt of , . IC!C::Vlslon and rhe ublk and privatc rnnrch bod,n (npecially Ienc). have consIderably expanded. as has The re hin profess g ion, cr Ially In 115 lo.. strara: whe::re;lS the anisric and legal prof essions, rhat IIlrellec( al craftsmanship, have:: declined These changn, IOge::ther w ith . ways of organizing ImeJkcrual hfe (research commillec::s, brain t ranks erc.) and Institu tio a ized modes of communication . encn. ddmn. eIC ) te::nd II




J J ,1.,6

and ,hal r.:auly (hus l(quire::s a ,alue on !he labour mukcl. I ' !o plodue:: not on Iy a n u ""r f changn III tIt ,1 b'kSS ,tI I<Jl Jou of chan8es III elhlCS ( c1olhing and cosmeuc" but also a ,.,hole SCt maga r""'! linilion of Ihe:: legitimale:: image of "o n on the body an the acknowl go:d aUlhoriti and f nansmil lhe ima of womanhood inarnued by ,hose: proI 1 .,.i 0 rnanlpulators ofbureaucralic charm. who arc rarionally sckcu:d carrmu({ure J ce ....irh a Slric::lly pro ra ,n accordan 1r.l1 m ful l lhe ihzc::d schools, Uty COntcsts and 50 on), fO ( .,Ih reau ric norms. ormity ....ith bu funCtions in conf


II lu




. m 0 (emllllll!!). Women, d rhe legillmate

d,{lOf1' The lions

Bu( (hc si(e par e::xce::lle::ncc of this rype of tnnsformation is "" "' fu in l e:: group of occuparions whose common faClor is rhal they mU:lmum re::lurn on rhe cultural lapilal mosr rransmi!lcd fiamily: good manners, good taste or physical charm. the :.\eSrhetlc and semi :.\eSlhe!ic intdltttual and .J I lions. rhe vanous nsultancy services {psychology, voellional speh rhenpy. baUty advice:, marriage (ounselhng diel : on), the educarional and par:t-eduCllional occupllins (youth I runners of d y< re:: CCntres, cultur:tl programme organiz rs) and v?lving. prcscmalion and re::prc::sc:mllion (rour organizers, h,,',. . CICe::rOnl, COUrlCr.)', radio and TV announcers, ne::ws ancho me::n show hosts, pinS atuch6. public relations people and so on ) .

bri nging new odn of rhought and expression, new themn and new . of conce::lvlllg IIlldlrual work and rhe role:: of thc intdk<"rual. The dfr of rhoc 'doprJl(nt:rogerh r wirh The considcnbk growth In . Slu<i<m populaTIon. placed In lhe POS'tion of app.cntice intdl luals' the emergo:nc of a ....hole set of scmiimcllIual c 10 have:: intdltual production' ....lIh i an'. namdy, an audience:: suffiCIently large:: I j for production and d tribution. Ihe unive::rsilY fidd II field. of a 'h,

nl 10 encourage the ducef$ more dirr!y subordlnared 10



r.c :\:

lc:: fIOOUf"1.r


g mmed

orman(e:: of articularly in rhe field of 'consultancy', the perf r sr. p : rationalizc::d form of compete:nce in a class h uiKS no more:: .lhan a experts constilUlion of .' sOCllIy recogmzc::d corps culMc. The . . comln,,? abour hrough iahzlIlg in advice on sexuahty, whICh IS no . e gr.1dual profssionaizario.n of volunral), philanthropIC or pollllcal as whereby agents lend. wclallons. is 1M: paradIgmatic form of the process which is the:: basis of .al1 . ....uh that deep (Qnvicrion of d isintelnledn . mlsMnary zeal, 10 satiSfy their group Imctcsrs by dc::ploYlIlg ,be legl".

: offer lhe most OSI inde::rcrminate scctOr.)' of ,he social SflUctUrc: groun for (he operations which, by mnsforming old posi. .crc::lling' new oncs ex nih ilo, aim 10 produce areas of specialis!








marc culture:: wirh which they have:: been e::ndowro by the education sys win Ihe aC<ju ieS(ence:: of the classes e clu ed from lc::gitima!e ,em rhclr class cultu re::. in pro ucing the ncc:d for and rhe rarity From marri:lge counsellors to rhe vendors of slimming aIds, all those



x d of

a a


Imposing ne::w uses o f the body an a ne::w bodily iNxis-the:: iNxlS which the nc::w u r isie o f the:: sauna bath. the:: gymnasium and th ski slope diSCovered for ilsclf-proclucr Ihe cor rc::spon ing needs. expc::cmions :and d'S5:u isfaCtions. Doclors and diel c::xpertS armed wilh the:: authority of

o \IIh now make:: a profc::ssion of supplying the means of bridging the gap b(t"cen 'is' and 'ought' in !he:: re::a lm of the:: body and its uses would be:: IlOThlllg ",ilhour the unconscious collusion of all thos who comribme 10 pro Cing an inexhauSlihk market for !he:: pro uCls they off r, who by e::




Public and, npecially, private bUf(aucracics are:: n .... obliged !O perform o . rescmallonal and 'hosllng' funcrions ",hic::h are:: very diffcre::nt in both and stylc:: from tl>o5e traditionally e::ntrusr 10 mcn (diploma!$, i amch6 an 50 (0) ofren drawn from rhose: fractions of lhe:: i (the:: arislocracy and rn.: old bourgeoisie) who "<ere:: richcst in social and in ,he socializing thniqucs nsc:nl al 10 ,he malnte::nance:: of d" '" ,' . lal llIc new mJuire::menrs have led rO lhe:: rnce:: of a ....hole ma "'("panons and '0 rhc cstabllshmcnt of a ic siTimate marke::r Ical propcmn. llIc fact thu (e::rta;n worJl(n derive ",cupationa "',',



SCience::, who impose: the::i r definirion of ntmnality ,,ith hc::ighl.we::ighr l. balanced diets or modc::ls of s xual ad!uacy; cou ruricrs ....ho con I the sancti on of good rasre on the unallainable:: me::asuremenn of {ash In O modc::ls: whom rhe new obligatory uses of the body . P !OvlljC ' pc r "o lor .counde::ss wrnl gs and re::mmdelS (. arch your . \IIei htl' : . and . Someone Isn, own lif st . e:: yle in women's wcc:klics and magnin s for wellheeled vlI combine::, in the compelition be::twc::c:n them, 10 advance:: a r:l 1-lIch !he::y on serve so ",e::11 on ly bause the::y are:: nO lways :aware:: of krv I lflg it or evcn of scrving themselvn in Ihe:: process. .\nd IlIt:!.n I emergence:: of this ne::w petite bourgcOIsie::, which e::mploys ne::w 0 tho: f11anipulaTion ro perform il$ role as an illle::rmediary beTwcc:n and which by its very exisren(e:: brings abom a Transformarion

IlleS ex:; u::


adve::nisc::rs for W . bu glorify using . . .'); lourn:lhsts who e::xlll


bolie imegtion of the domina[ed cl:usc:s by imposing nttds """ " incukating norms. LIIAN(.. f.s t N THE EUIlt:ATIONAl "TH[ Clearly i t would be ' see a merel)' mKhanica/ process of inl1a.ion and devaluation a. _ , .. mmive increase in the school populatton has caused a w'",,,,, ", f ormalions, both inside and outside the educational 5)'S[em, ma[ions at all its levels bUI also through defensive manoeuvres by ;" , ditiona] users. such as Ihe mu]tlplieauon of sublly ranked pths it and skilfully disguised 'dumping grounds' which help [0 blur lion of ils hierarchi". For [he sake of clarity. one may contras[ .. '.- of [he second1fY school system. In the older statl:. lhe organiz:ttton i.s organizattons and opcmion pmly through morphological

of [he posinon and disposi[ions of [he old 1>1:[I[e bourgeoisie, tan I underslood only in terms of changes in the mO<k of dominalion II ' ' subs[i[u[ing seduction for reprcssion, publie relations for tising for authority, the vel"e[ glove for the iron fist. pursucs

JrcJ b)'

;1 IS ::;;

tnsli[ution. the pa[hways i t offere<!. [he courses it [aught and'

C1uons it u:arded were all based on sharp dIvisions. cleaHul b the primary/secondary division pr()(]uced s)'s[ematic diff rences In I e mensions of [he culture taught. [he teaching melhods used and om:rs promised (It is signiflCan[ [hat thc division has been m";,,,.. or even slrtngthened a[ [he points where access (0 Ihe dominant now decidl-d-thu is. al Ihe point of slleaming for [ I in hi):;her eduulion. with thc division I>l:tween Ihe grandes ecolcs the rest.) In the prescnt stale of the system. [he excillStOn of the mass of working-elm and middleclass chtldren 'akes place nor a[


than under Ihe old system, which was chara[er. harsh manner 1& compelltlve exammatton. remorseless rigour of the natIonal 1;1 J Ih e new system fobs off a good number of tiS users with Ihat [he percetions lhat are en ualiflCa[ions, playing on [he faulty y [he anarchic profuston of courses and diplomas whICh are J<',.,I .-I cout1'-[O compare and )'el sublly ranked in prestige. However. it docs ificulr t as the old system: the Jl ,hcf1l into such abrupl disinvestmen o e [ f rc ( hierar h,es and boundan" between Ihe elte<! and the re (IO c t>iurlln wttn true and false 'jualifiC2uons, plays a pall in 'cooling 01,1[' 1("d. 1 m acquiescence in being coole<! 01,11. The new system favours t c Id n, opmcnl of a 1= realtstic. less resigned relationship to ,he future St"nSt" o( proper limilS. whIch was the basis of an acute sense I old [han I C ,,y The a/!Qti()xia which dIe new sys[em cncouragl"S in innu . f hlCr.lr, . . o bl ways is dl<: r ason why rclega[cd a}Jencs collaborate In theIr own overes[imating the s[udics on which [hey embark: over al on h)' . . banktng on posstble fUlures whICh do "lIm" hel! "ual ifKalions. and . ' ";J \ tbe reason why [hey do nOI Iluly ally eKtS[ for [hem; bUl II IS also and <Juali&aions. Ad ,he [ [he objective reality of chelf position . _ for the a[[Cliventsi\ o( tbe new or renewable positions lies tn tht n locale<! in social space, fan thaI. bein,l\ vl,l\ue and iII-dcfined. uncertalnl)" al" tn [he pas[) e often off ring (!Ike Ihe occupallons of 'anis!" or -inlelllU no of Ihe malerial or symbolIC cfl[cria--promo[ion, benefi,s, inCle

fx, [hc.kc


!Mills-whereby social nme, and also social hierarchi", arc eKpcrienccd and musurcd. ,hey leave aspiraions considerable room for manoeuvre. They hus make i[ possible to avoid the sudden. final disinvesmem (r,,"ment [0 r(lircment. "!lIe indelerminate fUlure which [hey offer, a

years of secondary' schooling, Ihrough h,dden forms of eliminalion as repe:ue<! years (<<Juivalent [0 a deferred ehmma'tion); rdegallon ogntlton of scholasuc 3nd soci31 dcsllny; and finally. the lwardin eduC2tion and the whole sel o( internal [raining courses and second<lm courses. emailing a sflgma thaI [ends

of primary schooling bUl sleadtly and Impalpably, all Ihrough ,b, '" induce i

Imposed by

'ision 1010 value<! cercifiC2tt:$. (I[ is remarkable [hal JUSI when lhe d" s[reams-strictl} 5pea.king, lru:re ""ere always thm:. with '

i tions offered by all the major government depanmentS--W2s disapl>l:u and !<) be recons[itUled at anolher level. Christiln Ihuddot Rocr Es[ahlct discoven.-d dlls dichotomy. which no one would

.orks and to cons"kr himself a 'nut' ;:'SIS In ad"erusing but conltnucs only a [empory expedientaliisl WIll tha[ Ihis mercenary Ir;I,Je IS Ih)t ! de: :lb lldoned as 500n as he has PU[ hy enough money [0 be ,"depcn. ; r. ork ambiguous OC(up:oltons exemp[ rheir praCtilioners from These t.

10 ttnt Ihe presem as a SOrt of emllcssly renewed provisional S[)[U$ and to n:gard one's 's[alion' as an accidental detour, like Ihe paimer who

pr1Vlle hilherto reservtd (or artisrs and imdlcctuals. makcs i, possible

occupations thaI arc clearly ddimi[ed and defmed from rc

mternahzing o( scholastIC divISIOns dcarly corresponding !<) social sions. ,he ntW system with " S fuzzy cbssifiC2tion$ and blurred edges couragcs and emefla;ns (a[ lea$t amonA tht ne... 'Imermt:(liarics' in space) np,rallons thai are [hcmse"'" blurred and fuzz}. Aspiration are now adjusled 10 seholasnc hurdles and $Iandard$ m a less SIn"

[houghl of denying since i[ was the clI:arc[ marllfts[tlon of ,,,, ,.,"0. [ie mtthanisms of rtproduClion.)I" Whereas the old system wllh i!s sllong]y marked ooundarics led

.... of disinvcs[menl and 'einv"lmenl thaI is implie<!. (or eampJe, In ""I[( hing from a 'vocation' U :I pllllosophcr 10 a 'vocation' as a phtlos. [t::Ichcr. or (rom allist to publici[y designer or all [eacher-or at [ 1110w them [0 dcfer thcir [ransfer indcf tnitely. 11 is not surprisin.t: tha ch people shoul,] be drawn [V sehemes of 'continuing education' (i) SU 'r<lI'ol1 r"m<ll1mlt). a perpetual s[udemhood WhKh oilers :In open. d un], ITtttcd {Utun; and conlraSIS diamctrically wi[h Ihe system of nalional rorn lIt lons designe<! 10 demonstrate, once and for all. and as early as lc [hal Ir. , whal IS dont cannol be undone.)1 t[ IS undersrandabk ,hal, like artlSIS. Ihey should 50 r adily em e :tes "" ng 10 1h.cItC and educal modes and models of youlh: II 15 a way of oneself and olhers [hal one 15 nOl fini[e. finishe<!. defined In

I b.r;:;

pIKe of abrupt, allr-nOlhing breaks, bel,,'eeo slUdy and work, work and retirement, !hcre is an i mpalpable infinllC'SimaJ Ii sider all the Icmponry or semi permanent occupations. students approaching rhe cnd of theiT course. which cluster '",.j, ('Stablished posi rions in scienti fic research or higher eduntion er anmher level. consider !he phaSl':d retirement now off ed by the . Evcryrhing take'S place as if the new logic of 'advanced' firms) the carional system and tconomic SySltm cncour:aged pwple to dder long as possible the momcm of ultimate crySTallization 1O": : ': .''d ; [he infinilC'Simal changes poii'll. in other words, the final t I , : which sometimes uke'S the form of a 'pc'rsonal crisis', I! goes withou l saying (har the adjustment between objective and subJcctive aspil':ltions [hat is rhereby C'STablished is bO!h and more subtly I'xtoTll'd. but also more risky and unSlabk. vagul'ncss in thl' images of Ihl' prcsenr and futurl' of onl"s way of acctpling limits. but it is also a way to avoid them. or 10 pUI it anO!hn way. a way of refusing them But it is a in bad faith. the produ<l of an ambiguous cult of revol ulion springs from resemmem at the disappoi mm l'nt of unrl"'Ii" k : ;: tions. Whl'reas the old system lended 10 producl' cleuly d : , . : , : cial idenr; t;es which Idl Imlt room for social fanr2SY but comfonablt and reassuring I'vl'n in thl' uncondillonal which lhey demanded, Ihe new system of srrunural instability in reserHation of socilll idenrity and its legi timatl' aspiratio ns lends to agems from the terrain of social crisis and critique to the rerrnin sonal critique and crisis.
. _

n be :secn how nai it is 10 claim 10 se:ult the qucstion of ' change' by locating 'newness' or 'innovation' in a particular JIlt space. For some. this site is at the tOp; for others. at the bottom. always eise:where, in all the 'new'. mar;l:tnal . 'excluded' or groups. for all Ihose: sociologists whose chid concern is to ness' into the discussion at all cosu. But 10 charactl'riZl' a class as v:ilive or 'mnov)ting' (without eVl'n spedfying in what respect It , by laci! rt"Course: to an ethical standard which is nl'cessarily cially, produces a discourse which states little more than the site ,r ". ' from hccause it sweeps aside what is essential. namely. the field gles. thl' systl'm of objl'crive relations within which positions and lUres are definl'd relationlilly and which governs I"'en those t aimed at transforming it. Only by rderence to the space 1II the ... hich defines Ihl'm and which they seek to mallltain or redefine. or undemand the stutegies. ind ividual or col1c<:tive.
' ' ' ,


nized. which arc aimed at conse:rvint:_ transform in,!: or t to conserve.

nbk I) sho""s the relalionship hctween morphological changc in the dif krtnt cI:lSSCS and class (Uctions and Ihe exrent to which the members of ,lin( cla5SCS and class fractions make use: of lhe educalional sySfem. The as .'(I/umc of the groups whose soci:ll reproduction .... based. :I( Ihe beSin the period. on onomie inheri tance tcnds to decline or remain sta nln8 of lIonlry, ... hile. over the same period. theil children-who -...ill. to a rllent. loin the wagcaming catcgorio:s at the same level of the social hier ItChy-mike ,ncrcasins use: of Ihe educational system, Those cbss fractions "hieh arc expanding, which are mainly rich in cultural upiul and which the I'duc:ltional syslem as theil mam means of rcproduwon ( junior and 5t:nlor execulives. ckriul workers) tend 10 increase theil children'S !Choohng 11\ much Ihe same proportion as the se:lfmpIO)'cd caregorin oc Cupymg an C<:juivaknt posilion in the class Slructure. The reversal of ,he rd .v posillons of the commercial employe,! and derical workers. and also . the f.r workers and indus"ial manual workers. is I'Xplaincd bo,h by h r IntenSIfied schooling that is forel'd on the numerically <kclining ulego . <:5 (commercial cmployen, fa,m workers) and by the risc in the overall 1 characrcristics of rhese categoncs (seen. for example. in Iheil I'du qualtfic:ations) resulring from change in rheir internal SlTuctUr(" '11" ' " ns dlsperslon_nd. more precise:Jy. from the fact Ihat their lower :lve been particularly hard hil and have disappeared or reconvened. Ihr Si C hoollng rates shown in the graph ate probably overestimate!, since (iall allsllcs only take account o( young people living .t home. more espe doub" at low("r levels of the social hrcrarchy. The slight narrow In& I tan '0 1 which is pparent in lhe most recent period is due pudy rl<. 1 :U I1"Gn efft In Ihe highcst caregories and putly to tile fact ,hal S! 'nore the distribution of adolescents from diffelent cla.sscs be In ml( Courses that are IhemKlves strongly ...nkcd. Iktwecn 1968 1nd 1977 .0,] the proportion of industrial workers' children (who made up to rcent of the 17-ye:lr-old age groups ;n 1977) In rhe fifth grade of

tilt (iISC

n p.(,(o , n s and I'ClIctions whereby tach group suives 10 mai n tai n or (!I'llt ae: o s l osition in the soc:al sl((ure, or. more prc<:isely_t a stage p . . {!" ngcel'olution of class SOCIeties tn whtch one can conserve only by e 11\ Ih . O chanse SO 15 10 conserve. Frequently the actions whereby g I ehlns:;s (or elas:>; fraction ) works to win new adv2n tges i,e., to gain er classes and so, objC<:lively, fO reshape Ihl' ",11 . d n lge over the ot . obieClt reJauons belween fhe classes (fhe reJauons revtaled , , ure of Sin.t l Slalislical distributions of propcnies), are compenUted (or (and so t !ro' OUt ordinally) by the reactions of thl' O!hl'r classes. dirc<:led to n (1. rhe same objeclive. In this panicuJar ( thouSh very common) case. of these opposing aCtions. which cancel each Olher OUt by ..-:1 u!Come te countermovements which they generale. is an ove rall displace. t e ery nt of thl' structure of the distribution. hctween the classes or class nons. of Ihe aMelS at Slake in the competition (as has happened in

"ersion strategies arc nothing other than an aspect of the perma


of Ihe chances of univl'rsity I'ntrancl'-SCe tabll' I ' and figure 7).


, 1"ShC:lI I I rt /'(I'\


pipbmcnt of KhQOling rates of !6- 10 !g.yelf.()l<l. !9H-!9n -_._ JCnlOI u<:curiVd,

j,1t J/II141

Jpdft IIlId IIJ I rllllSjtJr'rIlIlIlOIlS /


" ... ". ".

ess 92 prof ion.

H ,

... ... .... ..; "' ..;

- ....

'0: ...

40 42



/ // /. manila! ....orkers , 4) /,

/,' / 62 /' /

/ employers


, fU1TIIe1S

derinl :and

commercial employees




farm ....orkelS


(The do"od linn in<licut the ..hooIi,.

t t a ..



lxtwrtn 1968 >n<I 191).)

of l8yt",,01<10


snu:: K'<ondary schooling n:m2med ConSt2n1 (.n.7 po=rccnt :lnd n.9 rcsp,,'ln. when:as Ihe proportion of SC'nlor execu{I"(S' lndl chIld ren ro5e from 1.4 po=rcen' 10 16.8 po=rccnL 1II0rwer, in " grade:. H.6 percen! of Ihe SC'nlor xecu{ics' :lnd I I in secllon C (scIentific). compared '0 20.6 children and H po=rcenl of Ihe mausmal ,,'olkers' childlen. only 9.8 po=rcenl of {he KnlOI C'xecu liv(S' :lnd prof(Ssion3lf childlen a '{edonie..!" SC'Clion. as 19a1nSI 24.6 po=rccnl of the firm workers' ana 28.7 po=lcenl of the mduwial workers' children. S,milar found Tn higher edUCUlon. ....hen: Sludents of working.ellW cfC'Olslngly releglled 10 til( lrtS and SCIence b""lti(S or to COUf:\C'S, when:as Ihe uppo=r.elass Sludents tend 10 be In aculties or. if academically less successful, in the medical f n.css school5. In the (OI:IC' of Ill( social SCIences. sclen,,6c discourse cannO! I condlllons of Its o....n <epllon This dcpo=ndS :lt all limes on the pn:vailing social problematic. which is itself ar kast pmly (1)(" reaClions 10 3n earlier f orm of thaI discourse. the irgumentS of my earliel "orks. Tht l"htrilQrs subsc<jUCnl rncareh has sho....n /0 erl on SIde "'Ith those who cfl"cie Ihm Wilhoul pic Irulhs ana an inability 10 think relationally. I 'i ' ; nOt a sufficient nplanation fOI nai"eties such lS th3f : , , In ml<idk-cI1S:5 Ie.::ruil!llem' 10 uni"ersili(S belween 19)0 I the bourgeois university had been transformed inlO OJ>(" , eludmg that mated by the middle dassesd' One only has 10 look at Ihe i faculriespo=ciaHy those of :inS and scien(ein the i I cducuion insfllutions by social origin of 'he" s,udcn,s fO kno.... ...haf Alain rhink of such .. $latisnul .nalySlS (highly pt:lliso:! t regn:ts thl1 " has no, hd Ih SU((C'SS II dncrvcs. proof of his greit knowledge of uniersity I t ....hich are situated at the 1 ....C'S, point of a fteld 0 gr.tndcs e.:olcs--'Olnd no.... even lo... el. 10 ludge from (Ill value of .he" dIplomas. 'han ,he- leas! presligious and mas. .he business sehools .h... h..ve prolifelated in .ecent O " h'' ' ' " ch..r:Ktcrisriu of dumping grounds. nOl leas. theil I : (and feminiul1on). It is as if Ihe "dcmoc{UiUlion' i I ... ele 10 be measured in .e.::hnial hIgh school in ,n Nor could anyone spok of a 'middk-class.oominlted uni"erslly had. consciously or unconsdously, confused Ihe level of rep!C'SC " ,, ,,," .he middle daS51:5 in the fiCuhysludenl popul..don ...i,h the ; : < ulty COlnncc for tIM> middle classes-in other ,,olds. confused the soci)1 composition of the fKulties wuh chlnge in lhe srrucrure ablliTlC'S of schooling, ) SlfUCIUn: ....hich has been shifled .eal ,nosfolmal1on.

160 / Fht iiClJTIomy o Pra(/utj J


'he inuial gaps :.tre mlinl3ini: in other words. ....hellC'ver Ihe u p f ",ch the inirill1y mosr disadlnta groups 10 come into po$" pt asset preiously poSSCSSC<l by groups immdialcly aboe . (he J.tefll S,on he SOCial h,erarchy or , mmedll(cly ahead of Ihem m the race are ortS o bc:mr.placed til'''' counterbalanced, al all level, b the eff . . ",ore miinuin .he scarelly and dlsnncflveness of .helr a5SC't!. One rOupS u ; struggle which rhe sale of leiters of nobility provoked g Ihe .hinks in the sccond half of Ihe sixtccnth cen e English aristocr.lcy long ,n ring a sdf.sustaining process of inHanon and devalualion of ur . I d , } (f ' The lowesl litlts, such as esquire or arms, were the first to be II which ....as devalued so fas, Ihar ,)ld( o f lowed by Ihe rank of knighl. a st holders had . to pres for the crealion of a new .title. that of jf (he ld IlIle. whtch 61led the gap betWCCn knIght and peer t Bu( this new f(1lm. was seen as a ,hn:u by the holders of the higher rank.

t ' 0 cSS \


;i : ; ;

; : :

i b:ro;:: Ihe ceruin depcmkd o :h alueconspire rummaintainig aholders bydislane:}<g Thusmb , aC<jumn Ihe the eXlstmg n "corners ' :hiCh mide: them rare; the suresl w:.ty dellu e :l tilk nobility is 10 holders, for their pan. objt< rchue tt as a commoner. The existing litlcs Il>C"m in f''dy dc"alue Ihe newcomers eilher by abandoning Iheir among Ihe litle erenccs r:.rrer ones, or by intrOOudng diff
10 .. 10



order 10 pursue holders linked to seniority in acceSSIOn to the tide (such as the manner s ofpo:sseslOg il). It follows thn all the groups il'l\'ol"ed in rhe race, ....har . e C\'er rank Ihe}' occupy. cannOI consc. .. rheir position, their r:.rriry, 'heir rank xcep' by running 10 kt"C:p Iheit distance from th immedialely

behind them. thus jeopardizing the difference which dislinguishes Ihe group immediately in front: or, to PUI il anOlher way, by aspiring to po$"

:; ;

50.! thaI "'hieh the group jusl ahead allady have, sd,'C'S will have, but laler.

and ....hich they them

The holders of Ihe r:.rreSI tirles can Iso prolCI themselves from com ptUlton by scning u p a numerus clausus. Such measures generally

....heneer the srreng.hs and etrorn of Ihe groups compo=.ing for a lyPC of isset or entitlement tend to ballncc one anolhe( oul. as in in which. ..fter SC'ries of bursIS in whiCh various runners forge 'h''''

A similar process of homotbetic deelopment seems 10 take

-- -

br.;omc necessar whenever rhe statistical mt<hanisms 'norma11y' pro y tc(flng .he group are found 10 be inadequale. The laiSS({bire which is ma'nt1lned so long s It discreetly protccrs Ihe mleres.s of Ihe privileged roup IS repllced oy a conscious prolcctionism, which nlls on institu IOnJ r do o opo=nly whal sccmingly neutral mechanisms did inisibly. To teC( themsclvcs against eKcC'SSie numbers. the holders of rare ,irlcs re lObs must defend a definition of rite job which is nothing other !h n t e def ,nition of those who occupy the posinon al a given Slale of t It: 1110nso lp bet"'ccn titles and jobs. Dccbring that the doctor, the 1rch t t Or the professor of rhe r Ulur mus, be ....hat they are ,OOay, i.e., "h1 t themselvcs arc. they wrile into Ihe definition of Ihe poSI. f or 111 te ty all the propcnics il derives from its small number of occu' Pnts . such as lhe K<ond..ry propo=wcs aSSOCIated with sc"ere sel CCtion , 'lJclu(j . '-<1(j ng hIgh social origin). thaI is, Ihe hmils pbced on compo=mion Ihe Changes it would bring In pI)cc of .a{istical bouOlbrics. which \c..ve gloups surrounded by

: : ;"' o.:

the 'hybrid' zone of which Plato speaks apropos of the boundary " ;:, and non.being, and which chalkngt'! the discriminatory : uxonomies (Young or old? Urban or rUI';II? Rich OT I : ; I or 'Iower.middle,?), thc numerus clausus, in Ihc extreme for it m ory Jaw, SCtS sharp, uirhmcrical limits. In pbcc from discriminat ciplo$ of selection, of inclusion and exclusion, based Ofl a "'";,:; fairly closely interrelated and normally implicit eritcria, it sets up an sdtutionalittd and therefore consdou$ and organize<! process of rion and discrimination, b:utd on a singk criterion (no women, Jews, or no blacks) which le:aves no room for miscl:assifiCltion. In thc most select groups prefer 10 avoid thc brutality, Of ;: : , mosures and 10 combine thc chums of Ihc apparent , , which allows Ihc members Ihc illusion of denion on grounds sanal uniqueness, with the Ctrlaint;es of selection, which ensu mum group homogtlltity.

: ::

: ;,;;:

Smut dubs preserve their homogeneity by subjecting upinnt to ry striCt procc.:lun ao of candidatull:, a recomod" ;OO' sentuion (in the litenl sense) by sponsors who have bers for a cerrain number of years. dection by The inidal special committee, payment of sometimes very high (,OOO francs per person li the Cerclc du Bois de Boulogne in fnncs al the SaintCloud Golf Club in 19n), plus The annual ,;;b;;,';;; (2,OO fnncs at Saim Cloud) lind 50 on. In facl, il would be pointless seck to discover whether the formal rules, which aim IOO"e all ,he group against oUlSiders (not so much other classes. which afe from the start, as other fractions of the same class, or even prove bers of the same fnoion) and on i tended to disguise the arbitrariness the conspicuous arbitminess which makes election a maner of i Aair is intended to disguise the official rules. 'We rake you if we Ii '0." took of you (C'tSl .. 14 lit, a" rli",, ),' uid one dub chairman; and 'Theil: arc clubs whet(' you need tWO sponsors and they accept almOSt Oil(: 'here are others with twO sponsors where: they're very chOOSY." ::: ; t on the quality of the sponsors: 'Normally you , everything depends 'WIit tWO or thrtC rs; with good sponsors, you don't 'WIil a< all' ber of the management committee, Cercle du Bois de Boulogne). although membership is not officially heitary, a ,,,,", plies to join the Cef(le du Bois de Boulogne will elder brother is a member. All the evidence suggeSIS that ber of them are: officially orvnired around some which is often a fC pretet (golf, polo, hunting, riding, sailing etc.), smm dubs (ItS d,,1n 'hia) are: 0f>P0$N " '1'";' ' ....ho5c members are: defined by po5SC$$ion of I common property ( fo' de la Voile de flaris), in That ' pk:, a yacht in the cue of the Ccrde ""''' account of ,he ....hole social person; and the more: pratigious they " , interats the mOil: concerned they at(' to achieve a total harmony of


Club. the Cercle (for 'Irnple, the Jockeythis is tile case. du Bois de Boulogne or "-u Ccrcle), ,he morc only come from t is,social rality .of he ciTeria of sekcrion (an in advance as ]..t f'I :c. lhe from an obI'Xuficarlon of what IS Il:fuscd ,hi o<It51', C ,na vulgar, the group is able to persuade itself thaI ;t$ own uC; is buC<.I on no Olher principle lilan an indefinabk sense of propri :h;h only .memrship can pr,:"ull:. The mincle of mutual election elf. ,-d pcrfcc,,n wnh .gup5 ?f rntelle:C1uals, who are: not $0 naive as to ,chit' co:k the minmal ob)CC,ficat,on r'<!ullcd to fo a lub. ause lhey . (lUSI rn Ihe quasI-mystICal seruc of paru"p:mon whICh docs in cd" hC:ir h /J" p .kline t e" participants, the e_cluded outsiders (who nnnat even prove exclusive group e_ccpr involuntarily, th<ough ,heir de drc<I Istenee of the they 1IIempt 10 It) nd up ilting g:tin5t windmills "ons orinVI:sble burlers whICh separate them when the elcct. Intcllec, from ,out the: I arly Ihe. t p<esligious ones, Ill: extraordinarily im rgroups,. paticul. ThIs IS not only because one has to belong in o.der obJUuficlllon. :une 10:I praClinl mastery of ,he mechanisms of membership; it is also be hi''': canflO( objectify the intellectual ga ....ithout putting at sllke Ciu one 's o....n stake in the gamc--<a <isk ....hich is al once derisory and absolute. one


of downdassing and updassing which underlies a whole set of social proceues presupposes and entails thlll all Ihe grou con rned run in the same direction, toWard the me objectives, the same propt'tlies, those which af( designated by the leading group and which, by defini,ion, are unavailable to the groups following, since, whatever th ropert.ies may be intrinsically, Ihey arc modified and qualified by thell dllInCtlVe nrity and will no longer be what they arc once they are: multlplrcd and made available to groups lower down. Thus, by an ap plrt:nt pndox, the mainlCnllncc of order, (hat IS, of the whole SCt or frs, di,ffell:nces, 'differentials' . ranks, pre<:edcncc:s, prio<ilies. e_clusions. IStonctlons. ordinal properties, and thus of the relations of order which 81 a social formation its structure, is provided by an unceasing chan8e bstantia.1 (i.e., non.relaional) properti.es. This implies that the social CSt bhshcd ordc: , n order ofat any gIven moment IS lIlso necessarily a lemporal )lUt succions', as Leibniz pt it, C<lCh group havin8 as ils : , grouP ImmedIately below and for liS future rhe 8rouP immcdi lle1 abovc (one IY sees the atlracrion of evolutionist models). The (om. toUPS.are: scparafcd by differences which are essentially located in , 'he 8. 'uer of lime. It ident that mil;, is so important in Ihis system. The impost tlot) htnc t ltmacy which occurs through the compe.itive StT U8,!;ie and is l d"'t pre: Y.th.c gende violence of cuhura.t missionary work tends 10 prote slon, 9Uttly satsfyil'I in the sense: of a need which pre-c:xiSIS {he me:.ans of ade tho: 1Tl0 ' g. And in a social Ordcl which acknowlcdgcs {hat even , & IIIs{ depnvc.:l have {he right to every satisfaction, bIll only in ,he l1, the only aIlemauves are (=<11, wh' h allows immttlilile el1;oy, ' IC

The dialec,ic



j 164 / 'fht /:.co'lomy o l'racllus

mem of the promisl goods but implies l((tplnce of a future merdy the (Ominultion of the past, or the 'imiluion'-m<.k cars, mock luury holidays md so on, Bu[ (he dialectic of downclassing and upclassing is p funClion also as an ideological mechni5m, whose dfec s

,,-. .,.

discourse strives to imensify, E1;pec;lty when rhey compare e labJishes a diff' rence which, like that which separ.lles

twecn the classes in the order of succions,

are exposed [0 [ conditions wilh rheir past, {he dominated sion that [hey have only to wail in order (0 realilY, they wilJ oblain only by struggle, By situating the


; generations, lik(' [he petit bourgeois who extend [heir own f , ,: ;: : th rough their children) but also [he mOSt unreal tr:.ljcctories

not only [h(' most absolute and unbridgClbk (since Ihere is t do bUI wait. sometimes a whole lif('time, lik(' [he pelit bourgeois quire {heir own houses a[ [he momem of retiremem, somecim('S cent (since a person knows that if he can W1l;t, he will in

successor in a social order governed by w(,lJddined ruks

whu he is promised by the ineluctable laws of evolution), In [he competitive struggle makes ev('rlasting is not diff'er('m
but the diff'erence betwttn conditions.


m, do nOI nco:ssarily threaten the survival of the yslem; , lng ,he !iS{y gap and the corresponding fruSlrations arc the very s;I [ruclu ral re , !r he reproduCtion through displacement which perpetuatC$ the c rc0 sD of posi rion$ while transforming the 'nature' of conditions, r strU' bcCOmC$ clClT that those who point to what might be called I[ l properties and speak of the 'embourgcoiscment' of the working , ,,, ,lIna : .. e who try to refute them by pointing to ordinal properties, and Ihos laSS, are that the conuadictory aspectS of reality which they c aJ 1y unaw o ,rr in faCt indissoluble dimensions of a single process, The repr nalaf( a tltt' social structure can take place in and through a compeli. llon of d C ,.ggle leading [0 a simple displacemcnt of [he structure of ,. ' . ns, so long and only SO long as the members 0f [he domlll1[cd ' d,SIflbutio . ' suugs,e III eXlen"",d order, hat IS, through actIOns and dJSS(S enter the , lly, by thc eternal eff' clS e tiOM which art compounded only sl1usuca ('xert on th(' actions of others, in [he abscnc(' ch rhe aCtions of som(' f : any in[craction or rransa(lio, a d consequently in conditions of,ob ["'ifY, withou colle(llve or mdlvldual control and generally agamst . . , . rilt lntS' IOdlVldual and collective mteres[s.




J '-' . " " "" " " i



The limiting usc of these procesSC$ of su[;stical action is panic or tOUl, in

Collective and indIvidual delay has social consequences which furlhcr plicate this process, Relatively la[e arrival nor only reduces rhe d." i enloymeO!; il abo impliC$ a less bmilia!, less easy' relallonshlp ro ily or 15SCr in q estion which may have [cchnical rhe use of a car--or symbolic ones-in and al50 represeO! (he disguised e(juivaJcnt , rhe value of the aSSl:r or aCtivity lies in fhan i rhe deady linked fO exclusive or priority acccu) ""ho have an isfacllOfls i[ gives, The vcndall of goods and in [hese effcc[s of allodoxia, exploi[ these lags, offering, o;'.::: In the caSl: of holidays), or when they are our of fashion ties), ar the ' which have their ful! value

orming actions in ears by perf ,,'hich each an[ hclp$ to produce what he f Ij>lrtd by the fcared efl'cc[ (as in financial panics), In all [hese cases, rhe col Itcr;"t action, the mere sta[istiul sum of uncoordinued individual lCiions. b<b 1(} a collecrive result irreducible or hOSlile [0 rh collec[ive inteteSts lnd cn 1 the particular inte!CSts pUlSued by the individual actions, This 0 IS dearly wlltn rhe demonliu[ion produced by a pessimistic picture of rbe future of a class connibute5 [0 It.c decline of that class; in a number of )'s, the membelS of a declining daS$ contribure to the collective decline, I e rhe craftsmen who pus their children rhrough school while complain. h hl[ the cducuionll sYStem people from entering rhe :

diseourages young

Change, structure and history, reproduction and rh 'production dety", The real basis of such deba[es is the refusal w

II Once [hi$ mechani$rn i$ umkrstood, one perccivC$ the abur1c[ debates which arise fwm the opposilion of permanence

soci1 contradictions and strugslC$ arc nOt all, or always, in

with the perperua[ion of the C$tablished order; rha[, beyond C$CS of 'thinkin$ in pairs', permanence can be ensured by h structure perpetuated by mo"ment; that the 'frustrated which a (rea[ed by the [ime-lag between the imposition accC$s to needs (,mus[s, as [he marketing men PUt it)


',",;: :;;

. Compcullve struggle is [he form of class Struggle which the dom In ed claS$cS allow fO be imposed on them when they accept the s[ak('S , by Ie domInant classes, It is an inregrnh<e siruggle and, by vir rllO: f the Inilial handicaps. a rcproduCfive s[ruggle, since those who tt h chase, in which they are belten btf ore they start. as the con, srf)(/ '; the gaps tcstific:s, implicitly recognize the legitimacy of the Boals pO 't Yrsucd by lOose whom Ihey pUlSue, by the mere fact of raking


J.tvln8 CSt2b ' hshed the logic of the proc('Sscs of competit on (or roul) C%f) den each agtnt [0 react in isolation to rhe effect of the tl C1 tlo I C ns of olher agenu, or, more predsdy, 10 the result of [he tahsllclJ regation of their isolated actions, and which reduce the (I 10 r gg state of a mass dominated by its own number, one can po:se

166 / TIN I!.()nomy oJ JJra(/I(tJ

rhe question, much debated at present ",, ; hi5!Olians,}' of th : ,!;; : e lions (economic crisis, economic crisis a period of and so on) in which the dIalectic of mutually chances and subjective aspirations may bre2k down. that an abrupt slump in objcctive chances relat;ve [0 {Ions is likely 10 produce a break in (he tacit ac(tpUnc( I irmcd elmes-now abrupdy excluded from Ihe race, objectivcj subjcCf;vdy-prcviously granted to the dominant goals, and so toY possible a genuine Invtrsion of the table of values.

Tbe Habitus and tbe Space of Life-st[es

The mere (act Ihal rhe social space described here 0,11 be prcS(nted as a diagram indkaus that it is an abstract rcprcS(ntllion, dclibc:rately con )t!ucre<l, like a map, (0 give a bird's-eye view, a point of view on the whole SCI of points from which ordinary agents (including the sodolo gist and his !"Mder, in their ordinary behaviout) see the social world. Bringing together in simultaneity, in the scope of a sin le glance-this is ;: It! h(uristic value---positions which [he agcnts nn never apprehend in thcir torality and in [heir multiple relationshLps, social space is 10 the Pr:lctical spacc of everyday life, with its distanct$ which arc kept or sig, nailed, and neighbours who may be more remote than strangers, what geOR1wical spac( is to the 'travelling spacc' (tJpa(( IxJdologique) of ordi nuy (xperience, with irs gaps and discontinuitit$. But the most crucial thing to notc is thar the Guesrion of this spacc is Within the space itself-that the agenrs have points of vicw on this ,e II , t( Vl space which depend on their position within it and in which wl ] t!\e'l ords [0 transform or conserve ir is often cxpresse<l. Thus many of Which SOCiology uses 10 designate the classes it constructs are k. W '-'QIIowed from Or ' nary _, m usagc, where rhey serve 10 cxpress the (genenlly ' f'ok Iew thaI one group has of anOlher, As if carried away by thei 'CI.I) V the 'o es[ or gre:l.ter objectivity, sociologists almost always forget thaI 1 ticcs b JeqS they classify produce nOl only objectively dassifiabk pne th.:fllkt also classifying oper:oIIions that are no less objectivc and are [ lta<ls ves dassifiable, The division inro classes performed by sociology O e antofcommon rOOt of Ihe c1assifiablc pucriccs which agents prothe c1assifintory judgemems they make of other agems'




pr:anices nd their own. The hbitus is both the gener:ltiv objcrively dassifiabl judgemms and th system of ri pium dillisirmis ) of these pr:actices. It is in the rebtionship tWO capacities which define the habitus, the cap:idty 10 able practices and works, and the capacity 10 dilfcremiale nd these practices and products (tute), that the represented i.e.. the space of life.styles, is constituted. 1be relationship that is actually established between the char::llCleristio of economic and social condition (capital composition, in both synchronic and diachronic aspects) and the tive f aturtS auociued with the cormponding position in the of life-styles only bomes intelligible wh<-n th<- habitus is """ ; ormula which makes it possible to accoum both th<- gener::lltive f classifiable pr:aClices and pro<!ucu and for the judgemcots, .h,_ classified, which make these pr:actices and works into a system tive signs. When one spaks of the niSH.)Cr:atic asceticism of the pretension of the petite bourgeoisie, one is not only groups by one, or even the most important, of their endeavouring to name the principle which gener:ates II and all rheir judgemems of their. Ot other people's, habitus is necessity internalized and converted into a I generates meaningful pr:anices and meaning"giving perceptions; il gcner:al, transposable disposition which carries Out a systematic, application---beyond the limits of what has been directly necessity inhtnt in the learning conditions. That is why an whole SCt of pr:actices (or those of a whole SCI of agms produced ilar conditions) are both systemtic, inasmuch as they are the p the application of identical (or imcrchangeable) schemes, ( cally distinct ftom the pr:actices constituting another lifestyle. Because different conditions of existence produte differem h,b; systems of gener:ative $Chemes applicable, by simple Ir:ansfer. 10 the varied areas of pr:acticc-the pr::llctices engendeml by Ihe diffn:m the i appear as systematic configur:ations of properties the ences objectively inscribed in conditions of eistence tems of diR"cn:ntial deviations which, when perceived by agents with the schemes of perception and appriation necessary in order identify, interpn:t and (Valuate their perritH:"nt f eatures, function styles (5 figure 8).' The habitus is nOt only a structuring structure, which tices and the perception of pr:actices, but also a principle of division into logical classes which orpnill:S the of Ih<- social world is ilSd( the product o( imernaliZ)tion into soc ial classes. ch elm condition is defined, imultancously. intrinsic properties and by the relational properties which il deries it position in the syS!(1I1 of class conditions. which is also 1

I I f r.UI'''' J " N ''' I





I-bbd... t

""=,,," """" ...

"".m of
... (", .')


r of cWsi Kd and dossify,.., p'KtIC", i. . , distinct;" lie'" f' ... ..)


.....,. .


....,""" of ;I"II(C 1 ...


It ... l .'

differences. diff rcmial positions, i.e. by everything which e it from what It is not and especially from everything i t I'" i1 demit! is efinw and assc:rtd th:ugh diffcrence. I ffiClII$ . . . InevItably JIlswbed wlfhlll the dlsposmons of thc habitus is the structure of the system of conditions. as it pres<:nu itself in "'Co, ence of a life-condition occupying a particular position within ture. The most f undamemal oppositions in the snucture rich/poor ere.) rend to establish themselves as the fundamemal . ing principles of practices and rhe perception of . As a practicegcneraring sehemes which epresses the and freedom inherem in its class condirion the i ing that position. thc habitus apprehends differences between which it grasps in the form of differences between classified. pracdces (products of other habitus). in accordance with diff remiuion which, being themselves the product of Ihese e are obctivcly aHuned to them and therefore tcnd to perceive natural.

172 / Tht Elonomy 0/ Pr411iltJ


observer who divide!! a population imo elana performs an which has ils equivaknl in social practice. If he is nor aware likely 10 prescnt a more or los modifiro form of a i scienlinc classincalion (a number of 'typologies' are precisely this). tion, he has no chance of bringing 0 the level of conS(iousnas the 1 status of his clmifying operadons which, like native knowledge, ,;, conncctions and comparisons and which. even ....hen they seem to the realm of social ph)1ics. in faC! produce and interpret SignifYing tiOlls. in shorr, to lhe order of the


tively harmonized among themselves, wirh?ul any deliber ..riIt Ire objec y orcheslt:lte<l, wlthour any con )5 p rSull of coherence' and objectivel of rhe same cIus. The ,t U conc,rlalion' with Ihooc of all members . . S Cl s oll conrinuously generates pracncal mctaphols, thaI IS to say. trans ,bltU only one eample) or, ":,ore which the mnsrer of otor habitS is . . jtrS (0 the particular condLtlons s stemadc tt:lnsposlnons reqUIred by habitus is 'put into pt:lClice (so that, for example. Ihe as \Io'hlc t e In be eJfpct:tw always to eJfPrcss iuelE in saving ( cthOS . which might ' " --' . l ; cct " ,onteXI. eJfPrcss lise'" Ln a parucuIaf way 0 uSlIlg Cll Utl) . . y, in a g" ices of the same agent, and. more generally, the pt:lWces of all 1hc prac' affinity which makes each of , . , SlIme class owe (he stylistic age OIS 0 IrI __ .... of the olhus !O the fact that they are the p" . . ,,,,m a metaphor of any field to another. of the same schemes of action from one ' , uct 0, lrJ.nsfcrs 1 = " . tsposlnon ca 1-" nandwrmng, a _. ' , paradigm would be the d' ' An ""vtOU . lracing leucrs which a ways produces tne same writing, SlnguIar 'f, of . ' " C forms ....hich in spite of,1I the d merences 0, SIze, matenaI or L ,. ent pen blackboard) or the IIlsrrum colour due to the surface (paper or dLfferent :st of muscles-prestnt an r o chalk)-in spitt, therefore, of the wiardy perceptible family restmblance, Irke all the features of style 1nner whereby a painlCr or wriler can be recognized as infallibly as a

f prt'Isc:I

_ "


man by his walk.


JxquC$ Riviere calls the hnrth of mental activity', in ...hich the original .

True pastiche. as Prous! docs it, for eample, reproduces not !.he mOSt, Strik ,ng fe:aturcs a style-like p;arody or nr;cuurut the habllu$, ....hICh
ducoulSC is generated: 'We are amused to $a: each writer n:sU!recled"
,.."h hiS whole personality and, faced ....ith an eV(flt he hu n("Ver upen . . ....<:d. ruct jus. as he did '0 those which Irk brought him. The he nh of hit mental aCl\vity is rc:kindled, the limp relil in his br.lin:' of

While it mUSt be rC1SSCffed. againsr all forms of , nary eperience of rhe social world is a cognition. ir is e<:Jually i to realize-<onrrary to (he illusion of the spontaneous I consciousness which 50 many (heories of the awakening of class . sciousness' (pM di ltmltimu) amount ro--that misrecognition, recognilion of an order which is I Ln mind. lifestyles are thus the systematic products of hbitus, which, ceived in their mutual relations through the S(hemes of the come sign systems (hat are socially CJualified (as distinguished', etc.). The diakctic of conditions and habitus is the basis of an I ....hich tt:lnsforms the distribution of capital, the balancesheet relarion, into a system of perceived differences, dislinctive is. a disuibution of symbolic capill. legilimate capital, rruth is misrecognized, optratum) which a slfuCiuring . As structured produCls (modus optrandi) produces through rett:lnslarions according cific logic of the different fit/tis, all the pracrices and products of f '



SYSlematicity is found in the opus operatUm because it is in the modus Opel1l.ndi.' [I is found in all the propertind property-with which viduals and groups surround themsdves, hou!;CS. f milUre, paintin , ks. can, spirits, cigarettes, perfume. clothes, and III the practices III "'hLch they manifest their distinClion. sports, games, entertainments. only beca use it is in the synthetic unily of the habitus, the unifying, gen ' eltle . . . rrnCJpIe of all practices. Taslc. InC propenSLty and capaCIty 10 rDJ>l1a te (materially or symbolically) a given elm o.f classified. dmi. $I: g ob . IS or practices is lhe generative formula of !rCestyk, a umrary . t In t diStinctive pferences ....hich eprcss the same eplC$sivc intention specific logic of each of the symbolic sub-spaces, furniture. clolh Inll I anguage Ot body heis, Each dimension of life.style 'symbolizes "It . 1he others, in L.cibnizs pht:lse. and sym lilcs them. An old cabin lll'1 . e akef's . ....orld vicw. the way he maMges hIS budget, hts lime or hIS



/ "X

J t:."'''''ry


body, his use of langage and choio: of clolhing a("(" fully p nt ethIC of scrupulous, Impeccable cr:Jftsmanship and in the work for work's sake which leads him fO measu("(" the beaU ty UCfS by Ihe cue and patience thu have gone into them. :", The system of matChing properties, which includes p ,:: -: : : of a 'wlI.matced couple', and friends like fO say have tUtes-IS organtzed by tlSte, a system o( da.ssificafOry sche may only very partially become conscious although, as o fists social hicr:Jrchy, lifesryk is incrtasingly a mmer of what 'slylizalion o life', T:lS!e is the basis of Ihe mutual adjuslment , "m eatures associated WIth a person , which the old aesthetic '"', .;.; f for the sake of Ihe mutual reinforcement they give one anOI tr: . ' c coum"css plCCes 0f Imormanon a person consciously or imparts endlessly underline and confirm one anOlher, off ring e observer the same pleasure an anlover derives ffOm Ihe correspondences produced by a harmonious diStribution 0 The overdetermination tha, results from the rWundancil"S is t more str?ngly because the different f eatures which have fO be ;",11 servauo or mureme ! st.rongly In terpene!l'2te in ordinary . . lion ea.'h uem of mfo?,"allon Imparted In pr:JCfice (e.g., a ' . : a p;:nnung) IS conlam.nucd---and, if it deviates from the ture, corl"C([eO-by the efl"C(:t o( [he whole set of f ealu, .. ' , " Simu taneously perceived. That is why a survey which tends 10 i f C;ltufor example, by disSOCiating the things said from the way are sad-and detach them (rom the system of correlative f C;lWrtS 10 minimize the deviation, on each point, between the u th. between [he J:"tit bour is and [he bourgeois. In II . allons of bourgeoiS hfe, b:a nalltics aboul an, liter:J[ure or cinema scpar:Jble ftom [he steady tone, the slow, casual diction the d;,,,. , self.assurW smile, the mC;lSurcd gesture, the wdl. tailo r d suit and bourgeois salon of the person who pronounces them,




;:: ;

': ;,1:;:

Thus, lacunae can {urn into n:fusals and confusion midc.:l?S. BourgNis rrspondcms puticubrly distinguish [hm ab.lity [0 conuol the JUr'lll1' sinmiOrl (and should take this into 1(coun[). Comtol over the i i i cultun: opelatcs i given to [hem by [he very un<:<lually distribu[cd to adop[ [he relation to language which is called for in all situa.ions lite convcrution (e.g., cha[tcr about cinema Or .r:tvd), and which poses an an of skimming, sliding and masking, making abundan{ . . the h.nges, hllen and q alifiers i<icn{ificd by linguists ; ,h"..."".,,;, bourgeois


. ions; il r:Jiscs [he diffen:nces insctibed in [he physical order of form ob I[ t',lns. symbolic order of sign.ificam distinctios: t whICh a class COndillOn slgmflCS llself bodid 'l:iSSificd pnctices, in pr:Jctices, that is. imo a symhc eKp [.eiY t:lSle), into claSSifying, . . j(' h and IrI by percelvlllg them IrI lhelr mutual rela(lons (!rOug,bss position. S?urce of thc sys o classifica[ory schemes. Tasre, is thus [he s IrOn . f ocial Ch canno[ fall to be perceived as a, system el[u ' 'nct o( dSI/ ive f res whI , , <",' ' 1I10ns 0f eXIStencc. I C., lS a f cond" ((f"I on of a particular class 0 e rcssi who posses pr:Jclical knowledge of [he JIll x lifc-style, by anyone d!S[I"'{I s belween distinctive signs and positions in !he diSlribu p [ ctive propenics. --:hich i brought. to fdl twecn the universe of obje e universe of hfe [Ion (OnsuuClion, and the no less obJcctlV y scientific b nce, light as such for and through ordinary experie which exiStS 1cS: rnalization ry syStem. which is the product of the inte nlls classificato Im I( 't " pm.ges thtugh ' . ofsocial space. in the ' rm In wh' h the Sl/UClUn: l,mits of icular position ,I .Ihat space..15, wlthm !he . cpelicnce of a part lilt oSSIbilities (whICh It lends to reptoduce ib nomic """ ilides and imp r-0f,0 IUSICd to [11C regu"antICS ' , the ""ner:Jtor 0f practices ad' , in ItS own logic), " orms necesslt.es intO SIl1ItC n, II continuously Hansf hcn:n ' in a conditio without any. mccanical dCler:ni. cons[r:Jints into prefcrences, and, . lln hfe:styles. whICh cr-lles thc sel of 'choices' const!tu . nation, i[ gen . . their poslllon m I system of [heir meaning. i e , thcir valuc, from denve . made of necessity which con oppositions and correlatiOns " It is a virtue virtuc by inducing choices' whICh Itn o sly tr:Jnsforms neceSSIty into product. As on be secn correspond [0 [he condition of which i! is the condi ...hcnever a change in social position puts thc habitus into new taste of tlons, so thai i[s specific efficacy can be isolated, it is tlSl(-{he c which S l\t(eSlly or the laste of luxury-and not high or low incom . Through [t.(: pr:Jclices ob;cctivdy adjus[cd to these: tesources taste, an agenl has what hc likes because: he likes what he has, thai is. the P[opctliC$ actually given to him in the distributions and IcgilimalCly as SlgJlCd to him in the classifications.!

. '.. . ....... .




Tht Homology between the S m pa


Taste is the practical operator of the tr:Jnsmutation of ;:":,;::: . tinct and discinctive signs, of continuous distributions IIItO

lkanng in mind gener:J all thai pn:cedes' in palliculal [he faCt that Ihe . . tWe 1(11 emes of [he habilus are applred. by Simple tr:Jnsfer. to the mGS[ . dl1tllIla p r a("("as of pr:JClice, one can immediately undcrstand thaI [he lc s or g.oods 3ssocia[(d with [hc different classes in Ihe diff ren.t e e a: . StruCtures of oppos o [IOn f practice are organize.:! in accordance WIth "'hlcn are homologous (O one anOlher because they are all homolc) s to I Structure of objc<ti,'c oppositions between class conditions. WI/h whole of Ih (lu[ presuming 10 demonSlr:Jle hen: in a few pages what [he sh-but leSt [he reader t fail I 'Cli of this work will endeavour to cs[abli (} [he wood for the ItCCS of detailed analysis-I shall merely indi-

1 76

/ The Economy o Practices f

The Habitus and the Space of Lif e-Styles /

1 77

cate , very sche mat icall y, how the two maj or orga nizi ng prin cipl es o f the sOCI al space gov ern the stru cture and mod ifica tion of the space of . Cult ural con sum ptio n, and , more gen eral ly, the who le universe of l i fe-st yles . . In cult ural con sum ptlo n, rhe mam opposi tion , by ove rall capi tal val . ue, IS between the prac tice s deSI gna ted by thei r rarit y as dis ting uish ed, thos e of th fraC tion s nch est In both econ omi c and cult ural capi tal, and the prac tice s SOCi ally iden ti ed as vulg ar beca use they are both easy and com mon , thos e ? f the fraC tion s poo rest in both thes e respects . In the in ter med iate pos itIOn are the ract ices whi ch are perceived as preten tiou p s, because of the man Ifest dIsc repa ncy between amb ition and pos sibil ities . In opp oSIt IOn to the dom mated con ditio n, char acte rize d, from the poin t of Vlew of the dom man t, by the com bina tion o f forced pov erty . and un J usti fied laxi ty, the dom man t aest heti c-o f whi ch the wor k of an and the aes thet ic dIsp OSI tIOn are the n ost com plet e emb odim ents-p ropo : ses the com bma tlO of ease and aSCe tiCis m, I.e., self- imposed aust erity , rest rain t, reserve whI Ch are affirmed In that abso l ute man ifest atio n of exce : llen ce rela xatI On In tens ion . ' Thi s fund ame ntal opposit ion is spec ified acco rdin g to capi tal com . pos i tIOn . Thr oug h the med iatio n of the mea ns of appropr iatio n avai labl e to them , excl USIv ely or pnn Clpa lly . . . cult ural on the one han d , mai n I y econom Ic on the othe r, and the diffe rent form s of rela tion to works of an whI ch resu lt from them , the diffe rent frac tion s of the dom inan t clas s are one nted towards cul tura l ract ices so diffe rent in thei r styl e p and object and som eti mes so an tagol11st lc ( thos e of 'arti sts' and 'bou rgeo is' ) 6 that it IS easy to forget that they are vari ants o f the sam e fun dam enta l rela tion shIp to necessity and to tho se who rem ain sub ject to i t, and that each pursues the excl USIve app ropr iatio n of legi tima te cult ural goo ds and the aSSO Ciate d sym bol IC profi ts. Wh ereas the dom inan t frac tion s of the dom nan t class ( the 'bou rgeo isie' ) dem and of art a hig h degree of den ial f . the SOCI al world and mcl me tow ards a hed oni stic aest heti c of ease and fa Clht, symbolI zed by bou levard thea tre or I mpr essi onis t pain ting ' the dommated frac tion s ( the 'i ntel lect uals ' and 'art ists' ) hav e affin ities Wit h the ascetIc aspect o f aest hetl.ss and are incl ined to sup por t all arti stic revo lutI ons con duc ted m the nam e of purity and purifica tion , refu sal of os tent atIo n and the bou rgeois taste for orn ame n t; and the disp osit ions owards the SOCI al wor ld whI Ch th y owe to thei r stat us as poo r rela tion s . . nclm e then to wel com e a peSS ImI stIC represen tatio n of the soci : al wor ld Wl l1le It IS clea r that art offers it the greatest scop e, ther e is no . area o f practIce In whI Ch the m tent lOn of pur ifyin g, refin ing and sub lim atin facI !e Impulses and prim ary nee ds can not assert itse lf, o r in . whi ch th styh zatl on of hfe, I.e. , the prim acy of form ove r fun ctio n, whi ch lead s to the denIal of fun ctio n, does not pro duc e the same effects. I n lang uage, it gIves the opp oSIt IOn between pop ular ou tspo ken ness and the hig hly cen sored language of the bou rgeo is, between the exp ress ion ist pur suit of the plctureSljUe or the rhetoncal _ effect and the cho ice of res trai nt and false

simplicity ( l itotes ) . The same economy of means is found in body lan guage: here too, agitation and haste, grimaces and gesticulation are op posed to slowness-'t e slow gesturs, the s low gla ce' o nobili :y, . according to Nietzsche -to the restrall1t and ImpassIvIty whIch slgl11fy elevation. Even the field of primary tastes is organized according to the fundamental opposition, with the antithesis between quantity and qual ity, belly and palate, matter and manners, substance and form.
FORM A N D SUBSTANCE The fact that in the realm of food the main op position broadly corresponds to differences in income has masked the sec ondary opposition which exists, both within the middle classes and within the dominant class, between the fractions richer in cultural capital and less rich in economic capital and those whose assets are structured in the opposite way. Observers tend to see a simple effect of incom in the fact that, as one rises in the social hierarchy, the proportion of Income spent on food diminishes, or that, within the food budget, the propor tion spent on heavy, fatty, fattening foods, which are also cheap--pasta, potatoes, beans, bacon, pork-declines (C.S. XXXI I I ) , as does that spent on wine, whereas an increasing proportion is spent on leaner, ligh ter ( more digestible ) , non-fattening foods ( beef, veal, mutton, lamb, and espec ially fresh fruit and vegetables ) . 8 Because the real principle of prefer ences is taste, a virtue made of necessity, the theory which makes con sumption a simple function of income has all the appearances to support it, since income plays an important part in determining distance from ne cessity. However, it cannot account for cases in which the same income is associated with totally different consumption patterns. Thus, foremen re main attached to 'popular' taste although they earn more than clerical and commercial employees, whose taste differs radically from that of manual workers and is closer to that of teachers. For a real explanation of the variations which J. F. Engel's law merely records one has to take account of all the characteristics of social condi tion wh ich are ( statistically ) associated from earliest childhood with pos session of high or low income and which tend to shape tastes adjusted to these conditions.9 The true basis of the differences found in the area of consumption, and far beyond it, is the opposition between the tastes of luxury (or freedom ) and the tastes of necessity. The fo rmer are the tastes of individuals who are the product of material conditions of existence defined by distance from necessity, by the freedoms or fac ilities stemming from possession of capital; the latter express, precisely i n their djust . . men t, the necessi ties of which they are the product. Thus It IS pOSSIble to deduce popular tastes for the foods that are simultaneously most ' fill ing' and most economical1o from the necessity of reproducing labour power at the lowest cost which is forced on the proletariat as its very defin ition. The idea of taste, typically bourgeois, since it presupposes absolute free dom of choice, is so closely associated with the idea of freedom that

1 78 / The Economy of Practices many people find it hard to grasp the paradoxes of the taste of necessity. Some simply sweep it aside, making practice a direct product of eco nomic necessity ( workers eat beans because they cannot afford anything else ) , failing to real ize that necessity can only be fulfilled, most of the time, because the agents are inclined to fulfil it, because they have a taste for what they are anyway condemned to. Others turn it into a taste of freedom, forgetting the conditionings of which it is the product, and so reduce it to pathological or morbid preference for ( basic) essentials, a sort of congenital coarseness, the pretext for a class racism which associ II ates the populace with everything heavy, thick and fat. Taste is amor lati, the choice of destiny, but a forced choice, produced by conditions of existence which rule out all alternatives as mere daydreams and leave no choice but the taste for the necessary.

The Habitus and the Space of Life-StyLes /

1 79

One only has to describe the tastes of necessity as if they were tastes of lux ury ( which inevitably happens whenever one ignores the modality of prac tices) 12 to produce false coincidences between the two extreme positions in social space: fertility or celibacy (or which amounts to the same thing, late marriage) is an elective l uxury i n one case, an effect of privation i n the other. In this respect, Nicole Tabard's analysis of women's attitudes to 'working wives' is exemplary: for working-class women, 'employment is a constrain t which weakens as the husband's income rises'; for the women of the privileged classes, work is a choice, as is shown by the fact that 'the rate , of female employmen t does not decline as status rises. 1 3 This example should be borne i n mind when reading statistics in which the nominal iden tity imposed by uniform questioning conceals totally different reali ties, as o ften happens when one moves from one extreme of social space to the other. If in one case women who work say they are in favour of women working, whereas in the other they may work while saying they are against It, thIS IS because the work to which working-class women are tacitly refer nng IS the only sort they can expect, i .e., unpleasant, poorly paid work, which has nothing i n common with what 'work' implies for bourgeois women . To give an idea of the ideological effects which the essentialist and anti-genetic dominan t vision produces when, consciously o r unconsciously, It naturalIzes the taste of necessity ( Kan t's 'barbarous taste' ) , converting it lOto a natural inclination simply by dissociating it from its economic and social raisons d'etre, one only has to recall a social psychology experiment whICh showed that the same act, that of giving blood, is seen as volun tary or forced depending on whether it is performed by members of the privi leged classes or the working classes . 14

, facruring worker as the property of cap i ta l . ! ) The brand which Marx speaks of is nothing other than l i fe-style, through which the most de prived i mmediately betray themselves, even in their use of spare time; in so doing they inevitably serve as a foil to every distinction and contrib ute, purely negatively, to the dialectic of pretension and distinction which fuels the incessant changing of taste. Not content with lacking virtually all the knowledge or manners which are valued in the markets of academic examination or pol ite conversation nor with only possessing skills which have no value there, they are the people 'who don't know how to live' , who sacrifice most to material foods, and to the heaviest, grossest and most fattening of them, bread, potatoes, fats, and the most vulgar, such as wine; who spend least on clothing and cosmetics, appear ance and beauty; those who 'don't know how to relax', 'who always have to be doing something', who set off in their Renault 5 or Simca 1000 to join the great traffic jams of the holiday exodus, who picnic beside major roads, cram their tents into overcrowded campsites, fling themsel ves into the prefabricated leisure activi ties designed for them by the engineers of cultural mass production; those who by all these uninspired 'choices' confirm class racism, if it needed to be confirmed, in its conviction that they only get what they deserve. The art of eating and drinking remains one of the few areas in which the working classes expl icitly challenge the legitimate art of living. In the face of the new ethic of sobriety for the sake of slimness, which is most recognized at the highest levels of the social hierarchy, peasants and especially industrial workers maintain an ethic of convivial indulgence. A bon vivant is not j ust someone who enjoys eating and drinking; he is someone capable of entering into the generous and familiar-that is, both simple and free-relationship that is encouraged and symbolized by eating and drinking together, in a conviviality which sweeps away re straints and reticence.

The taste of necessity can only be the basis of a life-style 'in-itsel f', which is defined as such oDly negatively, by an absence, by the relation ship of privation between itself and the other life-styles. For some, there are elective emblems, for others stigmata which they bear in their very bodies. 'As the chosen people bore in their features the sign that they we re the p roperty of Jehovah, so the di vision of labour brands the mal111-

Sixty-four percent of sen ior executives, professionals and industrialists and 60 percent of junior executives, clerical and commercial employees consider that 'the French eat too much'. Farm workers ( who are by far the most in cl ined to think the quan tity 'about right'-54 percent as against 32 percent in the upper classes ) and industrial workers are the categories who least often accept the new cultural norm ( 40 percent and 46 percent ) , which is recognized more by women than men and more by young people than old. As regards drink, only farm workers stand out clearly against the dominant view ( 3 2 percent of them consider that 'French people drink about the right amount' ) , though i ndustrial workers also accept it less frecl uently than the other categories. Sixty-three percen t of the industrial workers ( and 50 percen t of the farm workers, as against 48 percent of the executives, pro fessionals and industrialists ) say they have a favourable opinion of someone who en joys eating and drinking. Another index of their willingness to stand up in this area for heterodox practices which in cul( Ural matters they

1 80 / The Economy 01 Practices

would try to disguise is that they say that, i n a restaurant, they would choose a substantial dish rather than a light grill ( favoured by the senior executives ) or that they would have both cheese and a dessert. This is un derstandable when i t is remembered that, by its very rarity, a visit to a restaurant is, for most of them-5 1 percent of the farm workers and 44 per cen t of the industrial workers hardly ever eat in a restaurant, as against only 6 percent of the upper classes-somethi ng extraordinary, associated with the idea of abundance and the suspension of ordinary restrictions. Even as re gards alcohol consumption, where the weight of legitimacy is no doubt greater, the working classes are the least inclined ( 3 5 percent of farm work ers, 46 percent of industrial workers, 5 5 percent of the upper classes ) to set the minimum age for drinking alcohol above fifteen ( C S. XXXIV ) .
The boun dary marking the break w i t h the popular relation to food runs, w i t h o u t any doubt, between the man ual workers and the clerical and commercial employees ( see table against food than skilled manual workers, both in abso l u te terms

The HabituJ and the S pace 01 Lile-StyleJ / 181


Clerical workers spend less on

,r, N
'" -


rI"\ ""'"

percent ) ; they consume less b read, pork, pork products


francs ) and i n relative terms

( 34.2

percent as against

( 9,376

m i l k , cheese, rabbit, poul try, d ried vegetables and fats, and, w i t h i n a smaller food b u dget, spend as much on meat-beef, veal, m utton and lamb-and s l ig h t l y more on fish, fresh fru i t and aper i t i fs. These changes in the Structure of spend i n g on food are accompanied by increased spending on heal th and bea u ty care and clothi ng, and a s ligh t increase i n spending on c u l tural a n d leisure activi ties. When i t is noted that t h e re duced spending on food, especially on the most earth l y , earthy, down to-earth foods, is accompan ied b y a l o wer b i rth-rate, i t is reasonable to suppose that it constitu tes one aspect of an overalI transformation of the relationship to the worl d . The 'modest' taste which can defer i ts gratifica tions is opposed to the spon taneous materialism of the working classes, who refuse to participate in the Ben thami te calculation of pleas u res and pains, benefits and costs ( e. g . , for heal th and bea u ty ) . I n o ther words, these two relations to the ' frui ts of the earth' are grounded in two dispo s i tions towards the fu t u re which are themselves related in c i rc ular cau sality to two objective fu tures. Against the i magi nary anthropology of economics, which has never shrunk from formulating u n i versal laws of ' temporal preference', i t h as to be poin ted out that the propensity to sub ordi nate presen t desi res to fu t u re desi res depends on the e x tent to wh ich this sacrifice is 'reasonable', that is, o n the l i kelihood, i n any case, of ob tain i ng fu ture satisfactions superior to those sacrificed. \ (, A mong the economic condi tions of the p ropensity to sacrifice i mme diate satisfactions to expected satisfactions one must i nclude the proba b i l i ty of these fu ture satisfactions which is inscribed in the p resent con d i t i o n . There is still a SOrt of economic calculation in the u n w i l I i ngness to subjec t existence to economic cal cu lation. The hedon ism which seizes

38.3 ( charmterie ) ,

francs as

day bv day the rare satisfactions ( 'good times ' ) of the i m mediate p rese nt

1 82 / The Economy oj Practices

The Habitus and the S pace oj Life-Styles /

1 83

c: IJ o '""

no future' and, in is the only philos ophy concei vable to those who 'have fro m the future 1 7 I t becom es clearer why the any case, l ittle to expect in the relatio n to practic al materi alism which is particu larly manifested the popula r ethos food is one of the most fundam ental compo nents of which is affirme d in and even the popula r ethic The being- in-the-present and take time as it the readiness to take advan tage of the good times ity with others ( who are often comes is, in i tself, an affirma tion of solidar future ) , inasmu ch as the only presen t guaran tee agains t the threats of the a recogn ition of the limits which define this tempo ral imman entism is bourgeois is fel t as a the condit ion. This is why the sobriet y of the petit from having it with break: in abstain ing from having a good time and his ambit ion of escapi ng o thers, the would-be petit bourgeois betray s is, he does not constr uct his whole from the comm on presen t, when, that i s h o me and the cafe, absti self-image aroun d the oppo sition betwe en h word s, betw een indiv id u al salva tion nence and intemperance, in other and collective solidarities .
for a drink but a place he goes to in . The cafe is not a place a man goes to can estab lish relati onsh ips of familiar he o rder to drink in comp any, wher e rships, conv entio ns and proprieity based on the suspension of the censo contrast to the bourgeois or petit ties that prevail among stran gers. In ter each table is a separate, appropriated bourgeois cafe or resta uran t, wher e , the working-class a chair or the salt) _xitory ( one asks perm ission to borrow al gives a colle ctive greet ing, site of comp anion ship ( each new arriv cafe is a is the coun ter, to be leaned on after 'Salu t la compagnie!' etc ) . I ts focus is thus defined as the host (he often shaki ng hand s with the landl ord-who shak ing hands with the whol e leads the conversation)-and some times who any, are left to 'stran gers' , or wom en comp any; the table s, if there are phon e calL In the child or make a have come in to get a drink for their of the joke-the art of rein is given to te typic ally popu lar art cafe free 'No joke' , ( hence the reiterated 'Joki ng apart' or seeing every thing as a j oke a second-degree joke ) , or prelu de whic h mark a retur n to serious matt ers okes, often a t the expense o f the 'fat u t also the art o f maki ng or playi ng j b se, in the popu lar code, his fat man' . He is always good for a laugh , becau than a defec t, and because the good ness is more a pictu resque pecul iarity sposes him to take it in good heart and natur e he is presumed to have predi word s, is the art of maki ng fun with see the funn y side. The j oke, in other mockery or insul ts whic h are neutra out raisin g anger, b y mean s of ritua l iarity , both s and whic h, presu ppos ing a great famil lized by their very exces whic h they use it, are in om with in the know ledge they use and the freed of build ing up while seem ing to fac t tokens of atten tion or affec tion, ways to condemn-although the may run down , of accep ting while seeming signs of stand-offishness. I also be used to test out those who show

:2 -- 0 0.... >< 0 ...c v . 2 .- M 2 ::;:j 0 -0 -0 0

...c: ....

5 .:; J2 ;..a ...9 c: as

c: '" :


-0 v

1:L t) t) <R

c: c:: '-' IJ IJ ...... 0... 0... 0

'0 c:

8 0 0 ..c ..c c: -;; 0


'" -0 -0 V) C _ _ o 0 0 '" ..c ..c:: -o


'" o u o u

E -;; '-' "-' c:: 8 8

u v b.O b.O b.O-O (0::1 c:: '- '- '- V 0....

2 v '-


0 <2 ...... 0

IJ 0... >.

THREE STYLES OF D ISTINCTIO N The basic opposition between the tastes of luxury and the tastes of necessity is specified in as many opposi-

184 / The Economy of Practices tions as there are different ways of asserting one's distinction vis-a.-vis the working class and its primary needs, or-which amounts to the same thing--different powers whereby necessity can be kept at a distance. hus,. within the dominant class, one can, for the sake of simplicity, dis tingUIsh three structures of the consumption distributed under three items: food, culture and presen tation ( cloth ing, beauty care, toiletries, domestic servan ts ) . These structures take strictly opposite forms-like the structures of their capital-among the teachers as against the indus trial and commercial employers ( see table 1 7 ) . Whereas the latter have exceptionally high expenditure on food ( 37 percent of the budget ) , low cultural costs and medium spending on presen tation and representation, the former, whose total spending is lower on average, have low expendi ture on food ( relatively less than manual workers ) , limited expenditure on presentatl n ( though their expenditure on health is one of the high est) and relatively high expenditure on culture ( books, papers, entertain ments, sport, toys, music, radio and record-player) . Opposed to both these groups are the members of the professions, who devote the same proportion of their budget to food as the teachers ( 24 .4 percent ) , but out of much greater total expenditure ( 57,122 francs as against 40,884 francs) , and who spend m uch more on presentation and represen tation than all other fractions, especially if the costs of domestic service are in cluded, whereas their cultural expenditure is lower than that of the teach ers ( or even the engineers and sen ior executives, who are situated between the teachers and the professionals, though nearer the latter, for almost all items ) . The system of differences becomes clearer when one looks more closely at the patterns of spending on food. In this respect the industrial and commercial employers differ markedly from the professionals, and a for tlon from the teachers, by virtue of the importance they give to cereal based products ( especially cakes and pastries) , wine, meat preserves ( foie
Table 1 7
Yearly spending by teachers, professionals and industrial and commercial em ployers,

The Habitus and the S pace of Life-Styles / 1 85

meat, resh gras, etc. ) and game, and their relative ly low spendin g on teachers, whose food purchases are almost Iden fruit and vegetab les. The all other tically structu red to those of office worker s, spend more than o s on bread, milk produc ts, sugar, fruit preserves and non-alc fraction than the profes holic drinks, less on wine and spirits and distinc tly less expensive sions on expensi ve produc ts such as meat--especiall y the most fresh fruit and vegetables. The meats, such as m u tton and lamb-and high propor members of the professions are mainly disting uished by the goes on expensive produc ts, particu larly tion of their spending which most expen meat ( 1 8.3 percent of their food b udget) , and especia lly the lamb, mutto n ) , fresh fru i t and vegetables, fish and shell sive meat ( veal, fish, cheese and aperi tifs.19 ial and Thus when one moves from the manual workers to the industr en and small shopkeep comme cial employ ers, throug h foreme n, craftsm ental change ers, econom ic constra ints tend to relax withou t any fundam figure 9 ) . The opposi tion . between the in the pattern of spending ( see nch ( nouveau tWO extremes is here establis hed between the poor and the and la grande bouffe;2 the food consumed is in riche ) , between la bouffe ingly heavy creasin gly rich ( both in cost and in calories ) and .increas ex gras ) . By con trast, the taste of the profeSS IOnals or semor ( game, foie for the heavy, ecutives defines the popular taste, by negation, as the taste and the the fat and the coarse, by tending towards the light, the refined ic constra ints is ac delicate ( see table 1 8 ) . The disappearance- of econom forbid compan ied by a strengt hening of the social censorships which slimness and distinct ion. The taste for coarseness and fatness, in favour of expensi ve or rare, aristocr atic foods points to a tradi tional cuisine , rich in vegetab les, meat ) . Finally , the teac.her , richer in cul rare produc ts ( fresh to scetlc tural capital than in econom ic capital, and therefore mclmed ption in all areas, pursue origina lity at the lowest econom ic cost consum culinary and go in for exoticis m ( I talian, Chinese cooking etc . ) 21 and usly opposed to populis m ( peasant dishes ) . They are thus almost conSCIo bouffe, the ( new ) rich with their rich food, the buyers and sellers of grosse have the econom ic means to the 'fat cats',22 gross in body and mind, who remains flaunt, with an arrogance perceived as 'vulgar ', a l ife-style which classes as regards econom ic and cuI tural very close to that of the working consumption. conEating habits, especial ly when represen ted solely by the produce cannot of course be considered indepen dently of the whole Itfe sumed, ar style. The most obvious reason for this is that the taste for particul only the vaguest dishes ( of which the statistic al shopping-basket gives con idea) is associated, through preparation and cooking, with a whole of the division of labour between ception of the domesti c econom y and bianquette, the sexes. : A taste for elabora te casserole dishes (pot-au-feu, a big investm ent of time and interest, is li nked to daube ) , which demand arly a traditio nal concept ion of woman 's role. Thus there is a particul

Teachers I n d ustrial and Professionals Francs commercial employers Francs

Type of spending Food' Presen tat ion Culture'


( h igher and secondary ) Francs

of total

of total

of total

9,969 4,9 1 2 1,753 ( 1972 ) .

24.4 1 2 .0 4.3

1 3,956 1 2 ,680 1 ,298

24.4 22.2 2.3

1 6,578 5,616 574

37.4 1 2.7 1 .3

Source: C.S. I I I

a. Includes restaurant o r cameen meals. b. Clothes, shoes, repairs and cleaning, toiletries, hairdressing, domestic servants. c. Books, newspapers and magazines, stationery, records, sport, toys, music, enter tainments.

1 86 / The Economy of PracticeJ

Fi gure 9 The food space.

The HabituJ and the Space of Lif e-StyleJ / 187

delicate lean

raw grilled healthy recherche exotic natural-sweet

beef ftsh fruit

reftned light

and of t h e sexual division of labour ( a woman entirely devoted t o house work is called 'pot-au-feu' ) , j ust as the slippers put on before dinner sym bolize the complementary male role.
Small industrial and commercial employers, the incarnation of the 'grocer' traditionally execrated by artists, are the category who most often ( 60 per cent ) say they change into their carpet slippers every day before dinner, whereas the professions and the senior executives are most inclined to reject this petit-bourgeois symbol ( 3 5 percent say they never do i t ) . The particu larly high consumption of carpet slippers by working-class women ( both urban and rural ) no doubt reflects the relation to the body and to self presentation entailed by confinement to the home and to domestic life. ( The wives of craftsmen, shopkeepers and manual workers are those who most often say that their choice of clothes is mainly guided by a concern to please their husbands. ) It is among manual workers that most time and interest is devoted to cooking: 69 percent of those questioned say they like doing elaborate cook ing (fa grande cuisine ) , as against 59 percent of the junior executives, 5 2 percent o f the small shopkeepers and 5 1 percent o f the senior executives, professionals and industrialists ( C S. XXXIVa ) . ( Another indirect index of these differences as regards the sexual division of labour is that whereas the teachers and senior executives seem to give priority to a washing machine and a dishwasher, for the professionals and industrial or commercial em ployers priority seems to go rather to a TV set and a car-CS. I I I . ) Finally, when invited to choose their two favourite dishes from a list of seven, the farm workers and manual workers, who, like all other ca tegories, give the highest rank to roast leg of lamb, are the most incl ined (45 percent and 34 percent, as against 28 percent of the clerical workers, 20 percent of the se nior executives and 19 percent of the small employers ) to choose pot-au-feu ( the farm workers are almost the only ones who choose andouillette pork tripe sausage-14 percent of them, as against 4 percent of the man ual work ers, clerical workers and junior executives, 3 percent of the senior executives and 0 percent of the small employers ) . Manual workers and small employ ers also favour coq au vin ( 5 0 percent and 48 percen t ) , a dish typical of small restaurants aiming to be 'posh' , and perhaps for this reason associated with the idea of 'eating out' ( compared with 42 percent of the clerical workers, 39 percent of the senior executives and 37 percent of the farm workers ) . The executives, professionals and big employers clearly distin guish themselves solely by choosing-from a l ist which for them is particu larly narrow-the dish which is both relatively 'light' and symbolically marked ( i n contrast to the ordinary routine of petit-bourgeois cooking ) , bouillabaisse ( 3 1 percen t , as against 2 2 percent o f the clerical workers, 1 7 percent o f the small employers, 1 0 percent o f the manual workers, 7 per cent of the farm workers ) , in which the opposi tion between fish and meat ( especially the pork in sauerkraut or cassoufet ) is clearly strengthened by regionalist and touristic connotations ( C S. XXX I V ) . It is obvious that the i mprecise classifications used in this survey prevent one from seeing the ef fects of the secondary opposi tion between the fractions, and that the ten-



spices wine-spirits

fruit juice
food cons. cult. cons . +



aperitifs patisserie

CULT. CAP. ECON. CAP. + SPARE TIME STATUS \;? + food cons. + cult. cons . -

charcutene pork pot-au-feu bread

salty-fatty-heavy-strong-simmered cheap-nourishing


strong opposi tion in this respect between the working classes and the dominated fractions of the dominant class, in which the women, whose labour has a high market value ( and who, perhaps as a result, have a higher sense of their o wn v al ue ) tend to devote their spare time rather to child care and the transmission of cultural capital, and to contest the tra ditional division of domestic labou9 The aim of saving t i m e and labour . In preparatIon combInes with the search for l Ight, low-calorie products, and points towards grilled meat and fish, raw vegetables ( 'Jalades com pOJees' ) , frozen foods, yogurt and other milk products, all of which are diametrically opposed to popular dishes, the most typical of which is po t-au-feu made with cheap meat that is boiled ( as opposed to grilled or roasted ) , a method of cooking that chiefly demands time. It is no acci dent that this form of cooking symbol izes one state of female ex istence

Table 1 8

A n n ual ho usehold txptc n di t u res o n food: fractions o f the do m i n a n t class, 1 9 7 2 .

_._-------_._ . ------- ---- ._----

Teachers ( h igher and secondary ) Average n u mber persons per household Average total household expend i t u re ( francs ) Average total household expendi t u re on food ( francs ) Expend i t u re on food as % of total expen d i t u re
3. 1 1 40,844 9,969 244

Ind ustrial Sen i o r executives

3.6 5 2 , 1 56 1 3, 1 58 25.2

and commer Professions

3 5 57,122 1 3 ,956 24.4

3.6 4 9, 8 2 2 1 2 ,666 2 5.4

------3 6 44,339 1 6 , '5 7 8 374

cial employers




Average expo As % o f all food Type of Food Cereals bread cakeS, pastries rusks flce flour Vegetables potatoes fresh vegetables dried or can ned Fru i t fresh fru i t ci trus fru i t, bananas d ried B u tcher's meat beef veal m u rton, lamb horse pork ( fresh ) Francs
865 322 452 16 3 ') 40 766 81 5 ') 5 131 632 295 236 102 1,556 814 3 3 ') 1 56 31 221

A v erage exp A s % of a l l food Francs

993 347 552 27 32 35 1 , 01 ') 94 729 191 871 405 313 122 2,358 1 ,291 452 315 49 251

Average expo As % of a l l food Francs

1 ,0 1 1 326 518 33 62 41 1 , 1 00 95 811 216 990 586 303 98 2,552 1,212 630 438 31 239

Average expo As % of all food Francs

95 1 312 539 28 41 31 899 98 647 1 54 864 424 324 116 2,07 3 1 , 1 44 402 242 37 247

Average expo

-----As % of all food expo

9.2 2.5 5.6 0. 1 0. 1 0. 1 7.4 0.8 5.1 0.8 5.2 3.1 1.4 0.4 14.0 7.2 2.3 2.2 0 5 1.3


8. 7 3 2 4.5 0.2 0.3 0.4 7.7 0.8 5.6

7.5 2.6 4.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 7.7 0.7 5.5 1 .4 6.6 3 1 2.6 0.9 1 8.0 98 3.4 2.3 0.3 1 .7

7.2 2 3 4.0 0.2 04 0.3 7.9 0.7 5.8 1.5 7.2 4.2 2.2 0.7 18.3 8.7 4.5 3.2 0 2 1.7

7 . '5 2.5 4.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 7. 1 0.7 5.1 1 .2 6.B 3.3 2.5 0.9 1 6. 4 9 0 3.1 1 .9 0.3 1 .9

1,535 4 ')4 989 29 33 28 1 ,2 2 2 1 52 91 5 153 877 547 2 56 72 2,323 1,273 377 390 94 187

i ;::;,

6 3 2.9 2.4 1 .0 1 5. 6 8. 1 3.4 1 .6 0.3 2.2

'ork products

634 336 336 235 36 149 299 692 399 320 66 12 1 304 711 457 82 13 157 3 44 152 82 9 745 2 64

6.3 3.4 3.4 2.3 0.3 1.4 3.0 6.9 4.0 3.2 0.6 0. 1

741 350 503 31 1 97 172 271 776 5 64 408 136 17 2 395 1 ,365 869 91 12 391 3 42 215 1 ,863 562 379

5.6 2.6 3.8 2.4 0.7 1.3 2.0 5 .9 4.3 3.1 1 .0 0. 1

774 233 719 399 148 1 90 2 49 843 525 379 132 12 1 265 1,329 899 40 0 389 267 291 1 , 562 22 1 258

5.5 1.7 5.1 2.8 1.1 1.4 1 .8 6.0 3.8 2.7 1 .0 0. 1

705 310 396 310 89 178 287 785 504 371 103 29 1 327 937 392 1 84 8 352 295 1 78 1,372 773 432

5.6 2.4 3.1 2.4 0.7 1 .4 2.3 6. 1 4.0 2.9 0.8 0.2

812 1 , 362 588 333 289 185 309 1 , 090 551 405 112 19 13 407 2,2 1 8 1 , 881 93 5 237 327 298 1 , 1 79 299 324

4.9 8.0 3.5 2.0 1.7 1.1 1 .9 6.5 3.3 2.4 0.6 0. 1 0.1 2.4 1 3. 4 1 1 .8 0.5

.feat preserves

'ish, shell fish


{abbit, game


vf ilk

:':heese, yogurt Oats butter oil marganne lard ugar, confectionery, cocoa Icohol wine beer cider aperit i fs, liqueurs etc. Non-alcoholic drinks Restaurant meals Canteen meals M iscellaneous Source: C.S. I I I


3 .0 7.1 4.6 0.8 0. 1 1 .6 3.4 1.5 8.3 7.5 2.6

3.0 1 0. 3 6.6 0.7

1 .9 9.5 6.4 0.3

2.6 7.4 3.1 1 .4



3.0 2.6 1.5 1 3. 0 4.0 2.7

2.8 1 .9 2.1 1 1.2 1 .6 1 .8

2.8 2.3 1 .4 10.8 6.1 3.4

1 .4 2.0 1 .8 7.1 1 .8 1 .9

:;:, ;:!


Coffee, tea

S-; '" t--, -'-..... "OJ 'D

( 1 97 2 ) .


1 90 / The Economy of Practices

dencies observed would have been more marked if, for example, i t had been possible to isolate the teachers or if the list of dishes had been more diversi fied i n the sociologically pertinent respects.

The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles / 1 9 1

Tastes in food also depend on the idea each class has of the body and of the effects of food on the body, that is, on its strength, health and beauty; and on the categories it uses to evaluate these effects, some of which may be important for one class and ignored by another, and which the differ ent classes may rank in very different ways. Thus, whereas the working classes are more attentive to the strength of the ( male) body than its shape, and tend to go for products that are both cheap and nutritious, the professions prefer products that are tasty, health-giving, light and not fattening. Taste, a class cul ture turned into nature, that is, embodied, helps to shape the class body. It is an incorporated principle of classification which governs all forms of incorporation, choosing and modifying everything that the body ingests and digests and assimilates, physiologi cally and psychologically. It follows that the body is the most indisput able materialization of class taste, which it manifests in several ways. It does this first in the seemingly most natural features of the body, the di mensions ( volume, height, weight) and shapes ( round or square, stiff or supple, straight or curved) of its visible forms, which express in coun tless ways a whole relation to the body, i . e., a way of treating i t, caring for it, feeding it, maintaining i t, which reveals the deepest dispositions of the habitus. It is in fact through preferences with regard to food which may be perpetuated beyond their social conditions of production ( as, in other areas, an accent, a walk etc. ) , 23 and also, of course, through the uses of the body in work and leisure which are bound up with them, that the class distribution of bodily properties is determined. The quasi-conscious representation of the approved form of the per ceived body, and in particular its thinness or fatness, is not the only me diation through which the social definition of appropriate foods is established. At a deeper level, the whole body schema, in particular the physical approach to the act of eating, governs the selection of certain foods. For example, in the working classes, fish tends to be regarded as an unsuitable food for men, not only because it is a light food, insufficiently 'filling', which would only be cooked for health reasons, i.e., for invalids and children, but also because, like frui t ( except bananas) it is one of the 'fiddly' things which a man's hands cannot cope with and which make him childlike ( the woman, adopting a maternal role, as in all similar cases, will prepare the fish on the plate or peel the pear) ; but above all, it is because fish has to be eaten in a way which totally contradicts the mas culine way of eating, that is, with restraint, in small mouthfuls, chewed gently, with the front of the mouth, on the tips of the teeth ( because of the bones) . The whole masculine identity-what is called virility-is in volved in these two ways of eating, nibbling and picking, as befits a


body for the job

woman, or with whole-hearted male gulps and mouthfuls , j ust as it is in volved in the two ( perfectly homologo us) ways of talking, with the front of the mouth or the whole mouth, especially the back of the mouth , the throat ( in accordance with the opposition , noted in an earlier 24 study, between the manners symbolized by la bouche and La gueuLe) . . This opposition can be found in each of .the uses of the body, espectally in the most insignifican t-looking ones, whICh, as such, are predIsposed to serve as 'memory joggers' charged with the group's deepest values, its most fundament al 'beliefs' . It would be easy to show, for example, that Kleenex tissues, which have to be used delicately, with a little sniff from the tip of the nose, are to the big cotton handkerch ief, which is blown into sharply and loudly, with the eyes close.d and he nose held t1h t l y as repressed laughter is to a belly laugh , WIth wnnkled nose, WIde-open

1 92 / The Economy of Practices

mouth and deep breathing ( 'doubled up with laugh ter' ) , as if to amplify to the utmost an experience which will not suffer containment, not least because it has to be shared, and therefore clearly manifested for the bene fit of others. And the practical philosophy of the male body as a sort of power, big and strong, with enormous, imperative, b rutal needs, which is asserted in every male posture, especially when eating, is also the principle of the di vision of foods between the sexes, a division which both sexes recognize in their practices and their language. It behooves a man to drink and eat more, and to eat and drink stronger things. Thus, men will have two rounds of aperitifs ( more on special occasions ) , big ones in big glasses ( the success of Ricard or Pernod is no doubt partly due to i ts being a drink both strong and copious-not a dainty ' thimbleful' ) , and they leave the tit-bits ( savoury biscuits, peanuts) to the children and the women, who have a small measure ( not enough to 'get tipsy') of home made aperitif ( for which they swap recipes ) . Similarly, among the hors d'oeuvres, the charcuterie is more for the men, and later the cheese, espe cially if it is strong, whereas the crudites ( raw vegetables) are more for the women, l ike the salad; and these affinities are marked by taking a second helping or sharing what is left over. Meat, the nourishing food par excel lence, strong and strong-making, giving vigour, blood, and health, is the dish for the men, who take a second helping, whereas the women are sat isfied with a small portion . It is not that they are stinting themselves; they really don't want what others might need, especially the men, the natural meat-eaters, and they derive a sort of authority from what they do not see as a privation. Besides, they don't have a taste fo r men's food, which is reputed to be harmful when eaten to excess ( for example, a sur fei t of meat can ' turn the blood', over-excite, bring you out in spots etc. ) and may even arouse a sort of disgust. Strictly biological differences are underlined and symbolically accen tuated by differences in bearing, differences in gesture, posture and beha viour which express a whole relationship to the social world. To these are added all the deliberate modifications of appearance, especially by use of the set of marks--<:osmetic ( hairstyle, make-up, beard, moustache, whisk ers etc. ) or vestimentary-which, because they depend on the economic and cultural means that can be invested in them, function as social mark ers deriving their meaning and value from their position in the system of distinctive signs which they constitute and which is itself homologous with the system of social positions; The sign-bearing, sign-wearing body is also a producer of signs which are physically marked by the relation ship to the body: thus the valorization of virility, expressed in a use of the mouth or a pitch of the voice, can determine the whole of working class pronunciation. The body, a social product which is the only tangi ble manifestation of the 'person', is commonly perceived as the most nat ural expression of innermost nature. There are no merely 'phys ical' facial

The Habitus and the Space of Life-StyLes / 1 93

signs; the colour and thickness of lipstick, or expressions, as well as the shape of the face or the mouth, are immediately read as indices of a 'moral' physiognomy, socially characterized, i.e., of a 'vulgar' or 'distin guished' mind, naturally 'natural' or naturally 'cultivated'. The signs constituting the perceived body, cultural products which differentiate groups by their degree of culture, that is, their distance from nature, seem grounded in nature. The legitimate use of the body is spon tane ously perceived as an index of moral uprightness, so that its opposite, a 'natural' body, is seen as an index of Laisser-aller ( ,letting oneself go' ) , a culpable surrender to facility. Thus one can begin to map out a universe of class bodies, which ( bio logical accidents apart) tends to reproduce in its specific logic the uni verse of the social structure. It is no accident that bodily properties are perceived through social systems of classification which are not indepen dent of the distribution of these properties among the social classes. The prevailing taxonomies tend to rank and contrast the properties most fre quen t among the dominant ( i.e., the rarest ones ) and those most fre quen t among the dominated.25 The social representation of his own body which each agent has to reckon with,26 fro m the very beginning, in order to build up his subjective image of his body and his bodily hex is, is thus obtained by applying a social system of classification based on the same principle as the social products to which i t is applied. Thus, bodies would have every likelihood of receiving a value sfrictly corresponding to the positions of their owners in the distribution of the other fundamental properties-but for the fact that the logic of social heredity sometimes endows those least endowed in all other respects with the rarest bodily properties, such as beauty ( sometimes 'fatally' attract ive, becuse it . threatens the o ther hierarchies ) , and, conversely, sometimes denies the 'high and mighty' the bodily attributes of their position, such as height or beauty. U N P R ETENTIOUS OR UNCOUTH ? It is clear that tastes in food cannot be considered in complete independence of the other dimensions of the rela tionship to the world, to others and to one's own body, through which the practical philosophy of each class is enacted. To demonstrate this, one would have to make a systematic comparison of the working-class and bourgeois ways of treating food, of serving, presenting and offering it, which are infinitely more revelatory than even the nature of the products involved ( especially since most surveys of consumption ignore differ ences in quality ) . The analysis is a difficult one, because each life-style can only really be constructed in relation to the other, which is its objective and subjective negation, so that the meaning of behaviour is totally re versed depending on which point of view is adopted and on whether the common words which have to be used to name the conduct ( e.g., 'man ners' ) are invested with popular or bourgeois connotations.

1 94 / The Economy of Practices

Considerable misunderstanding can resul t from ignorance o f this mecha nism in all surveys by questionnaire, which are always an exchange of words. The confusions are made even worse when the in terviewer tries to collect opinions about words or reactions to words ( as in the 'ethical test' in which the respondents were presented with the same lists of adjectives to describe an ideal friend, garment o r interior ) . The responses he records in this case have in fac t been defined in relation to stimuli which, beyond their nominal identi ty ( that of the words offered ) , vary in their perceived reali ty, and therefore their practical efficacy, in accordance with the very principles of variation ( and firstly, social class ) whose effects one is seeking to measure ( which can lead ro literally meaningless encounters between op posing classes ) . Groups invest themselves totally, with everything that op poses them to other groups, in the common words which express their social identity, i.e., their difference. Behind their apparent neutrality, words as ordinary as 'practical', 'sober', 'clean', 'functional', 'amusing', 'delicate', 'cosy', 'distinguished' are thus divided against themselves, because the differ ent classes either give them different meanings, o r give them the same meaning but attribute opposite values to the things named. Some examples: soigne ( neat, trim, careful, well-groomed, well-kep t ) , so strongly appro priated by those who use it to express their taste for a job well done, prop erly finished, or for the meticulous attention they devote to their personal appearance, that it no doubt evokes for those who reject it the narrow or 'up-tight' rigour they dislike in the petit-bourgeois style; or drofe ( amusing, funny, droll ) , whose social connotations, associated with a socially marked 7 pronunciation, bourgeois or snobbish, 2 clash with the values expressed, putting off those who would certainly respond to a popular equivalent of drofe, such as bidonnant, man'ant or rigofo; or, again, sobre, which, applied to a garment or an interior, can mean radically different things when express ing the prudent, defensive strategies of a small craftsman, the aesthetic as ceticism of a teacher or the austerity-in-luxury of the old-world grand bourgeois. I t can be seen that every attempt to produce an ethical organon common to all classes is condemned from the start, unless, like every 'uni versal' morality or religion, i t plays systematically on the fact thac language is both common to the different classes and capable of receiving different, even opposi te, meanings in the particular, and sometimes antagonistic, uses that are made of it.

The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles / 1 95

which generally apply to the women, wh will share o e portion be tween two, or eat the left-overs of the preVIOUS day; a gIrl s acceSSIOn to womanhood is marked by doing without. It is part of men's status to eat and to eat well ( and also to drink well ) ; it is particularly insisted that they should eat, on the grounds that 'it won' t keep', and there is som thing suspect abou t a refusal . On Sundays, wh ile the women are on th Ir feet, busily serving, clearing the table, washing up, the men remam seated, still eating and drinking. These strongly marked differences of so cial status ( associated with sex and age ) are accompanied by no practIcal differentiatio n ( such as the bourgeois division between the dining room and the kitchen, where the servants eat and sometimes the children ) , and strict sequencing of the meal tends to be ignored. Everything may be put on the table at m uch the same time ( which also saves walkmg ) , so that the women may have reached the dessert, and also the child en, who will take their plates and watch television, while the . men are s IiI ea mg the main dish and the 'lad', who has arrived late, IS swallowmg hIS soup. This freedom , which may be perceived as disorder or slovenliness, is adapted to i ts function. Firstly, it is labour-saving, which is seen as an ad van tage. Because men take no part in housework, not least because the women would not allow it-it would be a dishonour to see men step outside their role--every economy of effort is welcome. Thus, when the coffee is served, a single spoon may be passed around to stir it. But these short cuts are only permissible because one is and feels at home, among the family, where ceremony would be an affectation. For example, to save washing up, the dessert may be handed out on improvised plates torn from the cake-bo x ( with a joke about 'taking the liberty', to mark the transgression ) , and the neighbour invited in for a meal will also rceive his piece of cardboard ( offering a plate would exclude hIm ) a a sign of familiarity? Similarly, the plates are not changed between dIshes. The soup plat , wiped with bread, can be used right through the meal. The hostess will certainly offer to 'change the plates', pushmg back her chaIr with one hand and reaching with the other for the plate next to her, but everyone will protest (,It all gets mixed up inside you' ) and if she were to insist it would look as if she wanted to show off her crockery ( which she is allowed to if it is a new presen t ) or to treat her guests as strangers, as is sometimes deliberately done to intruders or 'scroungers' who never return the invi tation. These unwanted guests may be frozen out by changing their plates despite their protests, not laughing at their jokes, or scolding the children for their behaviour ( ,No, no, we don't mmd', say the guests; 'They ought to know better by now', the parents respond ) . The common root of all these 'liberties' is no doubt the sense that at least there will not be self-imposed controls, constraints and restrictions especially not in eating, a primary need and a compensation-and espe cially not in the heart of domestic life, the one realm of freedom, when everywhere else, and at all other times, necessity prevails.

Plain speaking, plain eating: the working-class meal is characterized by plenty ( which does not excl ude restrictions and limi ts ) and above all by freedom. 'Elastic' and 'abundant' dishes are brought to the table-soups or sauces, pasta or potatoes ( almost always included among the vegeta bles )-and served with a ladle or spoon, to avoid too much measuring and counting, in contrast to everything that has to be cut and divided, such as roasts 2R This impression of abundance, which is the norm on special occasions, and always applies, so far as is possible, for the men, whose plates are filled twice (a privilege which marks a boy's accession to man hood ) , is often balanced, on ordinary occasions, by restrictions

1 96

/ The Economy of Practices

e-Styles / The Habitus and the Space of Lif

1 97

I n opposi tion to the free-and-easy working-class meal, the bourgeoisie is concerned to eat with all due form. form is first of all a matter of rhythm, which i mplies expectations, pauses, restraints; waiting until the last person served has started to eat, taking modest helpings, not appear ing over-eager. A strict sequence is observed and all coexistence of dishes which the sequence separates, fish and meat, cheese and dessert, is ex cluded: for example, before the dessert is served, everything left on the table, even the sal t-cellar, is removed, and the c ru mbs are swept up. This extension of rigorous rules into everyday life ( the bourgeois male shaves and dresses first thing every morning, and not j ust to 'go out' ) , refusing the division between home and the exterior, the quotidian and the extra quotidian, is not explained solely by the presence of strangers-servants and guests-in the familiar fam ily world. It is the expression o(a habitus of order, restraint and propriety which may not be abdicated. The rela tion to food-the primary need and pleasure-is only one dimension of the bourgeois relation to the social world. The opposition between the im mediate and the deferred, the easy and the difficult, substance ( o r function ) and form, which is exposed i n a particularly striking fashion in bourgeois ways of eating, is the basis of all aestheticization of practice and every aesthetic. Through all the forms and formalisms imposed on the immediate appetite, what is demanded-an d inculcated-is not only a disposition to discipline food consumption by a conventional structur ing which is also a gentle, indirect, invisible censorship ( quite different from enforced privations ) and which is an element in an art of l iving ( correct eating, for example, is a way of paying homage to one's hosts and to the mistress of the house, a tribu te to her care and effort ) . It is also a whole relationship to animal nature, to p ri mary needs and the pop ulace who mdulge them without restraint; i t is a way of denying the meanmg and 'pn mary function of consumption , which are essen tially common, by making the meal a social ceremony, an affirmation of ethical tone and aesthetic refinement. The manner of presenting and consuming the food the organization of the meal and setting of the places, strictly : dlfferen tlated accordmg to the sequence of dishes and arranged to please the eye, the presentation of the dishes, considered as much in terms of shape and colour ( like works of art) as of their consumable substance, the etiquette governing pos tu re and gesture, ways of serving oneself and others, of using the different utensils, the seating p lan, strictly but dis c reetly hierarchical, the censorship of all bodily manifestatio ns of the act or pleasure of eating ( such as noise or haste ) , the very refinement of the th ings consumed, with quality more important than quantity-th is whole commitme nt to stylization tends to shift the emphasis from sub s tance and fu nction to form and manner, and so to deny the crudely ma tenal real tty of .the act of eating and of the things consu med, or, which amounts to the same thing, the basely material vulgarity of those who i n d u lg e in the i m mediate satisfac tions of food and drink 29

The main findings of an extremely detailed survey of the art of entertaining ( C.S. XLI I I ) are brought together in a synoptic table ( see table 1 9 ) which confirms and extends these arguments. It can be seen first that, in the working class, the world of reciprocal invitations, spontaneous or organized, is restricted to the family and the world of familiars who can be treated as 'one of the fam ily', peo le 'you feel at home with', whereas 'acquaintances', 'connections', in the sense of professional or business connections who are useful in one's work, appear in the middle classes but are essentially a fea ture of the dominant class. One sign of this informality is that working class invitations tend to be for coff dessert or an aperitif ( whereas, at the ee, other end of the social space, invitations are more often fo r tea, lunch or dinner, or to go out to a restaurant ) . If working-class people prefer to limit their spontaneous invitations to the offer of a drink or coffee, this is be cause there can be no 'half-measures' in giving a meal, no 'quick and easy solutions' ( as recommended by the women's weeklies ) to save time and ef fort, such as a buffet or a single course. 30 This refusal to skimp ( the main thing is to make sure that the guests have enough to eat and that the food 'goes down well', secondarily that they are not bored) is even more clearly seen when the composition of the meals is analysed. For manual workers, a real meal is a meal with nothing left out, from the aperitif through to the dessert ( whereas the other classes are often willing to 'simplify' by omitting the hors d'oeuvre, the salad or the dessert. 3 1 Because substance takes priority over form, i f anything has to be 'simplified' i t can only be in the order of form, etiquette, which is seen as inessential, purely symbolic. No matter that the tableware is ordinary, so long as the food is 'extra-ordinary': this is a commonplace underlined by many ritual remarks. No matter that the guests are not seated as etiquette dictates, nor dressed for the occasion. No matter that the children are pre sent at a meal which is in no way a ritual-so long as they do not chip into the conversation, which is adults' business. Since informality is the order of the day, there is no reason not to keep an eye on the television, to break into song at the end of the meal or even organize games; here too, since the function is clearly recogn i zed We re here to have fun'-fun will be had, using every available means ( drinks, games, funny st ories etc. ) . And the primacy of substance over form, the refusal of the denial implied in for mality, is again expressed in the content of the goods exchanged on arrival: flowers, which are seen as gratuitous, as art, art for art's sake ( there are jokes to the effect that 'you can' t eat them' ) are discarded in favour of earthly foods, wines or desserts, presents that 'always go down well' and which can be unpretentiously offered and accepted in the name of a realistic view of the costs of the meal and a willingness to share in them.



Given the basic opposition between form and substance, one could re-generate each of the oppositions between the two antagonistic ap p roaches to the treatment of food and the ac t of eating. In one case, food is claimed as a material reali ty, a nourish ing substance which sustains the body and gives strength ( hence the emphasis on heavy, fatty, strong foods, of which the paradigm is pork-fatty and salty-the an ti thesis of

1 98 Table 1 9

/ The Economy of Practices

Variations i n entertaining, by class fraction

The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles /

( % ) , 1 978.'
Clerical, junior Executives, industrialists, professions

1 99

Table 1 9

( continued ) Clerical, junior Executives, industrial ists, professions

Variations in ways of entertaining Spontaneous i n v i tations reserved for: close family close friends children's friends colleagues/associates I n v i te in advance: close famil y colleagues/associates I n v i te fai rly or very often for: coff ee dessert d i n ner Make spontaneous invitations for: aperi tif a meal Most important thing in spontaneous Il1 VI tatIOns: successful cooking enough to eat guests not bored Prefer to offer guests: buffet or single dish a ful l meal When entertai n i ng, use ( reg and often ) : silverware crystal glasses china crockery ordinary glasses earthenware crockery Like their guests to dress: elegantly casually Seating-prefer: to i n d icate guest's place guests to choose places to separate couples not to separate couples Children welcome ( avg. m i n . age i n years) : at meal at end of evening i n conversation Guests bring: flowers dessert

Manual workers


Variations i n ways of entertaining When entertain i ng, like:

Manual workers




20.9 2.8 1 .9

32.5 33.2
8.3 4.2

background music t o keep an eye o n TV singing after meal organizing games Source: C.S. XLI I I ( 1978 ) . a. This table i s read as follows: workers and junior executives less than

48. 1
14.4 64.9 66.4

3.4 3.1 33.1 8.4 48.4

24. 7

56.6 4.7 55.3 59.7

5 7. 7

4.2 45.3 50.9

1 8. 9


ous invitations to their close family,

23.7 5 1 .3

38.2 15.1

5 1 .7 % o f man ual workers restrict their spontane 20.9% to close friends etc . ; 34.7 % of clerical restrict such i n v i tations to their close family, 35.9%

t o close friends etc. For each question t h e total of t h e percentages may b e greater or

67.8 46.3 3 1 .9

1 00,

since for each question the respondents could choose several answers

or none. Iralic figures i n dicate the strongest tendency in each row.



1 0. 1 33.6

33.4 1 9. 4
7 7. 2

5.9 28.4 46.6 25.3 7 1 .6

9.4 26.0
4 7. 9 26. 1


27.8 29.3 39.6

84.8 60. 6

40.7 49.7 46.3 56.5 5 5.9 1 5.9 70.9 31.3 63 . 1 35.0

38. 4

61.5 5 7. 3 60. 0

5 5.4 54.8
30. 6

1 0.8
79. 7


65. 7


22.8 26.0


6.5 1 0.9 1 2 .0 4 1 .8
24. 6 1 8. 6

7.5 1 1 .9 1 2.2 56.3 1 6.6 1 6.9

8.8 1 2. 9 12.1 68.3

9.8 14.0

fish-light, lean and bland ) ; in the other, the priority given to form ( the shape of the body, for example) and social form, formality, puts the pur suit of strength and substance in the background and identifies true free dom with the elective asceticism of a self-imposed rule; And it could be shown that two antagonistic world views, two worlds, two representa tions of h uman excellence are contained in this matrix . Substance--Dr matter-is what is substantial, not only 'filling' but also real, as opposed to all appearances, all the fine words and empty gestures that 'butter no parsnips' and are, as the phrase goes, purely symbolic; reality, as against sham, imitation, window-dressing; the l ittle eating-house with its mar ble-topped tables and paper napkins where you get an honest square meal and aren' t 'paying for the wallpaper' as in fancy restaurants; being, as against seeming, nature and the natural, simplicity (pot-luck, ' take it as it comes', 'no standing on ceremony' ) , as against embarrassment, mincing and posturing, airs and graces, which are always suspected of being a substitute for substance, i.e., for sincerity, for feel ing, for what is felt and proved in actions; it is the free-speech and l anguage of the heart which make the true 'nice guy', blunt, straightforward, unbending, honest, genuine, 'straight down the l ine' and 'straight as a die', as opposed to everything that is pure form, done only for form's sake; it is freedom and the refusal of complications, as opposed to respect for all the forms and formalities spontaneously perceived as instruments of distinction and power. On these moralities, these world views, there is no neutral view point; what for some is shameless and slovenly, for others is straightfor ward, unpreten tious; familiarity is for some the most absolute form of recognition, the abdication of all distance, a trusting openness, a relation of equal to equal; for others, who shun familiarity, it is an unseemly liberty.


/ The Economy of Practices

The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles /


The popular realism which inclines working people to reduce practices to the reality of their function, to do what they do, and be what they are ( ,That's the way I am' ) , without 'kidding themselves' ( 'That's the v.: it is' ) , and the practical materialism which inclines them to censor the expression of feel ings or to divert emotion i nto violence or oaths, are the near-perfect anti thesis of the aesthetic disavowal which, by a sort of essen tial hypocrisy ( seen, for example, in the opposition between por nography and eroticism ) masks the in terest in function by the primacy given to form, so that what people do, they do as if they were not do1l1g it.
T H E V l S l BLE A N D TH E l N V l S l B L E But food-which the working classes place on the side of being and substance, whereas the bourgeoisie, refus. ing the distinction between inside and outside or 'at home' and 'for others', the quotidian and the extra-quo tidian, in troduces into it the cate gories of form and appearance-is i tself related to clothing as inside to outside, the domestic to the public, being to seeming. And the inversion of the places of food and clothing in the contrast between the spending patterns of the working classes, who give priority to being, and the mid dle classes, where the concern for 'seeming' arises, is the sign of a reversal of the whole world \'iew. The working classes make a realistic or, one might say, functionalist use of clothing. Looking fo r substance and fu nc tion rather than forn1, they seek 'value for money' and choose what will

'last'. Ignoring the bourgeois concern to introduce formality and formal dress into the domestic world, the place for freedom-an apron and slip pers ( for women ) , bare chest or a vest ( for men )-they scarcely mark the distinction between top clothes, visible, intended to be seen, and under clothes, invisible or hidden-unlike the middle classes, who have a de gree of anxiety about external appearances, both sartorial and cosmetic, at least outside and at work ( to which middle-class women more often have access ) . Thus, despite the limits of the data available, one finds in men's cloth ing ( which is much more socially marked, at the level of what can be grasped by statistics on purchases, than women's clothing) the equiva lent of the major oppositions found in food consumption. In the first di mension of the space, the division again runs between the office workers and the manual workers and is marked particularly by the opposition be tween grey or white overalls and blue dungarees or boiler-suits, between town shoes and the more relaxed moccasins, kickers or sneakers ( not to mention dressing-gowns, which clerical workers buy 3 . 5 times more often than manual workers ) . The increased quantity and quality of all purchases of men's clothing is summed up in the opposition between the suit, the prerogative of the senior executive, and the blue overall, the dis tinctive mark of the farmer and industrial worker ( i t is virtually un known in other groups, excep t craftsmen ) ; or between the overcoat, always much rarer among men than women, but much more frequent among senior executives than the other classes, and the fur-lined jacket or lumber jacket, mainly worn by agricultural and industrial workers. In between are the j unior executives, who now scarcely ever wear working clothes but fairly often buy suits. Among women, who, in all categories ( except farmers and farm la bourers ) , spend more than men ( especially in the j unior and senior exec utive, professional and other high-income categories ), the number of purchases increases as one moves up the social hierarchy; the difference is greatest for suits and costumes--expensive garments-and smaller for dresses and especially skirts and jackets. The top-coat, which is increas ingly frequent among women at h igher social levels, is opposed to the 'all-purpose' raincoat, in the same way as overcoat and lumber jacket are opposed for men. The use of the smock and the apron, which in the working classes is virtually the housewife's uniform, increases as one moves down the hierarchy ( i n contrast to the dressing-gown, which is virtually unknown among peasants and industrial workers ) .
Every year, on average, manual workers buy more handkerchiefs, vests and underpants, and about as many socks, sweat shirts, sweaters etc. as the other classes, but fewer pyjamas ( like dressing-gowns, a typically bourgeois gar ment) and shirts. Among women, the class differences in underwear pur chases, which are clearly marked as regards price, are less strong as regards number ( and are even inverted for slips, nightdresses, stockings, tights and


/ The Economy of Practices

pace of Life-Styles / The Habitus and the S

co ...... '<::j- O\ rY) '<::j- r-..... \C) 1.r\ '<:;j-- f"-.- lr\ CO I"-. ...... v-\ v-\ -..Q v\ v-\ v-\ tr\ \Q


handkerchiefs) . By contrast, among both men and women, purchases of top clothes increase in number and value as one moves up the social hierarchy. The transverse oppositions are harder to determine because the survey on household living conditions, which would show variations by five catego ries, makes only very rough divisions by item. However, expenditure on clothing ( almost entirely devoted to top clothes) varies strongly between the fractions of the dominant class, rising steadily from teachers, who de vote least to this item in both absolute and relative terms ( 1 , 5 2 3 francs per annum, or 3 . 7 percent ) , through the industrial and commercial employers (4.5 percent ) , senior executives ( 5 . 7 percent ) and engineers ( 6 . 1 percent ) t o the members o f the professions (4,361 francs o r 7 .6 percent ) . These dif ferc;nces in the value placed on these means of self-presentation ( shoe con sumption varies like that of clothes) can be traced back to the generative formulae which retranslate the necessities and facilities characteristic of a position and a condition into a particular life-style, determining the value and importance accorded to social 'connections'-smallest, it seems, among teachers, who are close in this respect to the petite bourgeoisie, and greatest in the ptofessions or the bourgeoisie of big business, which is not isolated in the statistics-as an opportunity to accumulate social capital. But in order to characterize completely the specific form which the basic principles of each life-style take in this particular area, one would need to have close y descriptions of the qualit of the objects in question, cloth ( e.g., the English associate tweeds with the 'country gentleman') , colour, cut, en abling one to grasp the taxonomies used and the conscious or unconscious expressive intentions ( ,young' or 'classical', 'Sporty' or 'smart' etc. ) . There is, however, every reason to think that clothing and hairstyles become 'younger' as one moves away from the dominant pole, more and more 'seri ous' ( i.e., dark, severe, classical ) as one moves towards it.3 2 The younger one is socially, that is, younger in biological age, and the closer, within the space of the fractions, to the dominated pole or to the new sectors of occu pational space, the greater the affinities with all the new forms of dress ( unisex garments of 'junior fashion', jeans, sweat shirts and so forth) which are defined by a refusal of the constraints and conventions o f 'dressing up'.

r- -qo tr', N') O 'D ....... 00 '7' V', rtl '-D '<::t' r--- '<::t' I"---

.r: 0 -r\ V---:






..c ::l o ..c



oo r--... CO V"l '<:;j-- ...... "' N OO \O '<:j- r--- I"--.. O\ ,\!) OO

v-\ tr\ \CS v-\ v-\ tr\

c: OJ -0 c: o



..c ' o c:

"" ci


o - o '<::t' o V\ \,Q 0 '<:j"' V\ (",(,) \.O '<::t' 1"'-- "' _

0 v-\ v-\ v-\ '-D


N c\

P-. ::l u u o > ..0

.g '"

I"- rtl '7' rtl IF\ OO OO C\ '<::t' V""\ '<:j"' \.O '<::t' I'--- '<::t' O\

v-\ v-\ 0 v-\ v-\ v-\ v-\ v-\

The interest the different classes have in self-presentation, the attention they devote to it, their awareness of the profits it gives and the invest ment of time, effort, sacrifice and care which they actually put into it are proportionate to the chances of material or symbolic profit they can rea sonably expect from it ( see table 20) . More precisely, they depend on the existence of a labour market in which physical appearance may be val orized in the performance of the j ob i tself or in professional relations; and on the differential chances of access to this market and the sectors of this market in which beauty and deportment most strongly contribute to occupational value. A first indication of this correspondence between the propensity to cosmetic investments and the chances of profit may be seen in the gap, for all forms of beauty care, between those who work and those who do not ( which must also vary according to the nature of the job and the work environmen t ) . It can be understood in terms of this

N '-D OO O::) '<j" if\ "'1- 00 N r<'I ....... OO N r<l C'\ OO

v-\ v-\ 0 tr\ v-\ v-\ or\ v-\

c: '"

'" u >-


o OJ

..0 ..0 o

K. < 15

V c

rable 20

( co n t i n ued ) Posi tive responses Positive responses



by occupation of head of respondent's household Clerical, Executive, industrialist, p rofessions Does not work

by aeti vi ty of respondent

N a -k


\spect of body, eauty or beauty care

Farm worker Manual

j u n ior exec.

Xi auld rather look:



69. 6

1 2.0

69.8 1 5 .6

62.8 22.9



"hinks husband prefers loman ro be: natural

1 6.8

6 1 .6 22.3

.... .

;:, "

m 8





6.5 52.2
39. 1

65.0 8.1 58.5 35.4 14.0


5 1 .4 15.1 5 9. 2 33.5
1 7. 5

1 6. 1 61.9

60. 6

"hinks it is better to be: beautiful rich beau t i ful l ucky

1 0.6 5 9. 5 32.7 1 5.7 80.2

54.1 1 2 .3 58.7 33.9 1 4.4 80.3

'hinks i t is better to be:

1 7.4

83. 7


'hinks i t is normal to


se make-up to look

Junger a lose weight, uses: diet sporr, exercise drugs nothing

53.3 2 3.9 4.3 2.2

69. 6

5 1 .9 1 9.8 8.3
4.6 71 . 7



52.1 23.9 1 0.6 3.8 68.3


1 6. 9

14.0 3.6 60.6

3.0 66. 1

23.1 1 l .8 3.6 66.4

Approves of plastic sur-

gery to look younger

5 0.0 9.8 1 2.0


5 0.0 1 6. 9 29.6 35.6 45.6 1 5.9 8. 1


43.2 54. 7

5 1 .3 23.2 30. 1 35.1 42. 1 2 1 .0 9.8

32.0 44.8

Bath or shower at least

once a day

36.6 45.0 2 1 .2

Puts on make-up every


Puts on make-up never

or rarely ' Spends more than half

1 7. 3 45.3
27.8 20.8


an hour on grooming

12.3 4.3 6.5

Uses make-up to feel


25.9 1 6.9

22. 1 1 3.5


Hairdresser at least once

a forrnight ight: with soap with make-up remover ete. Source: C.S. XLIV

Cleanses face every

.. ;:,


"" .... . ....



2 0. 1 86.0

1 5.7

28. 1 67.5


47.8 ( 1976 ) .



a. I talic figu res indicate the strongest tendency or tendencies in each row.

N a v,



/ The Economy 0/ Practices

The Habitus and the Space 0/ Life-Styles /


logic why working-class women, who are less likely to have a job and m uch less likely to enter one of the occupations which most strictly de mand conformity to the dominant norms of beauty, are less aware than all others of the 'market' value of beauty and much less inclined to invest time and effort, sacrifices and money in cultivating their bodies. It is quite different with the women of the petite bourgeoisie, espe . Cially the new petit bourgeoisie, in the occupations involving presenta tion and representatIOn, which o ften impose a uniform ( tenue) intended, among other things, to abolish all traces of heterodox taste, and which always demand what is called tenue, in the sense of 'dignity of conduct and correctness of manners', implying, according to the dictionary, 'a re fusal to give way to vulgarity or facility'. ( In the specialized 'charm schools' which train hostesses, the working-class girls who select them selves on the basis of 'natural' beauty undergo a radical transformation in their way of walking, sitting, laughing, smiling, talking, dressing, mak109-Up etc. ) Women of the petite bourgeoisie who have sufficient in ter ests in the market ! n wh !ch physical properties can function as capital to recognIze the do 1Oan Image of the body unconditionally without pos sessmg, at least 10 telr own eyes ( and no doubt objectively ) enough . body capital to obtam the h ighest profits, are, here too, at the site of greatest tension. Th self-assurance given by the certain knowledge of one's own value, espeCially that of one's body or speech, is in fact very closely linked to the position occupied in social space ( and also, of course, to trajectory ) . . Th us, the proportlO o f women who consider themselves below average 10 beauty, or who thm they look older than they are, falls very rapidly as one moves up the oClal hierarchy. Similarly, the ratings . women give themselves for the different parts of their bodies tend to rise with social position, and this despite the fact that the implicit demands rise too. It is not surprising that peti t-bourgeois women-who are almost as dissatis fied with their bodies as working-class women ( they are the ones who most often wish they looked different and who are most discontented with various parts of their bodies ) , while being more aware of the use fulness of beauty and more often recognizing the dominant ideal of physical excellence--devote such great investments, of self-denial and especially of time, to improving their appearance and are such uncon ditional believers in all forms of cosmetic voluntarism ( e.g. , plastic surgery ) . As for the women of the dominant class, they derive a double assur ance from their bodies. Believing, like petit-bourgeois women, in the value of beauty and the value of the effort to be beautiful, and so associat ing aesthetic value and moral value, they feel superior both in the intrin SIC, natural beauty of their bodies and in the art of self-embellishment and everything they call tenue, a moral and aesthetic virtue which defines 'nature' negatively as sloppiness. Beauty can thus be simultaneously a gift \

of nature and a conquest of merit, as much opposed to the abdications of . vulgarity as to ugliness. Thus, the experience par excellence of the 'alienated body', embarrass meneE, and the opposite experience, ease, are clearly unequally probable for members of the petite bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie, who grant the same recognition to the same representation of the legitimate body and legitimate deportment, but are unequally able to achieve it. The chances of experiencing one's own body as a vessel of grace, a continuous miracle, are that much greater when bodily capacity is commensurate with recog nition; and, conversely, the probability of experiencing the body with unease, embarrassment, timidity grows with the disparity between the ideal body and the real body, the dream body and the 'looking-glass self' reflected in the reactions of others ( the same laws are also true of speech ) .
The mere fact that the most sought-after bodily properties ( slimness, beauty ( etc . ) a.re not randomly distributed among the classes ( or example, the pro portion of women whose waist measurem ent is greater than the modal waist rises sharply as one moves down the social hierarchy ) is sufficient to exclude the possibility of treating the relationshi p which agents have with the social representa tion of their own body as a generic alienation , constitu tive of the 'body for others'. The 'alienated body' described by Same is a generic body, as is the 'alienation ' which befalls each body when it is per ceived and named, and therefore objectified by the gaze and the discourse of others.33 The phenomen ologists' 'body-for-o thers' is doubly a social product: it derives its distinctive properties from its social conditions of production ; and the social gaze is not a universal, abstract, objectifyin g power, like the Sartrian gaze, but a social power, whose efficacy is always pardy due to the fact that the receiver recognizes the categories of perception and apprecia tion it applies to him or her.

Although it is not a petit-bourgeois monopoly, the petit-bourgeois ex perience of the world starts out fro m timidity, the embarrassment of someone who is uneasy in his body and his language and who, instead of being 'as one body with them', observes them from outside, through other people's eyes, watching, checking, correcting himself, and who, by his desperate attempts to reappropriate an alienated being-for-others, ex poses himself to appropriation, giving himself away as much by hyper correction as by clumsiness. The timidity which, despite itself, realizes the objectified body, which lets itself be trapped in the destiny proposed by collective perception and statement ( n icknames etc. ) , is betrayed by a body that is subject to the representation of others even in its passive, unconscious reactions ( one feels oneself bl ushing ) . By contrast, ease, a sort of indifference to the objectifying gaze of others which neu tralizes its powers, presupposes the self-assurance which comes from the certainty of


/ The Economy of Practices

The Habitus and the Space of Life-Styles /


being able to objectify that objectification, appropriate that appropria tion, of being capable of imposing the norms of apperception of one's own body, in short, of commanding all the powers which, even when they reside in the body and apparently borrow its most specific weapons, such as 'presence' or charm, are essentially irreducible to it. This is the real meaning of the findings of the experiment by W. D. Dannenmaier and F. J. Thumin, in which the subjects, when asked to assess the height of familiar persons from memory, tended to overestimate most the height of those who had most authority or prestige in their eyes.3 \. t would seem that the logic whereby the 'great' are perceived as physically greater than they are applies very generally, and that authority of what ever sort contains a power of seduction which it would be naive to re duce to the effect of self-in terested servility. That is why political con testation has always made use of caricature, a distortion of the bodily image intended to break the charm and hold ,:!p to ridicule one of the _ principles of the effect of authority i mposition. '\ Charm and charisma in fact designate the power, which certain people have, to impose their own self-image as the objective and collective image of their body and being; to persuade others, as in love or faith, to abdicate their generic power of objectification and delegate it to the per son who should be its object, who thereby becomes an absolute subject, without an exterior ( being his own Other), fully j ustified in existing, le gitimated. The charismatic leader manages to be for the group what he is for himself, instead of being for himself, like those dominated in the sym bolic struggle, what he is for others. He 'makes' the opinion which makes him; he constitutes himself as an absolute by a manipulation of symbolic power which is constitutive of h is power since it enables him to produce and i mpose h is own objectification.

the distinctive features ( e.g., wearing a cap or playing the piano) in the two respects in which it is objectively defined, that is, on the one hand by reference to the set of features constituting the area in question ( e.g., the system of hairstyles ) , and on the other hand by reference to the set of features constituting a particular life-style ( e.g., the working-class life style ) , within which its social significance is determined. For example, the universe of sporting activities and entertainments presents itself to each new entrant as a set of ready-made choices, objec tively instituted possibles, traditions, rules, values, equipment, symbols, which receive their social significance fro m the system they constitute and which derive a proportion of their properties, at each moment, from history.
A sport such as rugby presents an initial ambiguity. In England, at least, it is still played in the elite 'public schools', whereas in France it has become the characteristic sport of the working and middle classes of the regions south of the Loire ( while preserving some 'academic' bastions such as the Racing Club or the Paris Universite Club ) This ambiguity can only be un derstood if one bears in mind the history of the process which, as in the 'elite schools' of nineteenth-century England, leads to the transmutation of popular games into elite sports, associated with an aristocratic ethic and world view ( ,fair play', 'will to win' etc . ) , entailing a radical change in meaning and function entirely analogous to what happens to popular dances when they enter the complex forms of 'serious' music; and the less well-known history of the p rocess of popularization, akin to the diffusion of classical or 'folk' music on LPs, which, in a second phase, transforms elite sport into mass sport, a spectacle as much as a practice.

Th us, the spaces defined by preferences in food, clothing or cosmetics are organized according to the same fundamental structure, that of the social space determined by volume and composition of capital. Fully to con struct the space of life-styles within which cultural practices are defined, one would first have to establish, for each class and class fraction, that is, for each of the configurations of capital, the generative formula of the habitus which retranslates the necessities and facilities characteristic of that class of ( relatively) homogeneous conditions of existence into a par ticular life-style. One would then have to determine how the dispositions of the habitus are specified, for each of the major areas of practice, by im plementing one of the stylistic possibles offered by each field ( the field of sport, or music, or food, decoration, politics, language etc. ) . By superim posing these homologous spaces one would obtain a rigorous representa tion of the space of life-styles, making it possible to characterize each of

The Universes of Stylistic Possibles

The distributional properties which are conferred on the different practices when they are evaluated by agents possessing a practical knowl edge of their distribu tion among agents who are themselves distributed into ranked classes, or, in other words, of the probability, for the different classes, of practising them, do indeed owe much to past patterns of dis tribution, because of the effects of hysteresis. The 'aristocratic' image of sportS like tennis, riding or golf can persist beyond a-relative-transfor mation of the material conditions of access, whereas pitanque (a form of bowls ) , doubly stigmatized by its popular and southern origins and con nections, has a distributional significance very similar to that of Ricard or other strong drinks and all the cheap, strong foods which are supposed to give strength. But distributional properties are not the only ones conferred on goods by the agents' perception of them . Because agents apprehend objects through the schemes of perception and appreciation of their habitus, it would be naive to suppose that all practitioners of the same sport ( or any other practice) confer the same meaning on thei r practice or even,

Strength and Silhouette

I Started, but all the same ]"'e put inches on my shoulders, } inches on my chesr and I VI inches on my ums, and all th)t in juSt three months. It's kyond my ....ildest hopes. My muscles ;Ire several inches biMer and my strength has doubled, ] feel like a new man. My parents and friends used to make fun of me, but no"" my father getS me ro take off my shin and sho.... visitors ....hu I've achieved. thanks ro you.' Prospectus xlliptllrr HII",,,illt

'] "'11$ no ,.,nkling (or my age ....hen


. speaking, Chat rhq> art pl1lc!ising rhe same practice. II can easily tIf... thaC the different cJ do not agree on rhe profits eXpted "flc n bC ft, be thq> spific physical profits, such as effects on the cxlernal elegance or visible muscl, and on the internal body, (roI'i e slimness, laxation; or elltrinsic profits, such as the social lation th or like spOrt may facilicale, or possible economic and social advantagc1. a j/I!pS hOugh there are CUC$ in which the dominant function of the prac t i nably clearly design ated, onc s pfllctically never emitled to e IS t" c that rhe different d Cllpect che same rhing from Ihc same For examp e, gymnastics may k asked-this is the popular de c isfi d by bodybuilding-to produce a strong body, fing the e l11an sa h 1l signs of its strengt , or a healthy body-this is the bourgeois de elf(d satisfied by 'keep-fit' ellercises Of 'slimnastics'--or. with (he 'new I11lfl tics', a 'likmed' body-this is the demand chll1lCleristic of Jf:fI mcn in the new ffllctions of the bourgeoisie and petite boufgcoisie," merhodical analysis of the variations in the function and meaning confrrred on the different sporting activities will enable one to escape ormal 'typologies' based <it is III<- law o( Ihe genre) on from absrnct, ( the researcher's personal upetience; and to COnStruct the umvnulizing t:lbk o( the sociologically pertinent f (1turrs in terms of which the agems (consciously or unconsciously) (hODS( their sports.

1 I "lW"/J ,.,'" x

"'" .Jfw.r II '-' } }"J' .!'"

I ... , '

nd,. un:{c. Pd Cwy,

sho n

'The President's rennis lesson, Puis. July 1978. Like a gro....ing number of prople in France, President V:lltry Giscatd d'Estaing is in terested in tennis, To improve his style. he now takes regular nrly morning lessons in a club on the otJt$kirrs of Paris, ....here OIlr ph0tographer surprised him.'
T If'J''\lllg,,i'"/Sfgma tII

. ""n 2C$thete o( to k sensitive to the his body:' Karl The Paris fuhion Insr thiny minutes " : trim. HIS bedroom, ;h"h rumed into a home gymnuium. contains all sorts o( .ppaNtU!; exercise bicycle. wall bars. ;I etc machine. a massage machine . Back from his holidays in onl' Tropez (where he did ' " ming), he u ,his C<juipment to keep t ; . the wa)' he ....a" ' '. . . , .' " ' free to ,hooK i : : Ltt ,\1,,'-- : ,: . ber 1971),

j : ; : : ; :



sporting praClicc is linked to $0 many variables-how long 'go, and ho...., the sport was learnt, how orten it is pl.yed, the socially q"lifd. conditions (place, time, (acilities, [uipment), ho.... it is played {]>OIition in tnm, Style el(,)-that most of the .vailable sntisric.1 dan "'" ry difficult ro interpret. Thi, is especially (rue of highly dispersed pn<. '1Ift, luch as phlfl<jUC, ....hich may k played every w"",knd, on a prepa=l . ....tlh regular parmers, Of improvised on holiday to amust: rhe chil "C\'kly kttp-fil nerci$('$, gymn:lStia, ....hich may 'impk <b or ... ily 11 , ....ithour 5pCCi.1 [uipment, performed in 5pCCial gymnasium ''1uaJily' (and price) vary ...ith il5 [uipmcor.nd services (nor to ClJl "on 'thktic gymn:lSrics and all the forms of 'new gymn:lStics). aUI , place rn the same cl1Sll, given idemical fr[uencr, Ihose ....ho have OIl(: Or I I played tcnni, from nrly childhood .nd those ....ho Inrnt as adults, {hO$C ....ho ski in the Khool holidays and thost: who have the o ti>( SOc ski at Other limes and off the beaten track? [n (aCl, il is rare for 'ion, l homogeneilY of rhe practitioncrs to k $0 great th.! the popub. deti. by the samc activity do not function :IS fields in which the I"'a , .. n"lon of the IcgirimliC pnctice is at s,ake. ConAiCls o\"er the Iegir. . r ay of do.ng . it, or over the resources for doing it (budget .Jloca. . Ipnt, grounds etC.) almost alW1ltys retranslate soci.1 differences "'lit , " "Ioclltiu' logic of the field. Thus sportS which .re undergoing 'demay (aU$( 10 coexiSt (generally in sqnnre spaces or times) t 'Port III r 'ui>.popului0f)5 ....hkh correspond to differen, ages of the C2$C of tennis, til< memkrs of privaoe dubs. lons.sunding
Tht moning o( a



1ol,:"J]r di',t' h.:

In appeal 10 the 'Icchninl' definition. This. f1l from e$Caping Ihe /icld and its struggles. is most ofren the work of those ....ho. ealeducllion feachers, Ire re uired to ensure the imposition and inculcation of the schemes 0 perccption and action which, in ganize Ihe pnClices, Ind who arc inclined to present the produce IS grounded in rCl$(ln or nlture.

pn(lilionel'$ who are more Ihan ever a!llched to s!riC! $undards or ,'_ Lacostc shirl. whilc shons or skin. Spill shoes) Ind all thlt this Irc oppo$C'd in evcry pt to the new pr1C1ilioners in municipal holidly dubs who <kmonSU:lte thu ,he rilull of clothing is no :l.Sf'CC1 of the lcgilimuc pnClice. Tennis played in Bermuda shons shiff. in 1 Huk suit or even swimming trunks. Ind Adidas i$ indttd another tennis. both in the wly it is playW and in the lions il gives. And SO the necessary circle whereby the m" ,;, . . rice caSIS lighl on the cllss distribution of practices and Ihis CISIS light on the differential meaning of (he practice cannot be

212 I Tk Eronqmy o Pr(J(licts f

I lJt

NdOIlUJ (Jnll tnt Jpm tJ UJ" Jlyl I j




... ____ hi<h combines Inc popular {n(urcs of thc ball-glnlt and I bailie

Ilich demand a high investment of energy, effort or even pain "ing) and ....hich sometimes endanger the body itself (e.g. (e8" ding. pllllChulC jumping, acrobuics, and, to some extem. all .-.tOr c, ') . 1l"" lt2C1 sportS 'cof

oi"phY\ speed

ciuion of the immediate or deferred profits they

In any case, o only needs 10 be a....are Ihat the cI:ass sporting anivi(ies art': due u mueh to varillions in to variations in the COSts. both C(:onomic and cuhural

oudines Ihe distribmion of Ihese Ictivities among the classes ( etions. Everylhing takes place rll ferent spons depended, within the limits defined by e<Gnomic i( the probability of taking

ort). in ordn 10 understand in (degree of risk and physical eff

[urlll ) capital and spare time, on perception and intrinsic and exuinsic profils of each Spoil in (erms which is one aspt of this.

the habitus, and more precisely. in terms of the telation

.oz"' ",. Cll violence and 11'1 immediate usc of 'nllunl' physinl (jualities etc.), hu affinities with [he most typicaJly popular disposi. (S!rcn ' cult of manliness and the taste for a fiSht, toughness In 'con(act' e tlO S' 'sranee to tilCdness .nd pain. and sense 0( solidarity ('the mates') ('the third half) and so forth. This docs nO! prevent members ractions of the dominant class (or some intellectuals, who nt f t domina "wllsly or uncon$Ciusly eptCU (heir values) f,?m making n acsthe . thical investment '" [he gJOlC and even someltmes playing II. The t u of lOughnC"SS and the cult of male values, rometimcs mingled with P" il tlticism of violence and man[o-man combll, bring the deep disposi. of fit3[-grcc priClilioncrs to {he level of discou["$C. 1be larrer. being 1I1t inclined to verbalize and rheotize, find themselves relegated by the mlnlrill discourse: (thll of fniners. [cam managers and some journalisu) of docile. submissive. brute force ('gende giam', elC.). 'OiOrking. !O tilt dU$ STrength in its approved form (sclfucrificc. 'team spirit' Ind SO f orth). the ariSllxraric reinrcrpretation which tradilionalJy hingcJ on the he But roic' vinues associated with Ihe three'luuter game encounters its limits in In.: lllity of modern rugby. which. undef the combined effeCis of modern >ltd Ilctics and enining. a change in (he social fC(ruitment of the players idet audience, gives priolifY to the 'forwlfd game'. ....hich is incteas '"81y discuiiSCd in mcrlphors of the meanest industrial labour ('lIlIcking In.:,oalface) or tn:nch ....arfare (the infantrymn ...ho 'du[ifully' runs . Iong in.o e!>emy fire).)(;

y.ujr/: 8 tile body itself and allowing 1--p1llially ICguJatC<l-exptnSion

; In Iry

:S :U '



md a w

symbolized by

The tel2(ionship between lile diffen:nt Spot'fS and Ige is mon: II is only defincd-l"hrough the IOrenSifY of the physical effort fhe disposition tOW1llds (his dem:and. which is a dimension of dass in (he relationShip bet....een a sport and a clus. The most importint erly of the 'popular' sportS is thlt [hey afe tacitly associated ....ith . ... hich is spontaneously and impliCily credited ....ith a sort or cencc. upresscd. inter alia, in the expending of excess phySical energy-:tnd Ire abandoned very early (generally on enrry infO adult Ii

marriase). By contnst. the common fcature 0( the ' grois' sport. mainly pursued for their he:alth.ml;ntainlng funcrions their social profits. is thaI their 'retirement age' is much later,
more so the more prestigiolls rhey :Ire (e.g., golf).


instrumental relation [0 Iheir 0....1'1 bodies which the cia(S CXplTS$ in all praclices dirt':C1cd towards [he hody--dict or care. relation [0 illness or medical care-is also manifesred in


E.erything Sttms to indicate (hu lhe concern to cul!ivate [he body ipptars. in ils elementary form-Ihal is, as Ihe cutl of heahh--often as ....ith an ascetic exal!ltion of 50bricry and controlled diet, in (he classes (junior exC(:utivC'$, the medical .'lCrvices and especially heachers emin . and particularly among ....omen in these strongly f Ilt<j C tegories). These cluses. ....ho arc especially anxious about appear 11\( ' 'nd therefon: about Iheir bodyforothers. go in very inrcnsively for 1 tt tllt 5 Cs, the ascetic sport pu exceHence. since i( .mounlS 10 a $Ort of I li ( (h,t ....k"is) for tnining's sake. We kno.... from social psychology . f accep tlnce (the very definition of ease) rises .... ith unsclfcon the Clpuily (0 e$C'pe fascinadon with a self possesse<l by Ihe the: Ioo thers (olle thinks of the look of questioning anxiety, lurning


td 5(k

f 5(I()U o , of

Others on ilself .so fuenl no....adays among bourgeois l ... "'ho "''11I "f101 gto.... old); and so it is understandable-Ihat middle. t ofTlell all: disposed 10 sacrifice much time and cff" rt to achie [he O


Regular sporting aCtivity varics sttongly by social dan. ranging from percenl for farm workers, 10.1 peKei'll for manual wOtkcrs and 10.6 ( r clcrical workcrs to 24 perccnt (or junior cxutivcs and o members of 'he professions. Similu vuillions are found in I cational kvd. whereas the difference bc.wn .he )eXCS incrcasn. ;is where. as one movcs down the social hierarchy.j, The varia.ions arc

of their public, which redoubln their commonness. but also the and virrun demanded, strength, endurance, violence, 'sacrifice' . and submission to collective d i!.Cipline-so conmry to bourgeoiS diStance'---and the exaltation of com peti tion.

sense: of meeting Ih social norms of sc:Jf p resenlation which i condition of forgening oneself and one's body-fof.others BI,II physiol (uhur, and all the strictly heahh.()ricn 'e<l': as walking and jogging arc 1150 linke<l in other ways 10 of thc (ultu r.aUy riche'St fl1lClions of the middle dlSSCS and class. Generally spe2king, they an: only meaningful in relation 10 I theoretical, ab$lrKt knowle<lge of the effects of an exercise gy mnastics, is indf raluce<l 10 a series of abstract movCTnencs, posed and organi=! by reference (0 a specific. erudite 80;11 (e.g. '; dominab'), cncirciy opposed to thc total, praninJly oricnl''' .' :; of everyday life; and thcy presuppose a r.ldonaJ faith in rhe d innngibk profits rhey offer (such as protection against ageing or ; ddeo!s linked to age, an absmcr, negative gain ). II is the re f re . u o or standable thac they shoul d find the conditions f their the :ucetic dispositions of upwardly mobile individuab , {O find satisfanion in etrof! itself and to take the deferred , their present s.acrifice at face value. But also. beause formed in solirude. ar rimes and in places beyond rhe of " " the beaten trick. and so exclude all COmpetilion (rhis is one of diff"erences between running and fogging). they have a nuur:al among the ethical and aesrheric choices which define the "i''';';' ceticism of the dominated fncdons of the dominant cllSS. Team sports. which only require eompetences ("physical' or "'1". that arc fairly equally distributed among the classes and are ,;0 equally accessible within the limits of the time and energy ,.,,, might be expected TO rise in frequency. like individual sports. as moves through the social hierarchy. However. in accordance with a observed in olher areas-phofogtaphy. for example-their ify and all that this entails, such as u ndcsinble contacts, them in the eyes of the dominant class. lind in, Ihe most popular sPOf!s. f ootlnll and rugby, or wfCSlling and boxing, their early days were the delight of ariSlocnrs. but Fnnce. in boming popular, have ceased to be whar they were, combine all f arufCS which repcl the dominant class: 1'101 only the social m,"" e



:::::; : ':
; : "


Thcic ol lo....W by the craftsmen and shopkttpc "Ilrcrs. f m schools. but they al$O reo .. bincd by the encouragement of port frth (p.he fan thaI (he declme sporting acti"i,y ""lIh age. whICh 2bruptly and relatively early '1'1 the ....o,king ciaw:s, ...he,e II &:s o<",rs "'lIh schoolleavmg or mamagc (,h'-quulers of the peasants """" ual ,,'o,kers ha"e abandoned sporr by ase 2'). is much s1o",e. in n Jod mJ nan ' dlS's. whOSC" sporr '$ eKplkl\ly in,cstw with health'Biving rhr o. n . f eumple. by th<c Imerest in children's physical o (as;s show funC;, :'cm). (This explains ...hy. in the synoptic rabie-table 2l-thc de'( oion "'ho rC8ululy pe,form any spomng ani..ilY at 3 .'liven moment r rWfO position in the social hierarchy, whereas thc proporrion st rongl)' ",ith fI used to 31 one time is fairly conSI...nt. and is e,'en ,,- r do so but d ho n v lon"" an shopkccpcrs.) hcst among craftsmcn sporring e"enlS (espc<iall)' the most popubr of them) at orkers. common among Cr:l(tsmen and shopkccpcrs. manual ... is 051 exC(ut;vt"$ and clerical,....orkers (who of[cn also rnd the sportS paper ( gb . . , .. , . ,,, /N): L'fJ{II' ,he same ;s true 0 ntefCSt tn Ie CVl:1C<1!pO" soccer. III r. ey d much less (bnS. horse.racing). By contrast, the ominam dass warch . rugby and sknng. (or IpOft. either li"e or on TV. eccpt

(pC 0

case of an individ n ked irhe.heerarch)' tS Inverred:uai[l sporr like tennis, whereas in rhe is most played among manual cr hi dtffcrenct"$ an. rs.

sI' ftO:.,. dam:


hluendance (K


JUSt as, in an age when sponing ut;vi,it"$ Vien. fCS(IVcd for a few. the cult of 'fair play'. [he code of play of ,hose who have the self-control not 10 gt so curied away by the game that they forge! thaI it is 'only a glmc. w s ... logical development of the distinctivc funCtion of sporr. so too. in an age whcn participation is not always a sufficicnt guarantcc of tflc mity of thc participants. those who seck to provc their excellence must affirm their disinte!CStedness by remaining aloof from pranicn de v.lluo:d by the: appnnncn of Sheep-like conformism which they acquire4 becoming more common. To distance lhemselvt"$ (rom common U5Cmcnts. (he privilegc-d once again nee<! only themselves be gUIded by the horro. of vulgar crowds which always leads thcm else "'here, higher. fu rther, 10 new experiences and virgin spaces. exeluslvely Or firstly theirs. and also by rhe sense of [he legitimacy of pnCtices. which f nction of thci. distributional value, of course, but also of the u gr to which they lend th m selvcs 10 acsthcticiza[ion, in pn(lice or d


thc f turcs which appeal [0 (he dommant faSfe are combined in e:l uCh as solf, tcnnis, sailing. riding (or show.jumping). skiing ( . . ally tts most P"c . , . distinctiv forms. such :IS crosS-COUntry) or fencing. In exclusi"c placn (private clubs). al the lime one chooses. l



Ot.wth chosen pUlners (featufCS "'hich contrast with the colice, <It"'a obligatory rhythms and imposed cff ns of team spons). o ga Ifrrn " l ow physical cxenion that is in any case freely dei but a relatively high ;nvcstment---and ,he earlier i. is pur in.

'.'Pltne. rc]u;vc]y

.... ..: .. -.:;

"" ... ...


'" "' ''' ...

... _ ,0 "'; 0 0' ''';

... "' ''' .... .... "; 0' ''; ... "" ''': ,,,


'" .... '" '" '"

rC profitable it is-of lime and learning (so rha! Ihey ue relatively 0 Itt , r1I dci'll of varildons in bodily capitll and irs dedin<: through a), ''<: ri to highly rilutized (ompttirions. governed, beyond lY gi by Ihe unwriuen laws of fair play. The spoldng (Xchange rakes (110' It r\I air of a highly cormolled weial exchange, excluding all physical otI lh al violence, all anomie use of Ihc body (shouting, wild gcstu ' , C forms of dim;l (onlact between thc opponcnl5 (who are nd all (il ) arios opening and dos ar.lled by th .spari:l.l.organizarion and v. f orman sportS, Ihey sub like lllng, sknng and all ,hc Callf o les). Or, ,fig e man'S solitary struggk with nature (or thc man-to-man banies of I 1(I U ar sports (not to mention competitions, which are incompatibk l pO\'h a lofty idta of (he pcrson) "I ' US it can be seen (hlt onomie barriers-howtvtr great they may of golf. skiing, sailing or even riding and tenniS-1m nO! In (he case: ffictCTl t to e"plain (he class distribution of these activities. There are hidden enlly rcquiremems, such as family trlIdi(ion and early train . lng, or the obligatory manner (of dress and behaviour) , and socializing . trchniques, which keep rhese sportS dosed to the working class and to up",ardly mobik individals from the middk or u ppcr classes and w ich . maintain Ihem (along w1th sman parlour games like chess and esplally btldgc) among the surest indicators ofbouris pcdigm:.

(S. or


- . .

., .,

<:> _ ",

"': <:>; "":


0 0 '"


0 belote (and, tvtn morc so, manilk), bridgt is a game pla)'cd [ higher levels of the $OCial hierarchy, mOSl frequently lImong memo ben of Ihe p,ofmions (IFOP. 1948). Similarly, among srudenlS of the " a ndes &oln, bridge, and espialJy inrerlSive playing, wilh lournamems. . Y'lnn ,'ery strongly by social origin Chm (or rhe claim [0 pIa)' it) Soe(ms bt hnktd ,han bridgo: to social tradirions and 10 ,he pursuit of ,he :Kcu mullllOn of social C1Ipilll. This would nplain why il increuc1 is one up ,he social hierJrchy, but Chiefly IO'wards the area or social space ncd by mong cultural capinl (C.S. VII),
more 1!

In conUiSt


ulu dcvottt$, or, at the same lime. 10 )SSume different meanings a n,f1r or tns, f the different groups. should warn us against the rempta r lIOn o ry g r ll'1 to eplain the class distribution of SpoTlS purely in terms of Ihe' a[u e' of the various activities. Even if the logic of distinction is suf licle r to aC ount [ f f the basic opposition Ixtwn popullf and bour C O tA>IS p orts, the fact remains thai the relationships bclwn Ihe different &rou I a and lhe different praclices cannor Ix fully undersrood unless one c a]! COU ?t of Ihe obitive potenrilities of the different institurion dl!<:O p ac ! ICC'S, fhar is, the social uses whICh [hese pncrices encounge. UI 0 ' exclude bolh by Iheir intrinsic logic and hy heir positional . di$f ullonal value. We can hypothesize is a gcneral law thai a SPOH

fact thlt, al allxir wirh change in mean :8 and function, the samedifferem times.hn able 10aallr:Kt ariSlocl"nic practices have

The simple


i$ more likely to be adopted by a social class if it does "o, class's rebtion to the body at its dpeSt and most ::: th body 5Chma, which is the depository of a whol world Yih, : whok philosophy of the pet10n and the body. Thus a sport is in a sense predisposed for bourgeois use when of the body it uires in no way offends the sense of the high the person, which rules out, for example, flinging the rough and tumbl of 'fo"md-me' rugby or the petitions of athktics. Ever concerned to impose the of his own authority, his dignity or his distinCtion, reats his body as an end, makes his body a sign of its own C:lSt. IS thus foregtounded, and the most typically bourgeois can be re<ognized by a cerrain breadth of gatute, posture and which manif ests by Ihe amount of physical space that is place: occupied in social space:; and above all by a mmined, self-assured rempo. This slow pace:, contruting with haste 01 petitbourgeois eagerness, also characterizes bourgeois whre it similarly asserts aWateness of the right to take one's ,;,,;. other peopks. The affinity betwccn the potendalities objectively inscribfil in and disposilions is seen most clearly of all in flying, and tary aviation, The individual xploits and chivalrous ethic 0 aristocrats and French nobles who joined the Air Force: from school (everything that La Grantk JIIusion evokes) ar implied in very activity of flying which, as all the metapholl of skimming and flying suggest, are associated (p" a,dua ad aUra) with elcvated and high-mindednas, 'a cenain sense: of altitude combining wilh of the spirit', as ProUSt says apropos of Stendhal.)9 The whok betwccn a bellicose, jingoistic bourgeoisie, which idemified bdrship with the gallant, risk.raking, stiff.uppe(-lipped man 0",,,,,, and a (reetrading, multinational bourg:>isie whiCh : ' ; from ilS dccisionmaking, organizational (in a word. , , ,I ties. is contained in the opposition between the horse-riding, boxing or flying aristocrats and bourpis of the Belle Epoque mockm skiing, sailing or gliding executive. And JUSt as a history of the sporring praCtices of the dominant . would no doubt shed light on the evolution of its ethical d;'pO'; the bourgeois conception of the human ideal and in panicuJar of re<onciliation between the bodily virtues lnd the feminine intellectual virtues, SO tOO an analysis of th , i given moment of sporting activities among the fractions of th I nant elm wQuld bring to light some of the most hidden opposilion between these f!':lnions, such as the dccp-rooted, conception of the relationship betwccn the sexual division th division of Ih work or domination. This is perhaps trUer


I "J'hI Ii(onomy o i'Famm J

: :

(iJ.... ,Ilat th



gntl, invisible Nucation by eercise and diC! which is ap nw moralil)' of health is tending 10 take the place of lhe , e to the proPn t Ihiol pedagogy of the past in shaping bodies and minds. Be ((phCl . principles of division which struClur rh dominant r (he different ,",us( entirely indo/ndenr-such as {he oppositions betwccn arc nver clJ omically richest and the culrufllily rich5t. between inheritors On( , old and young (or seniors and juniors)-Ihe pr:lctices (lit (( ' nus J'1dffcrc:nt fractions !Cnd to be: dimibured.. from the dominant the i dominated fractions, in accordance: with a series of oppo {r)CIlOtU to th hich arc themselves partially reducibk to each other: the opposi l n ween the most epcnsive and smanest sportS (golf, sailing, S'1 0 lion or the mOSt expensive and smanest ways of doing them ridIng tcnnis) ; (r.ambJing, hiking. jogging, cy (pnVl , clubs) and the Cheapest spons ccring). or th Cheapest ways of doing the smarr spons ', dIng. mount1lin . . tennis on munICIpal courts or In h0"1day amps ) ; thC opposmon I.n the 'manly' sports. which rna)' demnd a high , energy input (hunnng. fishing. the 'contact' sportS, cJay.p(gn shooting), and he 'mtlO,-erted' sports. emphasizmg self-explorauon an? self.expresslon (yoga. dancing, 'physical expression'! Ot the 'cybernc:tc' sportS (flymg, uiling). mJuiring a high cultural Input and a relall"ely low nrgy

1 M navJ/uJ """ UK

Jj1'''' " )

""j'-"'J'''' I ,

JI1fd o




csslonals and Thus. the differences which separate the teachers, the prof t employers are, as it were, summed up in the three activities which, though relatively r.ltC-Ilbout 10 perccnt--tven in the fractions they dis unguish. appear as the diStinctiv feature of ellCh of them. because they I much more fuent there. at C<:Juivale:nt a, than in the others (C.S V and VII. secondary anal)'sis). The aristocratic asceticism of the thtrs finds an exemplary expression in mountaineering, which. even IIIOfc th rambling. n with its reserved paths (on thinks of Heidegger) Of cycletouring, with its Romanes'lue churches. offers for minimum eco. IIOmlC COSU the maximum distinction. distance. height, spirilUal eIVl' hon. through the sense of Simultaneously mastering on's own body and :';ture inaccessible: to the many.... The heahh-orintc:d hedonism of 0( tOil and modern executives who have the matrial and cultural means c to Ihe most prestigious Ktivities. far from vulgar crowds, is x In yaChting. open-sea swimming, cross.(oumry skiing or under frter (,shing: wheras the employers expect the S<lme gains in distinction g:; golf, with it aristOCr.ltic etiquet e. its English vocabulary and its , t ! exdush' spaces, together with extrinsic profits. such as th accU Ill Ulltlon of socill clpital .. s g'e as.: s obviously a "ry important variabk hre. it is not surpris i In t dlfences in social age. nor only bet"'ccn the biologically youn &t, t f n I be older III Identical social positions, but also. at identical biological IhC I n the dominant and Ih dominated fractions. or the new and 1 hShl fractions, are retranslated into th opposition bctwn th

TIN Habi/1I1 and lIN Spaa o Lif f t-StyilS / 221

traditional sportS and :.til Ihe neew forms of (he ci:wi( sportS

crs, photographers, modds. advenising agents. journalistS-who and market a new form of poor-man's elitism, close to thc: sion bur morc oSlcfll:.triously unconventional.

bourgeoisie. in particular by :.tll the prople working in f" hio

king, (rOSHountry skiinl!. and so on), or all [he new SporlS, ported from America by mcmbc:rs of Ihe new bouri$ie

Swedish lumberjack shins, farigue pants, U,S, work shoes, rangers , dian moccasins in supple leather, Irish work caps, caps, bush hus-not forgcuing rhe whistln, altimeters, guides, Nikons and orhel essential gadgetS w,thour I rhere can no narural return to nature, And how could one fail to recognize

' (rlippers jackets, English fishermen's pullovers,

offers Ihc serious trekker: parbs, plus-fours, alllhmlir Jacquard in r,al She!land wool, gmllillt pullovers in pllrt nalliral wool,

The true nature of this (ountcr.culture, which in fan rcacri vat aU lrol ditions of thc typically cultivated cults of thC' n3(ur:l.l - '' >:: authcmic. is more dearly revealed in Ihc equipment ." , one 0f new properly-rooms of thc advanced lifc-styk-thc FNAC Il'uil' shops), Boubourg, u NOIiIltI ObJtrvaItJl, holiday

;:::': ,oKh,,",';

I i

ogue of New (2t2lResources -;rCiOg

'til phySI

' IS , I I .II. ' I I ' $' %%I , ' I$ III $ I I I $ . 'TIm', whe:n 1 fed 1 have a body. . . , I Ihink thaI dancing can give mc harmony with myself. . . .' 'A sC1lrh for my:w:Jf, discovering myself physie:llly, . . .' 'Scnutions running Ihrough my body . . . a way of lalking, you un 52y a 101:' 'It's a selfaffirmalion. . . -' 'I fccl good when dancing. I become aWlre of myself. Once, 1 stopped for IWO yClr1; lhere ""lS somelhing mi$$ ing, . , . It's a need.'


StJC ng of I:Mehe, where she livd ",



l.anza del Vaslo hlS " 'He, art IS not IUSI ft of her' " ut" h ,,'s u has malured ,or a I e" d In her head an. hcart .., "me r our , m "e 10 if I bt!g he Ihar lh,s prcclOus arl, (1m,, u's 50 dan( 25 much as Insplml by Hmdu bJ' mcd'KYlI Chnsmn ,magery,

(of!cn ,car1'

tkq>ly ,mbued wilh lhe

bike trekking,

namics of the dream of social wdght1cssnes:5 as the basis of all sporting anivities-f ooHrekking, pony.rrekking, cycletrekking,

Ix losl.' should Ol e The apploxhes 10 Ihe inner lif

FDur girh, /wi) g"ll, a bird horJ(, a M(J1IdhanJ farl ami .. hi!t


rhing of the same relation to Ihe luxury spons of the

ture is that rhey all demand a high investment of cuiturlll anivity itsclf. in preparing, maimaining and using Ihe espc<:ially, perhaps, in verbalizing the experiences, and

try skiing, sailing, hang.gliding, microlights etc.-whose common

boat.trekking, canoeing,

archery, windsurfing,


execurives as symbolic possesion 10 malerial possession s art spons. twO contrllsting relarions
1 0

priety and ritual and in unashame<! flaunting of on Ihe olher, symbolic subversion of Ihe i tentatious poverty, which makes a virtue forms and impatience with conSlrlinrs, which is

clearly as they arc in literll!,), or Ihearrical taStes. On the one respc<:t for f orms and for forms of respect, manifesre<! in concern

In Ihe opposilion between the classical sports and th

rhe social world are

dard al rributes of bourgeois riruals, classically sryle<! clothes, boulevard Iheatre and opera. And this opposition between IWO

campingcar. or folk and rock, in other ficlds-are challenges to

or (osmelics since casual clothes and long hair-like the

and ,.,.>" order


m:tdc through Xllvilies Ihrough our ,ho: day's session, and are subS( qutnrl)' pursued in life; indeed, Ihe leireh f r Inner unuy ;s lhe cenrrll o lheme. Dance has Ihe placc of hon OUI, ir folk, religious o. creallve <bIKe Ir " 001 a pI In ilself, bur l iupporr for Ihe inner lift. Tech n"lue is worke<! on, ccrtainly, bUI ..... '(1 11 lhe exprn:w: of the rclul' lIOn r .. II esscn<lal for rhe har, h llIOr1y of rhe .self.


I muke<! in

organized, signposu:d, cuhivate<! nature,

Ihe social 'world is perf ecrly rdlccle<! in Ihe IWO relalions to ,h' " world. on rhe one hand Ihe {;lSte for natural, wild nature, on

_ " '- ':' .pc"eflr....1

omcn, Or dance is above all a way 'R<! Olm!ng '''re of '' lheir bodies, , In rh,s .sense, U is :I self.disco . ry A . ... reness of lhe: body IS some ""'" C " (ompafl1ed by awareness of lilt body "$ a pmi(ular mean! of ,<, . 10000,Ofl Women e.]>(ncncc <hI\( new langua Ihrough "hl( I ey can '"press Ihem. >tl.. fOlr around half of It..: 'flICtv> ", e -ecs. Ihis aCIlYuy " It 1 0. r e, ve waken :I primary crOI;' . n a primary aUI<H:. o,ici5m, cOflsciousncss Olf .he

IJ,,-qgh da(t

r'-., d llll1l," I /lDdi /T tf

We Slarre<! OUI (rom La Char;lesur loire in Ihe Nievre, wilh no preeisc deslinarion. In the course Olf a month we did 300 kilometres 10 Monraigul-cn,Combraille (Puy', DOme), along Ihe minor roads of lhe Bourbonnais, A\'erllgc speed 3 kilometres an hour (the hor:w: didn'l feel like going any f25er), Fi(leen or 20 kilometres a day. Be (1usc we wcre jusl ambling along we h:ad lime 10 do ill $OilS of IhinS' yOlU can'r do in (1r: black. berrying, cycling, ulking 10 Ihe Il)(als, c1imblllg up on rhe carr, bJlhing, mlk,ng love. . . . A(ler a few days, we'd complelely losl Ihe sens of lime (Ihe lime of lhe 1'lII rlC).

free flight

rnl i n e



A hang.glider ;s 1 uil $IIClche<! lx, IWeen Iummum lUbes, a big kite wi(houl a siring bUI wllh a bloke hlng,ng in 1 harness; you l1kc ;1 somewhere high, jump off, lnd FLY. You slarr w"h little hills, gras5y slopes, und'pilS, jusl a few ya(ds abo( .he glVund. Gcognphically spnkmg, you on do II anywhere:

"" _n_

. ..

" " .'

from the slag.helps and cliffs of the Nord to the Jura and the Alp', nOt forgwing thc Puy.<k-D6me. Walking


I tK

1:..01111"') '" /'rar/lm

Airernative soccer is on Ihe up-and. up. Spontaneity is the word: no clubs, no championships, often no grounds. The traditional team coJ. ours give way 10 mulTi-(oloured Itt shirts, even Indian shirtS. Not many shom '0 Ix n, bUI lOIS of jea!l$, Heavy boors with studs and [acC$ all over them art rare in the Clrtme, d and when they do app"-r 1 cro... gathers 10 gawk al them befort the match. Sneakers and dcsc.-rl boolS art more like iI, The number of players is "ery variable and rartly reacho:1 ,he sym bolic ekven, The playel1 artn'l even aJway5 men and I can rtmember some marches in the winter mud of lhe Pltn:: de Scelulr in which each learn included Ihree or f our girls whO$C high heels made their mark on a few ankles and $hins, and nOI juS! rheir opponents'! Tl>ey were epic muggll."$, with IWO or Ihrec intervab, during which rhe le:ul OUI of brealh would have a quick joint or r'NO. A lypi('1[ Kore would be 2-29,

Groovy fOO(ball


To think there art peopk who don't know that you only have to leave lhe clauSlrophobic world of Ihe Mitro 2t Potte de S3intOoud to find yourseJf 00 the rOUle of Na tional Trail No. I!!! Y indeed!!! Sounds like the blurred breakf:Ul. lime lCcoum of 1 dram! And yel it's true: al the end of the Avenue de Veruill, Ihert's the start of)6 kiJomel, no less. of footpaths,

Nuurally, the ruks art Ii inlerprtled. Besides, time thert'S no refertt. rule only applies in <'1SCS violation (for example, when a player hangs uound the l IhroughmJl the pm com.-s his w ay). Thert touchlines, so the "'ider than lhey'rt I taken. benulO: thcy'rt a The te:l.ms expand during as more pla)'ell arti.-e. Competili"encss isn't enlirely ruled OUI. bur we're a long from ,he fanaticism of 'pro' [n fa" the people who come to kick the ball aren't OUt ,h," . win It all COStS, given thaI thert no priC$. it's rarely the same the length of the match is tic, .nd th s<:oring is very mate (1'0 within" And when one t I , STronger. you balance it out by 'transferring' pJayel1 between lhe tv-'o teams. . , It's a far cry from the glm.-smanship they 'co.ch you most of the time 11 s<:hool Whar's ,he ans",,? Perhaps 'f comes from g)mes m:lSrel1 like one who gave each [ there would be no competitive (a !tue SlOty-the te:l.cher in t;on even got into trouble r"",, observing the usua.! rule). Ne1 ""cekend, if )'o , u of gangs of h,iry louts ( a bill. don't he:iituc, iust can join in. They won'l co.! you_

Age is prelly "uiabk, tOo cllcgoriC$ like kiddi.-s, junio' minors. IO:niors, velerans, "'n ' of eleven or twelve are mosquitOl."$ you ,,,"',


ments rht of the s""ning Ktivirics nd entertain , rthc SYslem or the potentia" consumers 10 , .... 21 a ,iven momnt f , - a y cn'lSC ,. , oRcr t" fram is predisposed to exprtSs all Ihe d-'erenccs SOCIO oglC " the ppositions berwttn the sexcs, bc:tween C nt 1l thu moment' o . ' a\e to f0" ow IhC ' e L. nrrt,o aod "'" ween class (nChOnS. The agents on'- y "h f he nte?"on habilus io o.rder to tlk over, unwllllllg . t ,. r "JSSd of.thei k'ln'ogs 10 the eorm""ndlll, pncllccs, to find an .aCllvlly which IS en . , r (11t artu 0f jIljllan . it kindred <nirils. The same 's Irue III a ' wilh , . -r f {he supp,y them and. 0 nfCly sumel is confronled by a pUllcul.r stare e: Ch coo ds, serviccs. pauerns of l(' "" PrJ'", e ' .t. Ihat lS, w'th obw.qified ruibililics (goo . ,.. . . -- . , k a JI"'" of whICh IS one of (h sl cs III Ihe S!1,cs ) the appropriation etC use of thel f probable lSSO(lallon t SC$ , ile ,otl'((11 t c1iiS. and which, beca be1 '" ,. SSIl , . l:uses or class fnctions arc automatl.Ca" y C,a KU and C'u. urnln C ', .. t ' 0f Ihe d ISln _ ' . . .. d d and rank-ordering The _L ....",.;rve Slale . k.0rdere "",Iw '. l St(",ng. ran oods and pracliccs is thus uc n"" III Ihe meeting c. een _, . . f bunOll o'f '. by the differen t fields o 'cs . . lit: ..n1S1b I,I II offered al a ,iven moment . _ ' . ,. lly diff'ertnll a l"" d'sposltlOnS . , -- (pasl and plesent) 2nd the socia . P the capital (of detcrmllltc "0,ume and compoSI 1 '" ,d wilh ..h,c -a55OC , h . h trajectory, they are more or ,css com tlon I 0f which. den<'nding on. ( e ' rh Ihey 'nd Ihell means 0f " petey Ih' produCt and m whIC ' -'- ' , rllt IS. Ihe prope ' . e POSSIbt IIICS . rrahution-<kfine the interesl in thes IMO diS on) to convert them Sll)' to acquirt them and ( through lcquisili IIn(tive signs.

H "","UJ ' f ,'


J .. "" Jj"". V .,. '.I'" I -




'PlPro. :'':; :;':"


E"nc" from c..1'*t., tin '. .nd


.: ;

Thul. a study of the toy mukCl undertaken along th.-se !in.-s would first ' hvt 10 cSllblish the spific struCturing principl.-s of . field of rodc"on ,n "'hlch n in other such fields, there coexist firms d,ffermg m age (from 1tn.1I .. kshop' producing wooden 10YS to [,rg<: modern co,:"poni.es), in 'o "<:Ilume (tumo"er, number of employees) and, perhaps .-speCIally, ,n Ihe x Itnt to which production is guided by psychologin[ as ",dl ,.s .tcchnologl: flo[ 'C$(trch, Secondly. on ,he basis of an analysis of ,he condmons m :",hlCh toy purchl$C'i are made, Ind in pmicu[ar of the degrtt (prob,?[y vuymg '''th eliS$) to whieh they IIC linked 10 traditional. seasonal. glf, echangn (Otl1stma Ne... Ye:l.r), one could Iry {Q determine the meaning and func tlOti " hich ,he different classes consciously or unconsciously confer on IOYS ' >tcording to their own schemes of perception and apprccinion and, more . ' SO:ly, accorcimg to cheir educational Slracegics. ( laller m urn h1\'e be $n In terms of their whole sysrem of reprodumOll StralCl?IC$: ,e 1 nslty 10 confer an edu<1l1ional function on tOr no doubt nses w'h dcgt to which the reproduction of social pos,uon depends eduSl\'dy tflonsrn'S$ion eighl o cultura[ capital , of cultural npinl, i.e.. with the ... ,he arosel IIrU(cure.) [t would also be nccesnry {Q eumlne he... the 10g1( of the compoelilion bet....ttn rms of different ryf'C$. having different acglhs and 'herefort inclined ro <kfend different products. is in a Sl:nSl: by the different C1tegoril."$ of clients. CnJ, firms may g<:1 a new ()n hfe when wooden toys enCOUMCf the lasle for natural materials

Sl dcd


from fhe in!enslfJC<l competition for wuclflonal qualilic::ations and enl "se In wucmonal in"C"$fmtn!S. bu, ,Iso 'he Ing 8"'en fO produCls whi(h sull ,he" las'e by lhose ... prnf fht.r n o... hfe'5fyk :IS an cumple !O olhers ana ek,,;ne ,he inclinatIons of I o...n e,hos 1n!0 2 uni"eIYI ethIc. The producers of cullural (0)':$, ....h O Jc-.=sonaltlns' Iheir uJc-s by Cft'".lfing a COntinuou every Intercs' s for 'hcIr productS. un coun, on Ihe prosdytism of all IhOS(C who a 'llli (lined '0 beltne and persuade others '0 believe 11"1 Ihe (strictly unvcri educational ",Iue of 10y plat-psychologists. nu a ckfil\i. a slake fClchcrs. 'toy b1nk' organilcN. and c"cf)'one elsc tlon of childhood urable of p,oducing a market for goods at chIldren." of a legil_ 1bcre IS no ckarer IndICallon of !lie cXlstence. In all and a d("nition of legillmue pncu(e ,han the nrdess. bUI socially Or2IW. :usunnc(" with whICh 'he ne... lutc-makers mcasur(" all pracllces . agalns, lhe yatdstick of their o.. n I)SIe. rhe ",d test of modernity (as op. postd fO all thaI is archaic, rigid. old.fashionw). n.c naive,y of 5011"1<: 01 the comments emhroidcling .i>c' smisflCS on consumption [hey produce rw ,h.c pUfposcs of markellng "c::Jls, for exampk. fhat IlKcy classify "0111 "I h"Olblls In ,erms of 'heir d,Slance from the Ameriun ideal of :lnd _ mineral water, JU5t as for breakfast or a light lunch washed do...n o'hers adjudicate Wfm is 'in' in or 'he latest 'must' in phil<llOpftiql fashton terms of what is (or is no,) beinS done at Harvard. Princeton. Stanford

and sImple hapes among the i'l!elIeClual fncrions, wh " ' ; r :: O hy all forms of 10glc,1 games which arc suppostd 10 :i ,i>c' In,elilgence; and Ihe cuhunl<apiul"ntenslVe hrms : no, (.om


J /.:.(O/wny O



"I"'I- .:i:', ho

: s :

" " "



and famIly rcsponslb,l. col ,lt1 10for cnmplc. on his 9ualificarions, age kd , ' '::::",- _ _ _ m . "=,-, C ;'C= .,' "b ) . _ _ '' 'o,! "' ' :: :,' "Itll the {


ividual or job supplier can wilhtand !nd r te de cc '0 ...hich the...er (refusal of ,hc job, "OI srnke elC. ) nd . on hd ;...al of labour po cr po... is able I refu$( t i?b li )tl '"(

.... " .. J r


'1 ...hich 'he possessor of labour



psychNnalys,s. in wilh and SCrvices art'".ls. c





!(uccd to his income) ana a product chanctcrized, cqually 1bSt


umbJc. nd sometimn function s fields (without d to be del("rminro by thdr posilioo i n Ihe field the Ihat one (:In m.!!y ("$Cape from the absrnCiion of onomie I wluch on!)' recognize a consumer reduced ro purchasing po"'"Cf

number ofempiriol an It f o!!ows !lla{ il is only by increasing of the relations re!"OIti\"ely utonomous fields productiOll a particular class of products ana Ihe m"Ollkel of consumers WhiC








by a thnica! function presumed to be C<Jua! (or a!!; only in thts"" it possible !O tablish a genuine scientific theory of the economy


l11e abstracl notion of the 'Iabour market" rC<juircs a I would dcsctibc bo,h the invarian.s and the \"'<I"ions In the of the meanS of produClion_nd 'herefore of j I...n ,he the seller of labour po... er. according '0 ,he po"'cr relations ixt..."ttn ,Itt tWO !fl . These <kpend. o'her Ihlngs. on the nril)' of and Ii>c' ma,,"a] and symbolic advantages " g'ves and on ,he taruy labour IlO... supph.-d or of the 9uallfi.callons wfllch guanotCC it. ,n er





Tbe D;I)namics of tbe FiefJs

jC'llfio'tl.Ons (uncll ni:he 'n((lon. dlrence.


dfs) or 11,lIomobiies, newspapers or holiday resorts, design or furn of hOllS( or garden, not to mention political progl':lmmes--providcs _ small number of dis!inn;v( features which. funnioning as a system III differenccs, dil1crerHiaJ deviations, allow ,he most funda mental social ell (renets to bc expressed almost as completely as thro ugh the most COlt\! plex and refined cprcS5ive systems available In [he legitimate arts; andit" on be sn ,hat the {oral field of {h fields offers well.n igh in(xh.... ible pOssibilities for the pursuit of dislinnion. If, among all these fi.c:Jds of ponibb, none is more obviously posed to express social differenccs than ,he world of luxury g ore. plticul arly: euhur.ll .goods.. this is beca se the rclationship / . . . . . nnenon IS objtCuvcly w lhm II, and IS rtlIClivated. mrent ' or not, in each Jet of consumption, through the instruments f _ nomic lnd cullUr.l1 appropriation which il l1':<juires. It is ; ter of Ihe affirmuions of difference which writers and anisls 2 morc insistently as the autonomy of the fidd of cultur l a: comr.; more pronounced.' bUI llso of the intemion immanent in objects. One could point 10 Ihe socially ehugtd ; i:f:.: guage and. (or example, the syslems o( ethical and ar.;lhetie ited, rCldy for quasiautomatic reactivation, in pairs of adjectivr.;; or the very logic of liter.lry language, whose whole in an karl, i.e., 1 distlnce from simple, common WlYS i in a lorical figures. as modificalions of ordinary usagt, are

, possIbles. E.3ch of these: worlds-dnnks (mlneraJ warers, Wines n apat d



thus as many fields of pfercncc

,here m: fields of s,ylilllf

Inscrlbcci l

:' ; : ?? : !;

...t. .

of the social rcbtionship in which Ihey are produced lnd d it is futile to k, in the intrinsic nalure of the tropes cat 'ArtS of RhNoric', properur.; which, like all propertir.; of ed alogu . exisl only in and through the relationship. in and Ihrough istl I ' d A figurc of words or stye is aI wa)'s on1 y an a1terallon 0f usage, a distinctive mark which may conSist in the absence of ' n uentl) ,d (O hen the intention of distinguishing oneself from a wouldbe ' a anI' !1l hat is held to be 'excessi\'e' (the vulgarity of 'pretension') or , p(511nCtlon I IC r" 0" ( or 'outmoded' leads 10 Ihe double neglllons wh' h .. J "o pmpi, . .. .putious encounters bet....n (he 0PPOSlle exrremr.; of many . dcrl.e SO ' sp Cc Il lS well known thaI all dominant ar.;1heli S set a h' h vaue JOClal ) h V rlUr.; of sobriety, simplicity onomy of mClns, which arc.as Of' t e ---.....l to first-degree poverty and simplicity as to the pomposity muCh OPI"' , """u _ . affectanon of the 'haIf-" cat'"". . . . necessary to r.;tablLsh that the 9o'ork of art IS the objtCufi. arcdy h iS S<: . . . -" It -Iationship of dlSllnclion and thaI " IS I hercuy exp1"(II1y pre ( (1IlIon 0f, , . In [h most vaflcu comcxts. As soon . . _.J 10 bear such a relationship d "-as 1rl om- selfconscious. in the work of Alberti, for example, . . Gombrich demonStrales, it is defined by a negation, 2 feus21, a renunCl' 1I0n. whICh is the "eN buis of th rcfinemm in which a dlst2nce IS / ' ' marked from Ihe simple pleasur of the senses and the supernCil I sedue lions of gold 1nd ornamentS lhu ensnlrc the vulgu taste of the Philis1I1lCS: 'In Ihe suiCl hierlrchic sociely of the sixtccmh 2nd seventccnth renrulies the conlr.lSt betwccn the "vulg2r"' and the "noble" becomes one of Ihe princip21 preoccupations of the critics. . , . Their belief was Ihif (cmin forms or mods rc "really" vulgar. benuse the)' please Ihe low, while Others are inherently noble. be<:ause only a dveloped taste on 1ppl1xiate them.'l The aim of distinction. exprssing the specific interest of 'he artis,s, who are incfClSingly inclined to daim excJusiv control O\r f orm it the risk of dis2ppoinling their diems' 'bad laslc. is far from Incompallble with thc funClions rtlIlI)' confrd on works of art by th ose "ho commiuion Ihem or conse,,'e Ihm in (hif colltionJ: thesc 'cui IUtal C!"e1lllo ns which ....e usually rcgard puly aeslhric:lllly, as variants of 1 pall icular slyl, werc perceived by (hir contemporarir.;, as Norberl II:I$ reminds us. ref errlllg {o th sociely of rhe Grand Sit"d, as 'the '&hly dlfferen tialed expion of certain social qualities:) means {hal. like art as defined by Yeats ('An is a social act o f a lIary man'), every appropriation of a wOlk of art which is (he embedi t of a relation of diSlinction is itself a social Iation and, comr.lry 10 ,, lIu s on of cultunl communism. it is a relation of distinction. Those lIIore he of symbolicall)' appropriating cullurll goods a "It . . han ....d],ng (0 belicve Ihal ir is only Ihrough thelf economIC dl' . Ion Ihal works of art, and culrurll goods in genral, acquire nrily. !,t li ke to see symbolic approprialion-the onl)' legilimate SOrt. in VI"'_ a kind of mystical participalion in a common good of



Ig 1





a very high de8ree of euphemiution.

proportionate ro the rarifY of the means to appropriate fhello and a profit in legitimacy, the profit which consistS in fact of f eeling justified in being whar i t is one is), be.' This is the dil'ference between the le gitimate r a product of dominition predisposed ro express or legitimate rion, and the cultute of lirrlc-dil'f renriated or undifferentiated . e in which access to {he means of appropriation of the cullut1l fairly equally distributed, so thar culture is f airly equally masterc<l mcmbers of the group and cannot fun";on as cultural capiral, !.C., instrument of domination, or only so within vcry narrow limitS and

which each pel'$()n has shue and which everyone h:u entirely, :as a doxinl appropri1don, excluding privilege 1nd monopoly, unlike rial lIppropriarion, which asserts rea.1 exclusivity and therefore ",, . 'Jr I contemplate a painting by Poussin or mid a Platonic dialog ue doesn'r imply rhat I am depriving anyone and that we ntt"d 10 pro d many POUlSins and Platos :u there are possible beholders or readers' losophy teacher, age W), 1ltc love of an is conceived as 1 secularized form of the 'intd l love of God', a love, according ro Spinou, that is 'the greater as men enjoy it: There is no doubt that the works of an inherited from dae past and deposited in museums and private collections ind, hem, all objcclifi(d cuhur:al npitlll, the prcx!uct of history accumul In the form f ks, allicles" documls, Instruments, which are dae lrace or muefrahuflon of thrones or critiques of these theories probJca. , . uics Of conceptul ystems, pnt themselves as n autonomous wodd . , , whICh, although It IS the product of hIStorical actIOn, h:u its own I.", transcending individual wills, and remains irreducible to what each as or even the whole population of agents Cln appropriate (i.e., [0 inrern., Jized cuhural capilal), JUSt as the languast objectified in dictionaries ... grllmmars remains irreducible to the languast really appropriated, that it; to what is internalized by each speaker or even the whole popular_ However, COntrary to theories of Ihe autonomy of rhe world of ideas . of'objcctive knowledge without a knowing subject' and 'subjectless pnh eesses' (in which Louis i\hhusser and Kir! Popper concur), it has to be pointed OUt {hat objectified cuhur.il npital only exists and subsists . and through the strugglC$ of which the fields of cultural production (the artistic field, the scientific field etc.) and, beyond them, the ficld of tile social classes, are the site, Struggles in which the agents wield streng*t and obtain profils proportionate ro their mastery of this objectified apt' ral, in other words, their internalized npitaJ.' Bec1use the appropriation of cultur;al products presupposes dispGlio tions and compcteQces which are nor distributed uni"ersally (alt they have the lppear;ance of innateness), these products are subject to elusive appropriation, material or symbolic, and, funCtioning as culf capital (objfified or internllized), they yield a profit in disuncnO"

228 / T /:'ranamy a Praclim t ht




bolic profit arising from material or symbolic appropriation of . . .. ..c sy"' I" . (aft is measured by the distinctive value whIch the work denves r he disposi{in and cmpcrence wich i t emans and , I ",o h rariry of . w>!h rhelr sub .. eI, delermines ItS class d,slflbullon. Cultural oblCCtS, ,.-. . . . ,,I , "" dL 0f t he mUla rchy. '" predisposed to mark the Stages an ucgrees . Cfll 1)( hl culture, accord 109 ro VaIery gress which defines the enlerpnse of tOr)' Pd Ltkc 'auistian's progress towards the heavenly Jerusalem', it l'tba 'i. m the 'illitel1le' to the 'litet1te', via the 'non.litrale' and . Jr1.ds le,, or the 'common relder' (ltrUII)-leavlng astde the 'b,bll blet1 , 0 the truly cultivated reader (/iJtll). The mysteries of cuhure ph,)c -;:Ir catechumens, their initiates, theit hoi)' men, that 'discrete ha,'(' t lmlta from ordinary monaIs by I ble nuanc 0f maner . . lie' set apart . d d unIt'" by ''' Iuality, somethIng whICh lies 10 the man himself, whIch . . an 1m f hIS happiness, which may be IndI/('(r"y very use u, to h bUt . .. IS him a sou, any more rhan hIS courtesy, h courage ...hICh will never win " . ' - -, or hIS gouunC$$. . Hence the incessant revisions, reinterpretal10ns and rcdlscove:les rform on rhelr canoIC1 ...h,eh the learned of all religions of the book IS leXlS: SInce the levels of 'reading' designate hlet:lrchles .of raders, U necessary and sufficient to change the hiet:lrchy of readmgs In order to

Jj Dynamics I /1N Fit/ds I 229

o,'wurn the hierllrchy of readers. It follows from what has been Sllid thar a sImple upward displacement of the srructure of rhe clalS distribution of lin asset or practice (i.e., a vir tually identical increase in the proportion of possessors in each class) lIS the e!feCl of diminishing its raflty and distinCtive value and . threarenrng the dIStinction of the older possessors. Intellectuals and arllSlS are rhus dIvided between their interesr in cultural proselytism, that IS, winning a market by widening their audience, which inclines them t faour pu b"l1tion, and con(Crn for cultural distinction, the only obJCCl!ve bam of tiltrr ramy; and their relarionship to everything concerned with Ihe 'de mOCram.)tlon of culture' is marked by a deep ambivalence which may be manif csto:rl in a dual discOUBe on rhe relations bet""een the institutions of cultur al dIffusion and the public.


htll ked a survcy how thq thought ""orks of lift in musc:umS might beltr marc lttd, and wherher r!S'bkprlrOViding thninl, tltt 'supply levd' ought 10 be mde m. by p historinl or a(Sthcdc expllnation

of tncb (he domonant cl2S$-2nd espially {he reachers and lift splairSt5fat. "ou. to nope from the contlldi(tion by dissociating ",ha( is dairablc Oth os trs from ",hat is <ksirabk: for themsc:1ves. II is because: {he musc:um f>I.: I IS (hll " IS their uclusive privilege; so;r is as it should be for pea. them, I.C., people made for II. But thcy cannot fail to be 5 llsltive ta t he fact that ( t.hoUld be done thcy, Iht habitues, ar being consulted first aboul what , becau$(' this recognizes (heir privdege of granting part of {O othcrs. In ",cepting educational improvements, i. ;s Ihti Un", th e onc (hat they alone can cnjoy, lIUSfcre, ascetic lind noble,



230 / T conl)my 1) Pr(l(tias IN /

....hid, they gr:llciously n to Olho:rs. (An analysis of the dc/mC'$ w hiCl! eurred when cheap paperbacks came onto the market-:l i of I1rity for the author, a threar of vulgarization (or the I tho: S<lfT>C' ambivalence). IkC1UK the distinerive power of cuhur11 posKssions or c.ni" .... p artifaCT, a qualificuion, a film cuhurlends 10 dI"Cline in the absolute number of people able 10 appropriate diSlincrion would wither away if the ficid of produerion goods, itself governed by the dialI"Ctic of pretension and i nm endlessly supply new goods or new ways of using the

T D)'IIJmio 0 tIN Fitlth / 231 IN /

ollows from this, among ssible at any given moment,? It f , ""11 ,d) . pO Ihal the distinction recognized in all dominant classcs and s . " ;' r thm, , " " 109 on tile StalC 0, tile . properttes takes d. , erem ' orms dcpcnd .,t"( ,lI lhelr of 'class" thaI are effectively available. In (he caK of the I s n(Il,e Sl"n ,... JIll! . n of cultunl goods at least. the relaTIon ""Iween suppIy and L_ . lo raduc kes a particular form: the supply always eKens an effect of sym r l s,(lon. A cuitur11 product---ln avanl-garde picture, a polirical boitC m newspaper-is l constituted laSIC, a taSte which has been a rOa (he vague scmi-cxistence of half- ormula(ed or unfo'mulated . I _ n{C_ ImpliCIt or even unconscious deSlfe, to the full realllY of Ihe product, by a process of objecliflcalion which. in present cir MIS is almost always the work of profession'.!ls, It is conluently ( u mst ccs ,,'i h the legitimizing, reinforcing capacity which objectificallon a'gcu {h . posses, cspcc,allr when, as IS .the case no"', the ioglc o, Strucses . alI)1 . a preslglOUS gup D that It f ncl1ons as . ural homologies assigns It to . l 1n authority which uthOflZes and reinforces dIsposITIOns by glVtng them . . . 1 ' c or IC1l1on (olicnl,'ely recogniz u epresslon. 0 TasIC, , liS pnt, a cIass,, j1lCm conSUlUled by the conditionings associated wih a condilio situ . Itt<! ,n a dClermlnate position in the structure of dlfferem condlllons, at wilh Ihis world of gorerns the relationship wilh objectified capit. . . ranked and r1nking objeclS which help to define 11 by enabling II 10 $pCC l1 I and so realize itKlf. Thus the taSICS actually realiled depend on the Slale of the system of goods offered; every change in the system of goods induces a change In IUles. But con,erse:ly, e,'ery change in 1151es resulting from a transforma non of Ihe condilions of exi!lCnce and of the corresponding disposilions "I tend to induce, directly or indirectly, a tr1nsformation of the field of production, by fa"ouring the success, within the struggle constituting ,ho: f oeld, of the produeers best able to produce 'he needs corresponding to the new disposilions. There is therefore no nC(:d to resort to the hy polhesis of a Dvereign taste compclltng the adjustmem of producrion to or the opposire hypothesis, in which taSte is itself a produCt ofpro Y{lton, In order <1uasi-mir1culous correspondence 10 aceount (or the "1 Pt(\'alr Ing at every moment between the products offered by a ftcld of . ptoduc lion and _ the field of socially produc<;. lastes. The producers re u ltl! by tilt logIC of comperition ....ith other producers and by the speCIfic hnked 10 their position in the field of production (and Iherefore pr t habItus which Inve led them to that position) to produce disrinCl UC!s Which meet the different cultural interests which the consumers the" d con itions and position, thereby offering them a I . i 1 . f r , "Y ofbctng S<illsftcd. In short, If, as they say. 'There IS Dmerhmg O \ ade one" if each fnction of the dominam class has Its own artists I I0000helS, Itr ne,:",sp1pc and critic, JUSt it as its hairdrc;-scr, indc.:Or1lor 18: or tador, or If, as an arllSt PUI II. 'Everyone scl15 , meanIhal palfl lings of the most varied styles always eventually find a


In Ihe cuhural market---llnd no doubt elsewhefC'-the ; f ' ply and demand is ndther the simple eKeer of production : " i on consumption nor the eKccl of a conscious endl'1vour to scrve lumers' needs, but the resuh of the objective oreheslr:lltion of ,.., . tively independent logics. that of (he fields of produerion and that field of consumption. There is a fairly close homology betwcc:n '''''' cializcd kids of production in which products are developed and fields (the field of Ihe social dasscs or the fidd of the dominant I whiCh tastcs are determined. This means that the produers d'''lopoi the competitive struggles of which (:Ich of the ficlds of produCfion sile, and which are the Duree of tnc inccsnt changing of thCS( UCIS, meet, withoul having expressly to seck it, the demand shaped in the ob)t'Cfively or subjI"Clively antagonistic relations the different classes or class fr1ctions over malerial or goods or, more eactly. in the compelitive struggles between ,heK goods, which are the Duree of Ihe changing of tasteS, This rive orchcstr1tion of supply and demand is ihe reason why the O$I" icd l15tes find the condilions for their rl'1lizuion in the Unl''(11C possibles which each of rhe fields of production offers them, whik lalter find the conditions for their conStitution and functioning In different tastes which provide a (short- or long-term) market for different products.' . . . The field of produerion, which clearly could not funerton If I I not count on already eisting tastes, more or less sltong consume more or less clearly defined goods, enables tute 10 be off ring iI, at each moment, rhe universe: of cuhunl goods . . e stylistic possibles from which it can select the system of SlyhSIlC constiruling a life-slyle. I I is always forgollCn that the um,'erst u"s off red by each field of produCiion tends in fKI 10 limit the e of the forms of experience (acslhetic, Clhical, political Cle. ) Ihal

The Correspondence between Goods Production a and Tstt Prodllction

,jcrnan ; ::::n cxpe

: :



md newcomers, distinction and pretension, rearguard and order and movement etc.-are mutually homologous (which [here are numerous invariants) and also homologous to the which structure Ihe licld of (he social classes (be(wttn dominated) lind (he ficld of [he dominant class (betwctn [he fr.Ktion and [he dominate<! frolelion).12 The correspondence Ihereby objectively established be(WC'Cn the cl2.SSCS of productS classes of consumers is realized in acts of consumption only ,h''''gh mediation of (ha[ sense of (he homology between goods and which defines (astcs Choosing according (0 one's tastcs is a m,,,,, ; . identifying goods (hat are objeclively mune<! to one's posuion which 'go [other' because they are situated in roughly equivalent lions in their respt<:tive spaces, be (hey films or plays, cartoons clOIhes or furnilure; Ihis choice is assis[ed by institutions--shops, a[ra (left. or rightbank), critics, newspapers. mlguinn-whlch themselves defined by [heir position in a licld and "'hieh are chosen . the same principles. For (he dominant class, the relationship betwttn supply and dun .. lakes Ihe form of a pre-C5(:lblished harmony. The competition for lu.., goods. emblems of 'class', is one dimension of the s[rule (o impose . . dominant principle of domination, of which rhis dus IS rhe SlIe; :and , . strategics i t calls for. whose common (eature IS thar Ihey are onent s wards aximizig Ihe distinctive profi: of exlusi\'e possesions, . nccessanly use dIfferent wt:lpons to achlcve thIS common funcnon. Ihe supply side. [he field of production need only follow its own [hat of distincrion, which always leads it 10 be orgnized in ",,",.. . . with a s(ruClure analogous to Ihlt of Ihe symbolic systems wh' h I,I lC I duces by its funclioning and in ....hich t:Ich clement performs live funnion.

purehuer. [his is not [he raul[ of intentional dign but of 'h" ..... between IWO systems of di!Terenc_ The f unc(ional and slruelU!'a1 homology which gUl!'anltts oreheslr.l(ion be(wttn (he logic of (he field of production and of the field of consumption lrises from the fan [hal all [he ''''. '' ' fields (haute coulure or painting. (hellle or lite!'a(ure) lend 10 erne<! by Ihe same logic, i.e , according 10 (he volume of . (al (hl[ is possessed (and according (0 seniority ofren :lSSOCia(ed with volume), :md from the fact which tend to be cs[ablishe<! in eleh ose be("'C'Cn (he richer rich in Ihe specific capi(al-the cs(ablished and [he outsiders.

232 /

Tht ronlJm) 0 Praclim /

ashion result from histories. The endlCSii changes in f . UIOflOmOUS It'0'" ;..." u, n -h-[ration bel"'een, on Ihe one hand. the ,OglC. 0f Ihe e v' .. . . _ . , ob",d ln Icrnal to the fidd of produnion. whIch are organIzed III . I l . . ;lrVg!; ( Ihe opposilion old/new. u.sclf 110k ed, through the oppoSlflons [t!1" j(rda(i\"dy) chelp and classical/praclical (or rearguard/avant. . , SI'" . In IS "0: he opposilion old/young (very Importam ' th ' - d, as III ",pc-" ,01"")' an , on Iho: Olher hand, the logic of [he struggles internal to [he . l ' spo I ) h dominam class which, as we have seen, oppose the dommant t ld I\o: O minated (!'anions. or, more prisel, rhe establishe<! and (he 1fld I in Olher words-given lhe C<{ulva1cnee bct,,ttn power economic power) lind age, which means (hal, al iden {morc s , , unction of proximiry (0 the pole of ." 'ges social age is a f ' ' ,'"I bloogt . Ihat N"Kltlon--bclwttn Ihose who have (he SOCIa, d dU!'alion m . r- . n/) eran . r (lICS associaled ....,[h accomplIshed aduhhood and those ....h0 hae . The ptopC . I pronl'"rlics associated with the incompleteness of youlh rlhe SOCIa . ' . s a Ion on,y III , .. who occupy l domlllam poSitIon . the 'e'd 0f ' h (Ou t u ne. . . ,. ISCI'CIlon and unuo:r f d _ ha,e tO follow (hrough rhe negative strategIes 0 . . . 5Ialffl)CIlI (ha( are forced on them by Inc: aggressIve eompcnnon 0f Ihe he !O find (hemselves direcdy alluned to Ihe demands of (. old a boISCOisie who are oriented towards the same refusal of r:nphasls . nc bourgeosle; and. SImI' homologous relation to (he audacities of rhe larly. (he nC"'comers to (he field. roung co tuners or dcslgner.s edv.

" .-<

'-' "'''''''' J )

" ""

, ,,..... I .u

10d' f : (halk:n'ifiC2llY. challengers

onng to win accep[anee of (hel! subversIve Id. art Ihe oblIve allies' of (he new fracrions and Ihe younger ne!'allon of the domInant fra(lions of rhe bourgcoisie. for whom (he symbolic Kvolutions of which >'(Stnnemary and (QsrnClic outragn are (he par.tdigm, are the perfcc( vc- hick (or expressing the ambiguity of theil si(ualion as (he 'poor rela tions' of the temporal powers,



tilt rndY'lo-wear 're"olulion' ara$( when the dispositions of a <k counered O(upying a pmicular position in Ihe field of fashion n. the modern', 'dynamic', 'casual' life.srylc of the new bourg((') slC wlch bn"gl the so tradition.l functions of representation mlo professIonal the ne... fashion based on Ihe 'aulhentic' and 'genuine' (real ChindC" '.." . G. , =1 Army surplus--parku. combal trQU':'rs. ' ht ra,co:lf$ et(., Ig n 'an trappers' jackets. J.panese: martial.art k,monos, safan fliCkets), . the mOSt 'in' bouriques sell at infl1tcd priees [0 a clienlele of 'beauII' , OPk'-models. photographers. advertising agents, journalisl$-Owcs ItS ' CSI 10 . the fael Ihal it mttlS ,he demands of the young counter , . ture "


Io'(h :r

THE LO(;IC OP HOMOlOGIF.5 Thus. the ca.sc of f ashion, which Sttffi to justif a model which loolcs Inc: mOlor of changing y styles in Ih imenlional pursuil of distinction (the trickle.down is an almo1 perfen example of Ihe meeting of tWO spaces and (WO

[I)!he logic of ,he f unctioning of Ihe fields of cultural.goods produclion. ([hc, with {he distinction st!'ategies which determine [heir dynamiCS, 'Io lhe produn$ of Iheir functioning. be Ihey f ashion designs or "tIs. to be predisposed 10 function differentially. as means of dis(inc

rion, first between (he class f ctions nd thcn between the cI n producers o.n be lou.lI)' involved and 1!>sorbed in Iheir SIf\J88k , mlltr producers. convinced rh:n only specific anisdc imCfeSrs lfC at . and thaI rh(')' are otherwise torally disinlcrtSre<l, Whil aw.trc: of the social f unctions they f ulfil, in the long run. audience, and wirhour (vcr cosing to respond to [he , particular class or class fnction. This is especially clear in [he ose of the theatre. where the ",.. -denct berwttn SC\'cr,tl rdativdy autonomous spaces---rhc space producers (playwrights and anors), the space of the critics (and rhem the spaC( of lhe daily and weekly press). and the spate of I cnees and mllkrships (i.e., the space of the dominant class). I;, .. 50 n=ry and yel 50 unforcsee:l.ble [hat every lctor o.n expcri encounter with the objeer of his preference as a mincle of .. lion In Ihe me way, il would e1$y to show how even ;n an age: of mnkel fdc:uch, to the risers and f r ml<krs. like polirical parries, o (0 muimiZ(C their clientele, at or (he: &Id of production, through themes. f ormulae: and even pournaliS{$, ....irhour I their which defines them and

: :
".<Oil F'bd;l

rhe eof!' nlue_

t Boulevard theatre, which offers tried and rested shows revivals of boulevard 'classic$' etc.), wrinen to Ii foreign plays, mulae: and perf rmed by con5C<:rated KtOrs, and which c,l.Iers to o dle.aged, 'bourgeois' audience that is disposed to pay high po,,,,, opposed in every respen to experimental thc,l.Ire, w.hich anracn a 'intellectual' audience to rclati,'c:ly inexpensi"e shows that Rour and 1C1thelic conventions. This suucture of the &Id of producllon ates borh in reality, through the mechanisms which produce tions tween the playwrightS or actors and their thearre, the their newspapers, and in people's minds, in the form of 1 gories shaping perception and appreciation which enable and evalualC playwrights. works. slyles and subjects. ThUs, pying opposed positions in the field of cultural produnion the plays in terms of the very ume opposilions which differences between them, but they will SCI the in opposite hierarchies. .0 Thus in 1973 Franoisc Dorin's play u Tourndnl (TIN ,., . new which dramatizes a boulevard playwright's anempl 10 sun a as an avant.garde p laywright, arouscd reaC!ions which vaned rn content according to the posilion of the publication in whICh peami. that is, according 10 how dislant the nille and his

{he 'bourgeois' pole and consequently from Dorin's play. They from m unconditional approval to disdainful silence, via a neutral .-c fro lf oCcupie<l by u AlolUu), as one moves from righl 10 left, from the "n ( ! pOln Bank 10 the Left Bank, through the field of newspapers and ",ttk ht Ih L'/illrtm: 10 U NOllm Obsm'tlI(lIr, and, Simultaneously. f om r of r(;ldership, ....hieh is itsclf organicd in Kcordance ]jc:S. h rhe fldd rOU rh ppOSi tionS corresponding fairly exacdy to those defining the fidd re. When confronted with an object so clearly organized in e thear of I of rhe basic opposition, the critics, who are themselves distributed of the press in ccordance with the srructure which shapes t field object and the cI:wification SySlCm they apply to it, re. h thc dusified rhe space of rhe judgemenlS whereby they d:tSSify both it U'e--In ind Ihe1Tlsdvcs--the space within which they re themsclves classified. (The ",hole: process constitutes a perfect cirele from which the only C1l):-) y ",pc: is to objrif it soclological . , , In the play asclf Fr.m<olse Dolin setS 'bourgCOIS drama (her own) , "'h;ch applies technical skill 10 produce giety, lightntss and wil, 'rypi ' s, : ",lIy Frtnch' <Jualitie in opposition to the 'prerentiousness' and bluff a.mouAagcd under 'ostentatious starkness' , the dull solemnity and drab &:.:or. "'hich chn1Cterizc 'intellccluaJ' drama. The series of contrasred properties which the righr.runk cri ties pick out-technic1 skill, JOIe dt ,'Int, clarity. (;ISC, lightness. optimism, 1$ opposed to redium, gloom. ob scumy, prttentiousncss, heaviness and pessimism-rcappears in the col umns of Ihe leftbank crilies, but here the positives are negatives and vice Yem, because the hiel;lrchy of qualities is reversed. As in a SCt of facing mirrors, each of the critics localCd at either ex. tme can uy eKactly ....hat the critic on the other side would 52)', but he doo so III conditions such that his words tke on an ironic value and "'gmauZl," by antiphrasiS the vtry things thar arc praised by his opposing COtlnterpart. Thus, the leftbank critic credits Mme. Dorin ....;th the on ....hich she pricks herself; but when k mentions them, to his read. IP, they automatically become derisory (so that htr 'techni<Ju e' ' tl ornl!1 'a bo of rricks', and common sense' is immediately understood nonym.ous with bourgeois stupidity). I n so doing. he turns against M e .-hen Dolin . the weapon she herself uses againsr avantgarde rh(;lrre lolung the slfuClu1 logic of the f ld, she turns gainst aVant ' . . g;J.rde lhe 'bot, tre the w(;Ipon II Iokes to use agam!r 'bourgeoIS ehatrcr and r I , SCOls' thcatrt which reproduces irs rruisms and clieh6 (e.g_, o f1p"ons of T Bald Prima Donnd or jacqlllJ as '3 $Orr of ht P3rO :tn<i dy . carIC "" ature of boulevard Ih(;ltre, boulevard th(;ltre ( lIing apart ",v lng mad' ). In c est the same dtvice is uscd: the eririe's relationShip of ethical :tnd t clle Co nllivance ....ith his readers supplies thc leverage to break COll "I ancc fir," of the puodied discourse with its o....n audience and to It Into a stries of ' misplacN' remarks ....hich are shocking and







I f)f

J t:.(OnI)my I) rrall/Ul

Sociological Test

emn , profound emprincss nd vertiginous nullity whieh chr CfCfize so many SO<:Illed :lvanr garde' thalria! productions, She ducs ro profne wilh ucrikgious Iugh rer Ihe nO!orious "incommuni cability" which is Ihe Iph:l nd omeg of the contemron,), Slg<'. And Ihis perve rtll(litmary. who fItte!5 (he lowcst ppc:tiles of (on sumer socie!y. foIr from cknowkdg. 109 lhe error of her w:ays nd

Moving from righl 10 lefl or from righr bnk !O left bnk, we snrl wid, L'A,mm: 'Cheeky Fr:In.;oise Dorin is goi ng 10 be In h(){ Wlel . D N-nlJJlti ,\Ia,xifl inldli wllh our IjJ 8en!5i (the IWO {hings go to gether) 111e ll!hor of Un ial, igoiilt sho,,", no rnpttt for the sol

bri ngs into ply the of rhe field of criticism 'ionship of immcdiale '",,, ....trh his radel'$hip based on ogy of posirion. From L'Allrot' we mOve to Fg."", In pl'rfe.::r humollY ....i!t. I rhe aUlhor of Lt T DII"'a/ll_rhe... ., mony of orcheS!n!ro habl!us""h e igl1T11 {ririe cannOI bUI e'periC'llct F absolute delighl 2r a play ...hiet. .. perfectly corresponds 10 hts c3r. flCS f percepllon and appre(,atioll. hiS V1C... of !he Ihalre nd his \'leW of the ... orld Ho...e 'er. lxing fOIIIII inro a high('r degftt of euphernia rion. he edudC! overdy poliri'll judgemenrs and limits h'msdf 10 .hI: langu3gc of aesr hetlcs and nbo tcs: 'How gntcful ... should e Mme. Dorin for

""' .:',.;" ;.;;

htl1rlily thar o I I /.IlIghIhink how angutshmg for I '0 ..,n ! for a ....riler ro ....onder if
10d him of i." Uao. Figa,.". 12 Jan. !ItS Gautier, U J'f'I L9m. '' one moves natu. lilt)' From Lt FigII'''
JIIll" nn

i,h il back inro .... K'n au!!hlcr. _ _ . Hurry along bl'n j!t1lrhY for youlvcs nd I'm sure
., W


,I n-" 11 in rune ....ilh the rimcs in , sII . ihC s '11$ she liv($. . . . In the ('nd .,h,d' ion ryonc asks himself sod on .

qUCS\v humour and inf'llrtI/JU opli.

Ixll Guilkminaud. L'Alirurt, 12 )nuI)' 19H). Silulltd ! the fringe of rhe inld lenul fJ('ld, ar 3 point ....here he I rt2dy h:os '0 spnk of" as 3n ou rsider ('our inreillgentsia). the L'Allrot't critic does nor mince his ... ords (he (ails a ractio011)' a reac ,ioory) and doo:s nor hide his sml e tSics_ The rherorial eff ct of pUlling words into rhe opponenr's mouth, in conditions in which his unCtioning irooiclJy, (lob. diseou. f jec.ivdy signilln the opposire of wht he means, prcsupposes and

....e;.ring her boulevard playwright's rcpulllion wi rh humiliry, has the impudence (0 prefer rhe jolliry of cha Guul)', or li:ydau's bedroom farccs, ro the darkness visible of Margueri!e Duras or Arrabal. This is a crime for ....hich sh(' ....iIl nOI easily orgiven, EspilIy since she be f commilS il wirh (I\rfulness nd giery. using all Ihe dreadful deviccs which make lasring succcsscs' (Gil.

o , mnic. ' ent withour comniy inlo in rhe Jllhd41 Wlly aurhor who ....ields sallre ganu, who :I! all ' ' ; ;' d' asrounding vi rluosilY_ . Dorin kno,,", "h m ! II boUI r arl. Ihe Jpringl . rhe /a lil1l JilliallOll ing (orc(' of rhe mOl juS!C whal skill in raking things apJ whal irony in her dcliberrt S' . I ,n rh' 5lcpping. what the she letS you s hcr srrinss! Lt of cnjoymenr



dt,4!tc of way succcss. . . . A w,uy to be a runa ,M 1/Ilusing play. A chanlCter. An Xlor made: for lhe parr: )e;.n f Pi.!r . . With an "" aitinl virlliOlil} don" with IINu ()Illy (l1Ji()llally tJIItt"



Oul evcr being . f (tlII """iH. .!

,ndulgence or

diculous imposture. Mme. Fnn(O '

; ::: will "Ii..,. a u.orIl.hl1lan(


knee of Lt NDIIM O61tnt.ttllr: 'The simple, or simplistic. llgument is complicrcd by 1 very subde "r....o. liet" srnKlun:, as i( then: ....en: twO tIN ,f l tlJ {,,"nig, a ". tr ml1Jltry 4 plays overlapping. One by Fnn.;oise mrts 1/{IN {,,,J,, Franoise Dorin h., "'Iinen a pl3y on Ihe 'turning Dorin. a convenrional author, th(' points' in the Boulevard ....hich is. other invented by Philippe Roussel, ironICally, !he mos, rradirional of woo tries !O take "Ihe turning" to Boulevard plays. OnI, __ftdan" ....ards modem theatre. This concdl !milpro6t 1Mfar i"IO {IN ((JIII,asl !Jt. performs a circular movement. like 3 1_ I"", boomerang. Fl2n<oisc Dorin dcliber /JIJ f f) o {htl1l" and Iht {()II. 1..1 "'1,,_ I"", aJlU:tplillllJ o "",iliral :IIc1y f ('poso:s the &ulev3rd cliches " ."" Iht/W,.1t Itf btIJ;nd ;1. The ....hkh Philippe 1!t:.des and. Ihrough {r , w lam dialogue, full of w;1 ,l/ and tpi. his voice, delivers 3 violent denunci. is .of,en bilingly 51!(asdc Bur rion of rhe bourgroisic. On the . Ilnla'n I no r :I ari(1rure he is $ond Roor, she (OnlraslS rhis Ian J.,s. m..ptd Ihn )'Our run--of. guage ....ilh Ihlt of a young author r' m_il l .vn!g3/disl. . whom she ass3ils wilh equal Igour. Philippe h3s t pi"", rfift. because he is on his Finally, the rr::tjectory brings rhe "0 .round Wh1 rhe lu!hor o( ....npon bcl: onto rhe Boulevard c..,.; all lbi.lrt grnrly ....ants to ge. and ,he fu.ilitics of ,he me<h. sta 10.1 r is rh1 rhe lI; &ule3/d srage anism are unmilSkcd by Ihe deviccs p;ople pt:.k and behave 'as of Ihe Il2dirion1 {he3rre. ....hich are II;O!tJ 'fe , :lnd this is lru('. bUI it shown 10 have lost nothing of their a ni31 trulh. 3nd not jus. ""Jue. Philippe nn dcclue himself a " r l! 'S a c(us rrulh' (Robert "coul2g<'Ously light" playwright, in. ' t L'nl) I"!.. Lf.xprtss. n-2L )anu3ry venting "chanctcrs ....ho rlk like ral people"; he cln claim Ihn his lit t 'O! .. . approval, .... hich is slill i rr s "wi!hout frontiers" and lhen:. . " ns ro bc coloured ore f non.pol ;lica!. However. Ihe by sys.

". . h b31ances "". I I0 L'Exprm, wh,c rtI r c-nJorsemcnr and distance, Slincdy higher 1U1,ning a di. euphemlzmon: .Ir ollg1

I2kcn pejontivc1y. And we even find, surf.acing Ihrough il$ deni!, 1 hint of the orher tfUth ('Only mo rose pedants will probe too fIr . . .') or even of the plain lrulh. bur dou. bly neulralizro by ambiguiey and de. nial ('nd not JUSt because i l is a class Iruth')_ U MOIIIit oIfers a perfecl example of ostentatiOUsly ncutnl discourse. evcn.hndcdly dismissing both sides. both Ihe overtly politic:ll discou of L'Allrot't and the disei3infuJ si.

remaric use of f ormuluiOlls Ihal are 3mbiguous even as regards rh(' op posirions involvcd: "Ir ought to be 3 runW:ly succcss', 'sly cunning, perfec. milSlery of the lric\es of the mdt, 'Philippe h:os the ium rOle', all formule ....hich coul C<:jually Ix

} Vy""'Illo.J V

' ".

,.,..... I 4 .J I

r"'I. :

!:h; , >/. bt.:'U

demonsmtion is emirel disfOrtN In ambiguity by many by .he modd avant.garde author nuances lind academic chosen by Fr:anoisc Dorin. Vanko (,insofar is " .', 'on be viet is an epigone of Marguerite . '), the assertion thai DUr;ls. a vaguely miliranl, belated is 'an important work', ' 0... existentialis!. He is parodic in ,he nO[e<t u a documen." i1 ; the crisis of modern i: extreme, like rhe theatre tl'm is ,,Ie. i , , nounced herr ("A black (urn;n and they would no doubt say a[ a scaffold certainly help!" or the rirk Po. or Ihe play: "00 take a little angst This art of conciliation and ; promise achieves the ': " : in your coffee, Mr. Karso""). The audience sniggers 11 this derisive arl for art'S sake with the . Ihe Catholic piCture of modern dnma; rhe de nunciation of Ihe bourgeoisie is an laces his amusing provocation inasmuch as It with such rd>ouncls ontO an odious vinim and calions, underslalements finish him off. To the extent double negation, nuances, that It rdlcclS the state of bourgeois lions and self.(orrections thar theatre and veals its systems of de final Clmriliatio O ppo!ilorum, so fence, Lt T"rnllnl can be regarded Jesuitical 'in fo.m and ,"" . :IS an imporl"nl IWrk. Few plays let he would say, almost SC(ms to slip so much anxiety about an "ex without saying: 'Lt Icrnal" threat and fflU /'""1t it Wilh have said, SC(ms to me an work, in both form and so much UR((mJciclii fury' (!.ouis Dandrel, Lt M, n Jnuary This is nO! 10 SlIy it nO( many people's tccth on ed. I 1973), The ambiguilY which Robert 'pened to be silling next to an Kanter<; was already beginning 10 condilional supporter of the cultivale here reaches its peak. The avant.garde and th'OUghO"' argument is 'simple ()I' simplislic', ning I was aware of his : : take your pick; the phiy is splil in anger. However, ! by no : tWO, off ering tWO works fOt Ihe elude Ihat Franoise Dorin i readet's choice, II 'violent' bUI 'lUu >0 pc(Ory' crilique of Ihe bourgwisie often and a defence of non.political ,m contempoN.ry For anyone naive enough 10 lISk concludes-her whether the crilic is 'for Ot against', whelher he finds the play 'good or ,h, t bad', there are IWO answers: first, the thai is ; precisdy because ob$crvation by an 'objective infor master like mam' with II duty lowards Irulh i self u a guide at the that the avam.g:ardc author po. these tWO p"ths' (Jean tyed is 'parodic in the extreme' Croix, 21 January 1973). and ,hal 'the audience sniggers' (but withoul our knowing where Although Ihe silence of U Obltr'l'attu, no doubt signifi(S the critic stands in relation to Ihis Ihing in itself, we can for an audience, and Iherefore what the sniggering signifies), and then, afler approximate idea of what '" lion might have been by rc,;di" , a series of judgemems th.1 are held

::: :: : : :"::

:: : r ;: :


""'e(le . ' 1" . t ... pl to these JOatry gal,,", (trot' ,0 /Jnd bUlinfflWfmlm in l 9{ [IIj of which a famous and d Kwr recites the la ,10<' ",uc o,-c I "'illY II of an equally fa horLOU' ' ) hor in the mIddle of an t , '"QUS au stg<: ser, even a revolvmg 111It ,1.>1>0 on d('(ouled wtlh F0l,. 's mea ,00 N0 ceremony ' humour . , SUrtd n "catharsis"' or " rC\'elation"' O C . srill kss improvisation JUSI a ,LI . .. btcful of bourols CU1SIfle for Ptornachs Ihat ha"e SC(n II all be r . . . The audience, like all bou e kVlld audiences in Paris, bursls out bughing, on cue. in the most ,'On formi>! plac(S, as and when Ihls spirit of easygoing N.lionalism in SP'fC$ Ihem, The connivance is per ftcl lnd the acrors are all in on it. Thi, pia), could ha,'c been wri!!en !(n, I"emy, or thirty years go' (M Pierrer, Lt NOlJnf Ob!ffl'aUU', Februlry 1%4. reviewing

f".,tf'l:,11 (Io<' (: to me (he wrong bld"tlRf: (,J,JfJ SC ms d:mmm I

en Marceau's pl:iy La . ,f Felici or (he rev"w 0f rC""" '11J/Jtre, hich Philippe T..-sson, w r 0( C1mbtJ" wrolC for U or _ V


h ""'r

11ughabie because they are nO! ullered in the appropriate place and before th( light audience, Instead, !hey become a 'mockery', a parody, es(ablish g "'"!lh their audience Ihe immediale complicily of laughter, because have pel1uaded Iheir audience to reject (if 11 had ever accepted) the uPPOSllJOns of the parodied discourse. th s exemplary case deady shows, i( is the logic of !he homologies, ! YOIC1 calculation, whtch causes works (0 be adjuSled to Ihe (xJXc tit'ons of their audience, The p2rtial objectifications in which imelle, tU:ls and anists indulge in the course of tbeir b3llies omit what is ntl.1 . . by descn Ing as the conSCIOus pUrsUIi 0 f success Wllh an au I' . b <0<, d . . ,. '"hat IS tn faC! Ihe result of rhe pre-eslabli t",o s shed humony be!Ween &toi 3 tetns of tn(erests (which may coincide in Ihe JXrson of (he 'bour ""liter) , or, more precisely, of rhe sllu([ural and functional ho IllOlog dU((iOY between a given writer's or artist's position in (he field of pron and the position of his audience 'n (he field of the classes and

. . . . , . . . , , ., .. " " " , . . , . . . . . . . . " ,.," ,.'


'FN.n,oise Dorin really knbWl /J Ihing Or IW(), She's a firstme ,ero i'"a{()I' and terribly wtllbrtti. Her To"",a'" is an excellent BQulev,,,d comedy, which runs mainly on bad faith and demagogy, The lady Wants 10 prove lhat avant.garde thealre is a dog's dinner. To do >0, she lakes a big btJ o Irick! and, needless to say. g f as soon as she pulls one out the au dima rolls in the aisles and (1lis for more. Our author, u',,", W/JJ jUif wail' illg for thai, does it again, She gives us a )'oung trendy leftist playwright called Vankowin-get it?--ind putS him ,n various ridiculous, uncom fortable and lath" shady Sirullions, to show thaI this young gemieman is no more disinterested, no less bourgeois, than you lind I What ((}mmrm WIif, Mme. Dorin, what lu ridi{), what holWI}.' You at leasl have ,he courage to stand by your opinions, and "ery healrhy, red whiteandblue ones they are tOO' (Philippe Tesson, Lt Can/Jrd En rh/Jini, 17 March 1973 [italics in all foregoing <juolations re mine) .

q uaM),

Felicicn Muceau's u. P'flJW par


: p

cause I would be assuming a cerrain number of i OUI tC:Iders don'l gi\" a damn abouI:" To och spond presuppositions, a dtJxa, and the homolog y or positions and their clients' is Ihe precondition f

diSS f raClions. By refusing to rt':cognize any other ,he producer and his public (han cynical nlculation r pu r e i ness, writers and If!islS give themselves a convtnicm dniec Ihcmsclves as disintc(ed. while cposing Ihdr adrsaries \"lite<! by ,hI' lust for success at any price, provocation and right bank argumC'm) or mercenary scrvilily (the 1cft.nk The lIed 'intdJeclUaJ lackeys' arc righl {O think and they. mic!ly speakmg, serve no one TI}(y scrve i J in all sincerity, they serve their own in l(mIS, SlXcific, i nuS!:, limaled and cuphcmized intcreslS. such as 'in u:resl' in a f orm or philosophy which is logically associated with a ceriain "",;,;,,.. a cemin field and which (except in crisis periods) has hood of concraling, ('\,en from its advocates, the political ;m,p k, it connins. Bclw!Xn pure disinlereslednrn and cynical servililY, lhele is Ihe relationships established, objectively, wilhoul lny conscious lion, between l produce, nd an audience, by vinue of which 1he: lices ;lnd a!1ifaCls produced in a specialized lnd reblively '.,o" of production are neeCSSlrily O\'CIlcrmined; lhc functions " fulfil in the intCrnll muggles are ineviubly coupled wilh , ' ," ''' lions, Ihose which they receive in lhe symbolic slruggles belwet!l frllCtions of the dominant class and, in lhc long lun, beltl.'een the 'Sinceri fy' (which is one of fhe pre<ondifions of symbolic, ect, immediale h only possible lmd tell-in the case of perf lween Ihe expeclalions inscribed in lhe posilion occupied (in a 1ess scerated area, one would say 'job description') and Ihe d;'."'C"'i';"O< occupant; it is the pl ivi1ege of those who, guided by i 'sense place,' have found their nalural sile in the field of ploduccion. I . dance with the law that one only preaches 10 the convened, a enl\( only 'influence' his telders insofar as they grant him this power lhey an: structurally ;lnuned to him in Iheir view of the sodal their laslCS and Iheir whole habilus. JeanJ;lcqucs Gautier, for a "". . lilCrary critic of u Figaro, gives a good descriplion of Ihis electtve ily betwttn the journalist, his paper and his telders: a good ' who has chosen himself and been chosen through lhe same chooses a Figaro literary crilic because 'he has the right tOne for Ii ro the readers of the paper', because, without making a garo' and is the 'he natural y speaks the language of u Fi reader'. 'If tOmorrow I stalted speaking the language Aladmln, for example, 01 Sahlin lltJ dis LmrtJ, people wo." longer tC:Id me or understand me, so they would nOI listen to


. . . .' "

. .






vE AffiNITIES This limiting C2SC forccs one 10 <;jucslion Ihe 2p lcTtccs of the dim:t eKecl of demlnd on supply or of supply or de and ro consider in ;l new light all [he encounters belween the IfIJ( ' goods produClion n d the togic ?f taste. produCl on through of . klS, the universe of approprralC, appropnated rh'"gs-ob)ecn, people, "h,eh <l memories etc.-is consliluled. The limil of lhese coinci ge, kn09I'le of homologous 5truClures and sequcnc which bdng aboUt Ihe .kn' rdance belween a socially classified person and lhe socially classified cooe persons which 'suit' him is leplesenled by all acts of cooption l s or Ih low.feding, fliendship or love which lead to lasting n:lations, so or not The social sense is guided by r c sY$1cm of m. : lly S1nc{iond , J ally reinforcing nd ,"finitely redundnt signs of whICh each body IS be1.rer-<lothing, pronunciation, bearing, posture, manners--and "'hoeh. unconsciously registered, are the basi of 'antipathies' or 'sym' s p1Ih,es'; Ihe seemingly mOSt immedile -elect;vc affinirics' are always p1nly bascrl on thc unco:nscious iphcring of epive featufCS, h of ,,hich only takes on lIS meaning and value Within the system of liS cl2S.I variations (one only has to think of the ways of laughing or smiling noted by ordinary languge) . Taste is what brings together things and ptopk lhal go together.


Ih is ,H c

r '" the theatre, 1trt1 3 c

undamental values are involvcd, more strongly required when f



:i:j i

The m, indisputable evidence of this immediaIC sense of social compati bllllles and incomp:llibilities is provided by das.5 and even class-fraction en, dogamy, which ;1 ensurc<l almost as wictly by Ihe free play of sentiment as bt' delit,.,,,,rc family ifltrvention. It is known .hal Ihe srruc.un: of .he cir CIII( of matrimonial echangcs ICnds 10 .cproducc the StruClun: of the social !poee as <bcribcd here;'. it is probable Ihal .he homog-:ncity of eouples ;1 ll underestimaled 2fld thai bellCl knowledge of the 'iiCCondary' prope<tics thl: spouses and tbe'r families would further rrou" the apparcn. random for example, a survey In 1964 of the matrimonial strategies of siK (1948-19H) of ans graduarcs of the Ecole Normale showed that of "'ho 1Il1r a t...en: married by then (8 pe{{enl o( the totat). 9 percenl had eacher, and of these 8 percenl had married an agri " Among g", 1(lj tht "tors of the cenml administration, who occupy an intClmediate po. '''10 '" ' tw:n the civil servia and bU5iness, 22.6 percent of whose f athers ,v, . ' , scrvan!s 2nd 22 percenl bU5lnessmen, 16.6 percenl of Ihose who arc IIllrti(,d lve a civilservanl fathCl.in.law and n.2 pcrcem a businessman F:!1h.:r: aw, " mong Ihe alumni of tNSEAD (European tnstitute of . tor Adm,nlStration) , which train5 future top executives (or the privaIC 28 rCenl of whose fathers are indumial 0. commClcial employers 1tq,t)r,J executi\'d or engineers, 23.) percenl of Ihose who arc I'tog. ave an employCl for father.in.Jaw and 21 percent an exeeulive 0. , Very rarely are lhey the SOn5 (2 perc..nt) or sons,in,jaw () I"'r-

t. ,

III<] 191r 'ccm


;S :I match.maker, il muriel colours and also people, ....ho make 1J5'( " he<! couples', ini,ially in regard (0 [asIC. ....11 {he 1(IS of co II . mhich underlie 'primary groups' art 1CtS of knowledge of orhen ,;on s of' of acts of knowlt<l or, in Jess imdlecluali ( ferms, sign bjC'CIS per.l!ions (p1ni ularly isjbl in first cn oufl{crs) through o habi(us confirms ItS affinlly w" h olher habItus. HcnCC': (he 15, rt,.J h8 "I"ing harmony of ordinary couples who, often matched iniliallr' pro11)111 ,,-ely march C'Kh Olher by a son of mutual accuitur:ation.' This [a(l(OUS decoding of one habitus by anothcr is {he Insis of Ihe imme affinities which oriem social encoumers, discour:ilging socially di n IJb nt rcbdonships, encour:ilging wellmarched relarionships, without QfXr:lfions ever having to be formulated orher than in the socially ,nnQ(ent language of likes and dislikes.l1 The erreme improbability of the panicubr encounter between particular people, which masks rhe .. probability of interchaneabk chance evems mduces cu 1es to eri. C1Ice their mutual e1e<fton as a happy acctdent, a comcukncc whtch mimics transcendent design ('made for each other') and intensifies the the miraculous. ThO$( whom we find to our taSte put into their practices a taste which does not differ from the taste we pUt into oper:ilfion in perceiving their l practices. Two people can give each other no bener proof of the aff flity the taSte they have for each other. JUSt as the art-lover their nstes than finds a raison d'etre in his discovery, which seems to have been waiting for all eternity for the discoverer's eye, so lovers fed ')ustific<l in existing', pUtS it, 'made each other', comtituted as the end and r:r.ison detrc of another eisten(e entirely dependent on theil own existence, and therefore accepted, m:ognized in their most contingent features, a "Iy ofbughing or spc:lking, in shon, legitimated in the a bitr:ilriness of a r :;to 0fbc:tng 2nd doing, a hiologkal and social destiny. Love is also a way OIIt ' Vrng one's own destiny in someone clSoC and so of f eeling loved in o....n destiny, [t is no doubt the supreme occasion of a sort of epe' tnd e of the mlll;/1IJ or; gmarillJ of which the ion of luxury goods \-h orks of a1l (made f their owner) is an approximate form and or mak the perceiving, naming subjcct (we know the role of g "'t rYtng III love relations), the cause and the end, in ShOll, the raison , of the perceived subt. ' lc: 1\ Maltre, par un ocil profond. a, sur ses pas, , t de I'&len l'inquii:re merveille ":: p nt Ie frisson final dans sa voi seuk (veilk OUr la Rose el Ie LS Ie mysti:re d'un om.1)

(!I'I) h:l nm'i (0 ,he re roductiOn of [he gramu bou'gttliJit has bet" <kmon,
, I

, r( :I ,,--

, cJ

::C" C :" ' C C C' CY

' ." )I '' '' .

,aclicr.'Y lind rhe dt<:isivc contribution of ,he logic of mauimo J:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


SC1lie of of


l or

4 I I /]( lXI/'ll/my I/ /'ra(/JrtJ J

Tlsr is rhe f orm par excellence of am'"j ali. r esentuions and pr:aCfices which are always mo adjusted e to Ix [0 [he objective conditions of which they ar the produ(f with brx Ihu '[he petit bourgeois cannOI tr:anscend rhe limi mind' (others would have Slid h limi[s o( his nd<"rslanding) . . thu hIs thought has the Slme IIm [ts as h,s condItion, [hat his in a sense doubly limits him, by [nc material limits whreh i[ set S pr:anice and the limits it sees [0 his (houghr and therefore his and which make him accept, and even love. Ihese limilsH We bener placed [0 under:mnd [he specific effen of [he 'raising ncss': making expJicil whal is given presupposcs and produces a sion of immediate aHachment [0 (he given so [hat the I probable rda[ionships may become dissociated from ali ali, hatred and amqr j can thus collapse into tJdi"m j

',l;,':":.:o:;:: :
social space thaI h.s Ixen pUI forward here is not only "fh model of by lhe n"Olture of Ihe dan used (and usable) , particularly by the . hll1l eat analysis structu ral f ures such ical impossibili ty of including in the pf1.' power which certain individuals or groups have over fhe econ as tht innumerable associated hidden profits. If mOSt o( those . omy. or even the ,-' ICII accept, Imp'' ' 'y or ex Cltrl)' our empirical research are 0ften C"U to "'110 whih reduces Ihe classes [0 simple nked bt non phody, a rheol)' . 10lc of tnct p.rK' . lntagontic Sirala, thIS IS above all ause Ie v1)' . [ice Itlds them 10 ignoft what IS obJectlvcly IIIscnlxd III every dlstrlbu rlOn. /I distribution, in the sratisrical but aho thc political.economy has been won in sense. is Ihe balancesheet, al a given moment, of whal pftvious battles alld can be invested in subsequent banles; it exprcs.ses a stare of the power rel"Oltion between the classes or. more precisely, of [he lUuggle for possession of rare goods and for Ihe specifically political power over the distribution or redistribution of profi[. Thus, [he opposition belwCt':n theories \\Ihich describe [he social world 11\ t languase of s\r.Itification and those which speak Ihe language of the class struggle coponds to IWO ways of Stting the social world WhICh, Ihough difficult to reconcile in practice, arc i n no way mutually eclU$ive as regards lheir principk. 'Empiricists' Sttm locked into [he for rnc,r. ltlving the laffer (or 'lheoriSIS', because descr iptive or explanatory SUrveys, which can only manifest cbr.ses or class fractions in [he form of a PUnctual SCI of distributions of properties among individuals, always ar nve after (OT bef ore) the baltic and nessanly pUI into parenlhacs thc


S ymbolic Struggles
To ape from the su;enivist illusion, hich reduces social space to . conJunnural space o( mter.lC!ions, that 1$, 1 ,;;"'"';""'" 1blrat situltions/s it has been neccssary to cons[ruct social space obJecuve space, a strunure of objenive reluions which determines possible f orm of interactions and of thc representations rhe i can ha,c of them. However, one must move Ixyond [his jcnivism, which, in 'trearing social facts as things', I

,,,,;;';;;' :
whal il

aft defined once and for all in a single respect and delimited by dtllly drawn frol\lirs. For cxample, as has bttn shown in [he case of induwial employers nd a5 will subsequently be shown in thc exemplaly case of rllt aI nw mIddle-class fraoions, a particularly indetermina[c zone in tha! 5H' ,ela[ive indererminancy represented by thc pcri[e bourgeoisie, each of tllt . classes of positions which the ordinary classifications of statis[ics Ie<jUIIT '" ro (Onstruo can itself fun{fion 15 a ICla[ively autonomous field. One onlJ' has [0 substitute morc Strictly defined occupational positions for the rclJ. rively al)$!r1C1 categories imposed by rhe nCCffiHICS of statis[ical ;; : : rion 11\ order ro Set': rhc emerg.:ncc of tM nClwork of compcriti"e I rr which give rise. for cxample. '0 conRicl5 of compctcncc-<onRicts o"cr qualifications for legitim.te pnCIl(C of [he occuparion and rhe IcglllmaIT seope of rhe prac[icc-betwCt'n agenl1 possesinS diK ftnr qualifica[ionS. s c SIKh as doctors. anaesrM.ists. nurses, m,dwivC$, phY'iotherapists Ind

eire mUJl be taken to avoid ,he obiec[ivis[ ill(]mallon (whkh is exp_ and remforced in a sparial diaSram ) [0 muk QU[ rcgions of rhis space lhal

scribes. Thc social positions which present Ihcmselvcs 10 rhe ob";" places Juxtaposed in a static order of discre[c compartments. r isins a purely theorelical question of the Jimits betwCt':n Ihe , [hem. are also s[ralcgic emplacemenu, forrrcs.ses to tured in a field of slruggles.

: :;:': :% f:


:.: ;


of which Ihis distribution is (he proclUCl. When [he stati$licin l>rgers rhat atf the properties he handles, not only those he classifies and rnSures but also rhose he uses to classify and mcasure. arc weapons and

in rh r'from .e struggle belwCt':n the classes, he is inclined bstrac.t .each Its relations with !he others, not only from the opposItional . ns whsch give properties their distillClive value, but also (rom Ihe :tl> r

t ![?ns. of power and of Struggle for power which arc the very basis of

: lCs :e

d st ' nbulions. Like a photograph of a gamc of marbles or poker which the babncc sheet of assetS (marbles or chips) ar a given sra, the TVey flCS a moment in a siruggle in which Ihe anu PUI back inlo

,. ,

. ..

_ ........


, . . .. . ..
. . .

play, ar every momenr, rhe capiral rhey have aC<Juimi in rhe srruggle, which may imply a power over rhe struggle I;;;;;; fore over the capital hdd by olhers. The Strucrure of elm relations is what one obuins synchronic crosssection to fiK a (more or less steady ) "''' of" , Slruggles amons: the elmes. The relative wength which the ;0<1;;,; ; , can pUI 1010 lhls siruggle, or. in olher words. Ihe disuibuli n at moment of the diff ren l types of capi lal. defines Ihe Struclure of e bUI, e<Jually, lhe Strength which the individuals command the slue of the slruggle over the definition of Ihe srake of Ihe The definition of the legi timue means and sukes of struggle IS In one of the Slakes of Ihe slru le, and Ihe relative efficacy of rhe me conIrolling Ie ga.me (the diff rent som of capital) is itsel f al st:ikUlsfJI e therefore subjt ro variations in .the COUI"$C of the game. Thus, . conlantly been emphamed hete (If only by usc of quotalion marks) the notion of 'overall volume of capinl', which has to be conslructed ortk.r to account for cerlin UptCIS of practice, nonetheless rema ins a the orencal.artifact; as such, It could produce thoroughly dangerous effeclS r everythmg Ihat has 10 be sel ide order to construct il were forgottal, nOI leasl .Ihe fact Ihal the conveion rate rween one sort of capital" , another. IS f ugh t over al aJ! limes and IS therefore subct to endlal o fluctuallons.


in 10 r Jnr! ease ce; m provi o nOI obey an i tn, I lnr 're i o . detachment or s nre 5 cd e im l c l denuncialion of for ist n c o n of Ihe ' a s', (Io ' rer 0(1 'servile', 'ignorant' r 'pe an c' pcor 'Hashy'. 'artogam' ' ml d d . . rO..
, u




neat, (onlains a taeil reference uncleanness, words or den and ,he bourgeois elaim to t inlemperance or i nt di i re t n , need r n hrsaKh d i ti n in order to comain an p iency, (: ension always marked by excess or insuffici i nr ep o d ti or ne' . . . bourgeoiSie. IIIe th1 each 8":,uP tends t? recogmze I! SJJ:lfic values accident It is nO ich makes IlS value, lO ussu e s sense, that IS, lO Ihc lalesl r . hat wh which. is.also, vry ofte, the lalesr con.quest, in the muetural Xtcf1ce deVIation whICh speeJ!1caJly defines 11. Whereas Ihe worklOg d geocdc and to. 'essential' goods. and virtues, demand asscs. reduced middle elmes, n:lat vely {rttr from necesSI.cleannessfor a ty , look licaliry, Ihe t p aC ' comfortable Ot neal interior, Ot a fashionable and original ...arm, cosy', which Ihe privilege classes relegate 10 sec' g rment.'l These an: valueslong been Iheirs andd to go withou t say seem have d I1lnk because theyintentions $OCiJy recognized Ihetic, su.ch ng, having aminedo y and cmposI,tII"\, tey nnot Identify their diS Ihe pursuit of harm tinction with properties, pracllces or vmues which no longer haw to be their cblmed or which, because they have become comm onplace and lost dl$tin,uve value, no lonr rlln be claimed.
l as as .

Dispositions are ajsled nt only .1O a.class condition. presenting inel . as a set f.poss,bdlTles and ImposSlblliud, bUI also co a rciationaJ!y " fined posl.UO, a rank in the elm structure. They are therefore alwayt .. Jated: oh)ew.vdy at least, to Ihe disposilions associated with olhcr r:oslflons. ThiS means thaI. being 'adapted' 10 a particular class of condi Ilons of exIStence characlerized by a particular degrtt of distance from . Cessity, class 'm orali ties' and 'aestherics' are also necessarily situated WI. one anorher by the criterion of degree of banality or dlSl;ftOo rspect non, and thar aJ! the 'choices' Ihey produce are aUlomalicaJ!y associaUIII wilh a distiner posilion and theref ore endowed wilh a d ist ncti ,'e val_ This occurs even without any conscious intention of distinction or pliit pursuit of difference. The genuindy inten tional s tegies IhrOur whICh memrs of a group seek 10 distinguish rhemseh'es from . group Immedmciy below (or believed 10 be so), which they use as a JOl and to identify themselves with the group immedialely bove (or bt r" Ikved to be so), which they Ihus recognize U Ihe possesr of the k so mate life-style, only ensure full efficacy, by imentional reduplioflon, ' the aUlom2tic, unconscious effects of Ihe dialecric of the rarr nd common, the new and the daled, which is inscribed in the :';:y ferentiation of conditions and dispositions. Even when it is i-n nO spi red by the conscious concern 10 stan d aloof from work ing.class every petil bou rgrois profession of rigour. every eulogy of Ihe
co ne !rll l


ndi ting the dass the series o n n fig re 10 As m"lie inlerior s the adjectives ppl ed l"3Clion var al f sober, which proved he , (rxcept for '0 be am ig ou ), the proponion of choie" emphasizing overtly 1"lhet;c the e harmonious) gro""s as rdes is ' choices (cle1n, unc ion l \O(;al hiemchy, whereas Ihe p oporti pncllcal, inl in ) dlines. The neady diStortion of the is tog on f1 poi lS 10WJrds commcns l1l lc um:mes: I e small mopkt:epen le1d to rhe e mm r( employers, Ihe primary lachlrs fO the secondary te.chers and rhe 'c lt r l ar 1'111( producers. The pme log c i$ found The refupi of a j c i v klng d never r j c1 'de1n maimain' or 'prCIlClI'. n IC mi d flaclions (office o k rs. junior Id, le clas, lhe esublished "llnISlrnive sho keepers) reject imaginativc ulh more: ofl n to e new petite bourgeoisie 'classical', lepl (rafumen'). who fl1lCl o Ihe dominam class tf>c<:lal ly Ihe Ihe professions). rejecl d21siul' ':'c _ often Ihln 'im gin l v '
es an

of histograms i ca is sh w i u by a i 10 the ideal do i ion of thrtt of t m classical, ne1I-JDignt:-and b u s on moves up (studied, imaginative. t on of 'f t a r h ram easy to ma a h u b n Ihrtt relatively in indulHi.1 and o e ial u u a intermediaries' to the d e t es. in 1he i and lidy', 'easy to ee w rc d ee.::utives, cnfrsmen and p e thIn in contrast Ih tlt.e 'If!!Cachers and members ofmost i ns of , like a a i e. ; .lhU S obey a son of generalized Engel's law. At each level of the di SI.t lfUtlOn, what is rare and constitures an inaccessible luury or an al>. . n It\o a lu y (or those at earlier or lor level becomes b:inal and (om, nd is relegated to the order of thc tken(or.granlcd by Ihe ap;'ara a nce of new, rarer and more di Slincrive goods; and, oncc again, this

Figurt JO

Ideal horn'S

adrnin;""'i.o' o<O<\l,i...

"" -

gut rSaiflt-Tropez'----r -<> S







.<1 crof ....,."

cultul'>i in,...,....

Mii<:o! ...mea.

!(Vilies r.uesl a( a given momenl_ Those who are held 10 be distinguished ha"C the privilege of nOl wOlry;ng about their distinction; lhey can leave it to Ihe obiective mechanisms which provide lheil distincdve properties and to Ihe 'sense of diSlinCiion' which SIIS them away from evcryThing

;; \ a pl e ifltolerances--of noise, crowds etc.-in(ulcat byof bouigeois a all lh terrain or inging are generally sufficienl 10 provoke the chang<:s je 1 which. in work as in leisure, lead towards the objens. places or lC

Of or disgUSt for objects or pranices ,hal have become common. horr"

dhe like

trwt ilf- oded, o!I!1 ,' c r newer obje<:ts in an endless drive for novelty, and which oper ,nlO evcry area, spon and <ooking, holiday resoflS and f('Slaurams, is ,(6d d by coundess differem indices and indications. from explicit warn

nS wilhout any intentional pursuit of distinctive, distinguished rar '[he sense of good investment which dinates a withdrawal from or simply devalued, ohje<:ls. places or pranices and a move


Buffet de la gare de LyOfl, or anywhere 'has become impossible') to the bardy conscious imuilions, which, awareflts.S of populanzation or overcrowding, insidiously arouse


len follow accidefll Ihal laSles in painling or music so of S ' . (h. revivals and rehabilitations apart. reploduce history in biogra. ) So The search for distincl;on has no nad to Sa': itself for what it is,

(II palhs


everylhing which is 'showy', 'flashy' and pretemiou5, and which devalues

ilSClfby The very intemion of distinction.

SO(( of ostentalious discredon, sobriely and understatement, a refusal of

traying his own msecurilY, bourgeoIS diSClclion signals its presence by a

'wmmon', Where

the petil bourgeois or nouveau riche 'overdoes iI', be

romm.rci>J .mplo,en

l.du",.. .nd I


I !
Prof .......

T ...:Ie" I (hilh<r .nd .. ,

, i , , ,

When asked how lhey would dress if 'inviled (0 dinner by their husb.nd's boss', >3 percent of (he wives of Junior executives or office worken (32 per (em of m.nual workers' wives, 29 per(Cnt of form workers' wives) say they "'ould 'we" lheir beSt clothes', as against only 19 percent of (he w,ves of '"dum!>1 and commercial employen. senior executives and professionils, of "'hom 81 per(em say they would change their clolh'S 'but withoU( pU(1ing On Sunday beSI', compared with 67 percent of the middle-class wives .nd (is p ercenl of ,he working.class wives (C.S. XLII),



, ,

! , , i "a g' i " , ! ,

2 "

i, ; , !

, , ,

! !

, .

c i n If

5 .. Q .- . 5.

of different itions differentiate themselves, wilh or (he intelion of dislinguishing Themlves, is itself only the bal 1n(e . li(;o ttl. al a gIven moment. of lhe symbolic sITuggles ovel lhe tmpo f the legilimate life.style. which are most fully devdoped in the Ilru oe t'S for the monopoly of lhe emblems of 'class-luxury goods. le-

es over the appropliation of e<:onomic si u itaneously, symbolic struggles to apptopriateor cultural goods are,the dis1!nctive signs in (rmpf c!a.ssifd, classifying goods or practices, conserve or subvert <J t n nClples of classification of these disnnctive ptoperties_ As i conse u ;nce, lhe space of life,slyles. i.e., the universe of Ihe properties whereby t h Sltuggi
or 10

"'ilhOccup..nts t

they offer no intrinsic interest (no palpable pleasure, for example), a(}(l so to introduce the '1uestion of the interest of diSinterestedness. The slruggle itself thus produces effects which tend (0 disguise the: very eXistence of the struggle_ If the n:hlionship of the different cla with culture can be described indifferenrly eirher in the language ( r.al voured by 1>'hurice Halbwachs) of distance from the centres of cultu u values or in the language of conAict, this is because Ihe symboliC s gles between the classes have no chance of beIng seen and otgan'z

of rhe effects of the game is to induce bellef lI'I the innaleness of Ihe de sire to play and the pleasure of playing. It is barbarism to ask what cui lUre is for; 10 allow the hypothesis that culture might be devoid of intrinsic interest, and that interest in culture is not a nalural properry unequally distributed, as if 10 sepaf2te rhe barbarians from Ihe elecr--bul a simple social artifaCt, a particular form of f etishism; (0 f2ise the ques tion of Ihe interest of activities which are called disll'lterested becauSC

gidmte cultural goods.--<>r the legitimte innner of ppropriati l them, The dynamic of the field in which these goods are produced a lg reproduced nd circulte while yielding profits of distinction lies in t strategies which give rise to their rarity and to belief in their value, a d n-to bring aboul these ob , i hich combine-:-in ,the, r very opsitio, n five effects_ 'O'StIl'lCflOn , or bettet, cllSS , the transfigured, mlsrecog able, legitimate form of social class, only exists through the struggles the exclusive appropriation of the distinctive signs which make ' natu distinction'. Culture is a Slake which, like all social srakes, simultaneously presup' poses and demands that one take prt LI'I the game and be taken in by it, , and LI'Iterest LI'I culture, wuhout which thete IS no race, no competition I produced by rhe very race and competition which iT produccs. The va of culture, Ihe supreme fetish, is generated in the iniflal investment im plied by the mer<: fact of entering the game, )oinll'lg in the collective be lief in the Hlue of thc game wh1(h makes Ihe game and endlt'S$ly n:makes the competirion for the stakes. The opposition bet""een the 'au thentic' and Ihc 'imitation', 'true' culture and 'popularization', which maintains the game by maintaining bellef in the absolule value of lilt stake, conceals a wllusion rhat is no less indispensable to the production and reproduction of the illuJio, the fundamental fC<ognition of the c'I. 1Uf21 game nd iTS STakes. Distinction and pretension. high culture and middlebrow culture-like, elsewhere, high fashion and f ashion, haute coiffure and coiffure, and so on-only exisl through each other, and it is the relation, or rarher, rhe objeCtive collaboration of their respecTive pro duction apparatuses and clients which produces Ihe value of cultun: and Ihe need ro posseS!; it. II is in these struggles between objecdvely com plicil opponents Ihal the value of culture is generated, or, which amounts to the S4lme Ihing, belief in Ihe value of ultun:, interesr in cui Iun: and the interest of culturewhlch are 1'101 sdf evident, although one

and an: bound to take the form of competiTive struggles helping ro uch, , raduce rhe gaps which n: the essence of the race. It is no accident t-apart {(Om P(Oudhon, who is inspired by his pellt-bourgeois horror t f the dissolute, slovenly lifestyle of artiSIS, and by what Marx calls his hominis probi', to dan: (0 expose the hidden, repressed face of the I tite bourgeoisie's ambivalent idea of artthen: is praclically no gues ning of art and cuhun: which leads to a genuine objectificadon of the l game, so Strongly an: the dominated classes and rheir spokesmen ( ultUr:l rnbued wirh a scnse of theit cultural unworthiness.


o of lhe an which some aniS!S go in f r,n or the (tivities groupe<! under Ihe term counteHullure. The lal1et merely conlesT one culture in the name of 1nother, counterposing a cultun: dommatcd wahm the n:htivdy aUlono mous field of cuitunl production lind distribution (which does not make it the culture of the dominaTed ) 10 a dominam cultute; in so doing Ih9 ful fil the traditional rok of i cultural avanr.garde which, by irs very existence, r.elps 10 keep the cultunl game functioning_ The dominated classes intervene in the symbolic struggles to appropri ale the distinctive properties which give the dIstinctive lifestyles their physiognomy and especially in the struggles 10 define rhe legitimate properties and the legitimate mode of appropriation, only as a passive ref. erence point, a foiL The natun: aginst which cultun: is hen: constructed is nothing other than what is 'populat', 'low', 'vulgar', 'common'. This mns thai anyone who wams TO 'succeed in life' must pay for his ac ceS!;ion 10 everyThing which defines lruly humane humans by a change of natun:, a 'social promotion' experienced as an ontological promotion, a pr<xess of 'civilization' (Hugo speaks somewhere of Ihe 'civilizing power of Art'), a leap from natun: !O culture, from the animal to the human; but having 'nternalize<! the class struggle, which is at the very heart of culture, he is condemned to shame, horror, even harred of the old Adam, h s language, his body and his tastes, and of everything he was bound to, hls roots, his family, his peers, sometimes even his mOlher tongue, from . whICh he is now separaled by a frontier mon: absolule rhan any taboo. The slruggles to win everything which, in rhe social world, is of the otder of beld, credit and discn:dil, perception and appreciation, knowl edge and recognition-name, renown, prestige, honour, glory, aUlhotiTY, everything which constitutes symbolic power as a n:cognized power-al. ays COncern the 'distinguished' possessOtS and he 'pretentious' chal I Pn:tcnsion, the recognition of distinction that IS affirmed in the e .ott to possess it, albeit in the illusory form of bluff or Imitation, in PI the acquisition. in itself vulgarizing, of the pn:viously most dis 've properties; it rhus hdps 10 maintain constant tension 11'1 Ihe 'nn s Yrnbolic goods market, forcing rhe posseSSOtS of distinctive properties

Norhing is further from such objectifiC:l1ion than Ihc aniSlic denunciarion


gers :

threa!(:nd wirh popuJariurion ro ngag in an ndless purs uit propt'rtio through which ro a5M:rt rheir rarily. Th deman d ."... nrated by Ihis dialeclic is by definilion inehauSfibk sinc r inated n hlch consilut il mus, nlessJy redcn . I trms of a d,snncuon whICh always defines llsel( ngauvly in thm. NitZ$ches 'nJishtnd elitism comes dO$<: to the S(:irlI;fic truth of mechanisms of Ihe produnion of belief In the value of culture; .You the WOn{ to say that no one would srrive for culture if he knw how un ably small the number of truly cultured men is and indeed can only be:-. )'Ct that even this small number of truly cultured men W:l$ nOt pouib .... less a great mus. <ktermincd, funmmentally, against Iheir nature by a scduCliv.: illusion, engaged in lhe pursuit of culture: {hat thtrefo nothing should be publicly divulged of the ridiculous disproportion lt b.: twetn the number of truly cuitiV1ted men and the Vas! appU1tus of (1,11. ture; thaI th peculiar secret of culture W:I$ this: that countless ?Wple -.J! for culture. apparently for them$<:ives, but ultimately only to make people poS$ible 'lO


a ..,

The symbolic snuggles over being and seeming, over the syrnbai: manifestations which the sense of appropriateness, as su;n :1$ lhe ... sumptuary laws. assigns to the diff"erent social conditions ('Who does ., think h isn, separating, f eumpk, natural 'gnce' from usurped '" or and gnces', are both based and f ()(:ussed on the degret of fretdom flOll one's 'starion' that is allowed by the specific logic of symbolic manl_ rions. Countless social arranmenrs arc dcsignd 10 regulat thoe ,. rions between being and seeming, from the law5 on the illegal won.,, " uniforms and decorations and all forms of usurpltion of titles, to lilt gntlesr forms of rcpn:ssion aimed at recalling to reality, to the 'seme" reality'. of limits, those who, by eKhibiring the eternal signs of a associated with a condition highr rhan their own. show that they 'd themselves' somethin8 beller Ihan thy are. the pretnrious pretendclf. who belny by their poses, their postures, their 'presentation' thaI rhet' hav a selfimage tOO (ar out of lin with the ima8e Olhers ha,e orr to which (hey ought to CUt down theif selfima8e ('climb down') . The relation to oroes on body which is exprtSSC'd in a crrain manntf .,110 bearing-tilt natural' scJ onfidcnce. ease and f<"els authorizccl. the awkwatdness or arrogance of someone who picion upon his legitimacy by his too patent need to asscrt t i most visibk mces of early and recurrent exposure {O archetypal i . which arc very unequally probable for the different social ciasS(s. It 15 of the mOSt powerful $O(ill and for this reason the forced or ceted e15( of the bluffer is I exposed to the <kmystifying i interlocutor who sccs i and refuses to be taken in'.

mon that the str.l!egies of pretension are 105t in. a. .s dod nOt 1"' Since th surest sign of le8itimacy i selfassurance, bluff"-lf II ,-J!Ice ways of (first by impfe55ing the blufl"er)-ls. one of the allve auron he limits of social condition .by pbymg on ,he rel. n t pt'rcelW: rcpn. oeaI', the symbolic (i.e., of the capaCIty to. make and . ott').os) ,n ordr to impose a selfrepresentation notm:.tIly USOC1Ued wlrh ecogniflon " doO er co..dition and to win for il the acceptance and r . , ) . , 11,18 1 ' ) make it a legitlm(, oble<:tlve reprntatlon. .WIhou subSCb. . 1 nreracrionist-and typICally pt'wbourg<:ols-ldeallsm whICh .,hl( the l . 10 . InS . the social world :1$ will and representation, Lt wouId nonerhe(CIVCS . (OIl te bsurd to exclud from social reality the represt:ntauon h h lesS t ,orm o( that reality. The reality of Ihe social world is in bet .partly ...., S . b ' - m"cd by the slfuggles betw<"en ants over the rcpresentauon 0r dtt \tiOn in the social world and, conurly. of that worl. te As shown by the inversion of the rdauonshlp between spt'ndmg on on substace and on 1ppcar. food and on clothing, and more g<:nerally, . le, the as one moves (rom the working class to the petlfe bourols ance. , te. . 10 the symbol Thelf .concern ,or appt'ar. mlddle ,l:wes are which may be experienced as unhappy conSCtousness, somlImes wee, . t., . . . . dIS! IKU .., arrogance. J is also a source .of Ihelr pretenSIon, a permanenl . . . . U ldcnlllY whteh con dillon towards th bluff" or USurpanon of socl.>1 . mtS in anticipating 'being' by 'sming" appropriating the ppcances W :IS to have {he realiry, the nominal so as to have the real, 10 trying to fying the rc modify the positions in the objective classifications by mi. =nt1l;on of the ranks in the classdicl!lon or of the prinCIples of classl fio.tion, Torn by all the contradictiOns between an objectively dominated condition and would.be participation in the dominant values, Ih pt'llt bourgeois is haunted by the appeafllnce he offers to othc:rs and the ludge r ment they mak of it. He constantly ov.:rshool5 the mark for f o.f Ing shorr. betnying his um:crtainly and aniely about belonglng In hIS anxiety to show or give the impn:ssion that he belongs. e . bound 1O IS . be s:ccn-both by the working c1:1$SCS, who do not have thiS concero wnh . lhCl! being.fo -others, and by the privileged classes. who, being sure of t ""ha( they are, do not care what they seem---:as the man of appearances. haunted by the look of others and endlessly ()(:cupied wilh being seen in I good light. Being 50 linked to appearance-the one he has to give. not only to do 'hat is. play his role, 10 'make belivc', to inspire confidence or Itspcct and prestnr his social character. his 'presentation', as a guarantee \}f the products or services he offers (:1$ is the case with salespeople, busi epresentatives, hostesses rc.), bUI also to assert is retensions all? t p ll1ands bo , to advanc his interests and upward asp,rations-the pellt Urgeois is inclined to a Berkeleian vision of Ih social world. reducing t\} a the atre in which being is never more than perceiv bei }, a men . rp I) t rescnlation of a rhotrical pt'rformance (rtpdSmlalllm). HIS am 'gIIOU$ posirion in the social snucture, sometimes compounded by the

sU /




h(5 job.

ambiguity inherem in all (he roles of intermed iary bttwten the manipulared manipulators, deived dcceivers. fren his very [ .-.--o which leads him to the positions of ondincommand, second lead, second fiddle, eminence: grise agtm , , depUty or Stand. ( prived of the symbolic profits associated with rhe recognittd stat ' offidal dckgarion which allow legitimate impo sture (and W ' " SUSp1 in true f oundalion ): everything pm:lisposes him 1 ; L 0 social world in terms of appearance and reali ty. and the more . h .sonally had to 'climb down', the more incli ned he is to observe man .... tions and impostures with the suspicious eyes '.. of resemmem.H BUI the site par excellence of symbolic strug gles is the domina n, dill; iuclf. The con/liers Ixlween mim and irlfc JlCCtuals over the dcfinit ion culture ue only one aspect of the interminable: stntggles among the: af ... { (rerlf fl1llCiions of the dominant class to impose: the definition of the: It. gitimue stakes lnd ....capons of SlXial strug gles; in orher ....ords, to dc:6at the lc:B.itimat princip!e of oomina!ion, be:1 ec:n c:("onomic, educati .... onll or SlXlal capllal, SlXlal powers ....hose: spt<: ific effio.cy mly be: c-. pounded by spedfically symbolic efficacy, that is, Ihe authorilY conftnei by be:ing rc:cogniw:l, mandatc:d by coliC:("live be:lief. The struggle be:thet& the dominant fr:lClions and the dominatc:d fraClions (themse:lves COIllQo luting flc:lds organic:d in a struClure hom ologous to (hat of the domi nam class as a whole) tends, in its ideologio .l relr:lnslation-and heft: tilt dominated fr:lcrions have the initiative and the upper hand-(O be: or.. nized by Opposilions thu arc almost superimp osable on those: whICh the dominant vision SCts up be:tween the dom inam class and Ihe domina. classes: on the one hand, freedom, disinterc:s tc:dncss, the 'punty' of" limated tastes, salvation in the hereafter ; on rhe Olher, necessiry, ICIf, interc:sr, base marerial suisfaClions, salvuion in rhis world. It follows rhIr all the SIr:llegies which intellectuals and anists produce againsl rhr 'bourgeois' inevitably tend, quite apart from any explicit intention, .ad: by virtue of 1m:: StruClure of rhe space in ....hich rhey are gener-ltc:d, to be dual-aclion devices, dirc:clc:d indifferently again sl all forms of subjc:c to malerial interesls, popular a!S much as bourgeois: 'I 0.11 bourgeoiS c:vc:r thinks b:asely', as F1aube:rr put il. This c:sscntial over-dererminapOll explains how Ihe 'bourpis' c:an 50 easily usc the an produced a them as a means of demonstr:lting their diSlin Clion, whenever they to show thar, compam:l to the dominuc:d, Ihey are on the s of 'disiIt' ide teresrc:dness" 'frttdom', 'purity' and the 'soul', Ihus ruming againSl die olher classes weapons designed for use agaim them t selves. J h is clearly no accidc:nr thai the dominant art and the dominant UI_ living agree on the ume fundamental distinctions. which are all . b:aseddIr the opition be:,....een the bruti$h n("(c:ss which pos iry forces Irself on vulgar, and luxury, as the manifestation of dislance from or celicism, as self.imposed constr:linr, tWO comrasling ways ture, nc:<:d, appetite, desire; between the unbr idlc:d only highlights the privations of ordinary exisle nce,

; r,; :

SOl"g g tional liaisons, for example, o r using r:ln:: words and tropes m klnbey

{lu rOP mmOn words and phrases, or in the frc:c:dom from lhe de C plJ C 0 " ( ,angu'Be o r silUation that is asserrc:d in the liberties taken by . rnands o ' K are known 10 kno.... be:ner. These opposmg su legles, wh' h :a tIleS( who above the ruks and proprieties imposed on ordmary speakers, place ooc: 'y mutually exclusive. The twO forms of conspicuous free. , In no "" ' unconvenlional constr:lint lnd dc:Hbe:r:.lte tr:losgrc:sslon, can COCXlst dm o " ISCOUrse-, ,eXI(3, "reo ar IITeft:n, momenn or different levels of {he same d" . _ ..I ' " laalloo" m,y, for example be: counteroa!anc"" by m([C"...1 renston III ' " 'y se<:n m condescenSlon " syntU Or d"" ,,"on, or the reverse (this is clear , . " " . I SIr:llegles, III Wh",h 'h' B'P thus mamtamc:d betwc:<:o (he ,eve's o( 'an

r1.tuitous epense or the austerity of elc:("rive restriction; be l f O[1u rc der to immc:diare, easy satisfactions and onomy of means, ( " s. r.. klng possasion of means commenSUr:lle wllh the means pos. ' . .:...1 E15C IS "" universally 'pprovc:d only because !t represents Ihe most . . . d" assertion of freedom from the constr:lmts whKh domlnate or. I. ,1Slbk I the most indisputable affirmauon of capital as the capaclly 0'1')' demands of biological nature or of the authority which ens I rO sau ne to ignore them, . . IIdes 0 ",,;, = m'y be: manifcslc:d ellhet m rhe tours de force of '" ......us Ingul " '" ood what is uiml by suiclly gr1.mmatlcal or pragmauc ru,

stV'" ;""' fy


do ,


leg to mnd on'. . nle: speaker who can 'take the liberty' of standlllg outSide Ies til only ' . for pedants or gr1.mmarians-who, nor surpri ingl ' are dlslllclm tO r . , "'rite these games with the rules inlO rheir odlficluons of the Imgu!sflc &1me-pUtS himself forw1ld as a maker orhlgher rules, !.e., a tute-maker, . 2n a.bil" titganlill", whose: tr1.nsgressions are nOI n:-ISlakes bt the n. nUf"lCialion of a new fashion a ne.... mode of expressIon or lCllon which "'ill ome a model, and thn modal, normal, the norm, :and will call (or new Ir:l.nsg rc:ssions by those: who refuse 10 be tankc:d in Ihe mode:, to be: lIIc1uded, -ilisorbc:d, in the elass defined by the Insl classifying, least III.1.rkcd, most common, leasr dislinClive, Inst distinguishing property. l'hus we: see that conlr:lry to all naively Darwinian conviClions, ,he (so ClOlo icrlly g well.' oundc:d) illusion of 'natura! diSlincion' is u!timatdy f n the pow(:r of the dominant to impose, by their very IStenCe, a nlll n of ecellcnce which, be:ing nothing other {h.an I. elr own .way h . . el$tlll g, is bound to appear simultaneously as d!SIlnCl!ve and differ l, and theref ore bo,h arbitr1.ry (since it is one among others) and per Ily n (c:ss ary, absolute and natur1.1. . Ease In the acility' is no more than ease III Ihe sense sense of nalur1.1 f

IStance ua cis rhe symbolic equivalenr of the double glme of asscrtmg d' ppcaring 10 negate it), Such strategies-which may .be pc:rf rly un c:("rive--are the ultimate nposre to " .. "' conSCI0' , ,nd thereby even more eff h 'd Ihe hyper.corrtion strategies of pretentious OlltSI ers, Wh0 are t rown , imo self-doubt about the rule and the right way 10 conform (0 II, jYoIta Iyzc:d by a reflexiveness which is {he 0pposlle of ease, and left 'without 1

being consists in their being perccived.H One has to PUt complete definition of ease what is destroyed by 121hng thai IHIStOrlC's virtue, uires a (errain ease (or, conversely, rhat .'m meM ari from embarrassment), that is, the effect of impo$ition those who only have to be in order to be cl(ceUem achieve by ., . "' existence. This perfect coincidence s the very definition of IVhich. . i recurn, bears witness to this coincidence of 'is' 2nd 'ought' 2nd 10 fit self.affitming power it contains. The value placed on casualness 2nd on aJi forms of diStance from .. stems from the fact thar, in opposition to the anxious tension 01 .. challengers, they manif est both the possession of a large capical (1in&4 ric or orher capiral) and a freedom with respect to that capital which .. .sc<ond-order affirmation of power over necessity. Verbal virruositiel . the gr:.ltuitous expense of time or money that is presupposed by mataI(I or symbolic appropriation of works of an, or even, at the sccond the sclf-imposcd constr:lints and restrictions which make up the ' cism of the privileged' (as Marx said of Seneca) and the refusal 01 * facile which is the basis of all 'pure' aesthetics, are so many repctitiontel ianr of the master-slave dialectic through which the po$SCSSOll llf. that vu firm their possession of theIr possessions. In so doing, they dis. themselves still funher from the dispossessed, who, not contcnt being slaves to necessity in all its forms, are suspected of being pOll by the desire for possession, and so potcntially possessed by the sions they do not, or do not yet, possess.')

of 'comfortable Sltu1ion ensuring an easy life': the p' "i'io. i" destructive, sinC(C (here would be no need to point II what it is, if it were really nOl something else, which is also ttuth. This is the error of objc:nivism, which forgets to J complete definition of the obje<:\ {hI' representation of has had 10 destroy in order 10 arrive 2t the 'objective' I f orgets to perform [he final reduction of it! reduction thar is able In order to grnp the objective {ruth of social bcts,



Crass Tastes ana Ljfe-Stles

Our pride is more oAtndcd by altacks on our tasces than on our opinions La Rochef oucauJd, M"rims


In order rhat the dcKripcion oflifc.styles may consticute a valid wrifuatWn, we must go back to the survey and compare the brought to light by the method whkh 5ms best suited whole set of OOscrvations in simultaneity and to d!'llW OUT the i StruCtures without imposing any presupposi!ions-namely, the corrcspondenco-with the unities that be: nlJtrllutti on of the principles of division which objectively define the I homogeneous conditions and conditionings, and therefore practices_ Such an ope!'lliion reproduces. in reverse, the transform . which ordinary perception performs when it applies SO(ially coru/hOI llI" s schemes of perception and assesment to the p!'llctices and proits ef agcots, COllSliluling them distinctive lifNlyles through which If .. luits SO(iaJ conditions.
are , C1.Il as

"OIlthou8h is nowhere possible 10 we dn sJlC'oIk of a class fractioncan find noitone on either side who (!I:. fO cmarc"Olcion line such thaI we ,J all tnc properties most frequent on one side and none o( the (1"" ,, iCS truction and OOscrvallon able to ,sobte ofco.ntinuity, the mOSt frequent on the ot.her'.tSln this universe(rclattvcly) homo #f p1lrk O cons of individuals characterized by sen of properties that arc .. setS uCIIY and 'SO(io-logic"Ollly' interrdatcd, in other words, groups sepalUSt! I t.:d by systems 0f d.erences.

In tCStricting ourselves to the- survey data (as a linguist may limit himld' to the finite corpus of sentences produced in response to a finite set of t . gers), we deny ourselves the possibility of evoking the infinite tichness each life-style. This possibility is in fact purdy thcorcliol since. 10 avoid the positivist templ1tion, which Jorge luis Borges describes, of mak map as big as the coumry. one would havc to find the Style mO$t ca " evoking ,he fClttuf($ which (as a differcmial equation condenses a cu) condense a whole universe of practices. To avoid the monotony of refer. limited to the indicators used in the survey, il would h"Olve bn ble to substitute numetous C<juivalems for the works and compose" actually offered (for example, the GoIdbtrg V",i",irmJ or the Lilt/( NOllW jlJr A",,,,a M"giU/ma Barh (or ,he Wt/f.Tmrpwd Cia,-;,,-, or. among dIe $i..,. e", Reggiani, hrr,lt. Barba,." or Juliette Grcco for Brel and Douai. or MIl' <el Amont, Adamo or Mircille Mathieu for Alnavout). This procedurc. though rfectly consistent with the logic of taste. which constantly mabI such substitutions within cI:wes of C<juiulents vlguely.rccived on the baJis of ill cues, was rcittted on the 8rounds thlt the very nlturc of cI:wes of equivalents depends on the system of classifi(1tion put mto op:ta' tion: wherc one rson will only see interchangeable ekments of the cat< gory 'classical music'. lno,her will rcfuse the seemin81y mOSt justifie<l substitutions (same composer or period. similar form "OInd st)k). II observe rtdf As Arislotle said. it is because bodies have colour that we some are a different colour (rom others; different things diffcrcnu" themselves through wlm they have in common. Similuly, Ihe d' fractions of the dominlnt class distin8uish Incmselves precisely th r'ff' thai which makes them members of Ihe class "OIS a whole, namely the pCII of capital which is the source of thcit privilege lnd the different man of asserting their distinction which are linked to it. And JUSt to borrow an eXlmpk from Anatol Rapaport. wc s a cloud or a forest. althou8h in Cl[.ch case the density of the tfCC$ lets is a continuous funnion and the limit docs not cxisl as ; ,'''''''':
ences as. Of

T e Sense of DlstmctlOn



IfIC1!Ure IhI- 1CStheti( dispos"ion. all the 'luC'S"on on the preferred .,, I1Id,o progr:lmmes and books. on knowledg<= of film >ClOrs and and on personal photography, wh,ch all measure middlebrow cui J'reo:1011 lhe chOKes a regards domestic imerior, furnHure. cooking, clothes. iends. through which elhieal d,sposillons arc more directly tuf( of fr ,h'. and $0 on. In all these analyses. ,he first faCior opposes Ihe fl':llc (p che5 t ,n economic capital to the fracllons richest in culTural (ipital: l;co mercial cmployers and the higher-edue2lion tC1chel$ Or cultul1l1 pro th' (see figulC$ II, sHuated at Ihe IwO 0pposl!e etremcs of the le memhel$ of [he profC'S5ions, the nullves and the engineers dl < hile the tl). y intermediate positions. In the analysis based nn the indicators of In middlebrow cullure, Ihe commercial cmployel$ are opposed re t strongly '0 IhI- SC'(ondary lochers (I':IIther than the highe[-eduC1tion the mistic p,oducel$), in accordance ,,i[h a logic alrc:ady ob mO$hers IClCcd or In the primary lC1chers' preferences fo' .nge[s. In Ihe analsis based :mistic producel$. ...ho thereby 'the indoOtors of ethical disposilion. n5CIl [ilo:"or casualness ,nd indifference [0 convention. are opposed 10 the and occupy posi !(a(hers. thl:: cngin1$ and ,hi:: pubhc-!;C'(IOr exuti,es, " ons ,'cry dose to [hose: of the commercial employers (to whom they are in other respects. identified in this case: by Ihe sc:cond ''CrY 5trongl) opposed

- J

:;' arc : oC'k e c :





class constitutCS a rcilr;vdy 11,1I0nOmOU$ spael: whose srru(rure is ddineI

by {he distribution of onomie and (uhu!';I[ Gpilal among irs members, each class fraction being char:l.C!eriz(d by a certain configuration of this ty of npiral among the f Clions is symmcuically and invcrsoely SIn l1l lured; and [hal, third. the di ff erent inherited assel struCtures, rogcdlCf ....ith sodal 1r:l.j!Ory. command [he habitus ,md the systematic choim_ produces m all arns of pr::l(ticc. of which [h( choices commonly as acsthetic lrc one dimension-then these sr[uClures should be foul'ld . the space of tifeslyles, in Ihc differcnl systcms of propcniC'S in which
C'Srabl ish

If it is {fUe, 15 I have c:ndeavoured fO establish. (hal, first, (he domillll'll

distribution 10 which there co[mponds a cerlain life-style. rhrOU8h rile mediuion of the habitus; {hat, second , [he diwibution of thot nI8

01 As 2 first stas<'. afler a methodical re:lding of rhe tables expressing t IC'" suhs of the: survey (see appendix 3), rhe ans,,'ers given by the memberS the dominant <1m (n ... 467) to various selS of questions (sec . lIonnaire, appendix \ ) were analyttd in order to determine srrUClurC'S 2nd explanatory facrors varied according to thc Th included: all the questions on knowledge or preferences in and music and On museum-going. which all meaure kgiuma[c all the questions on ,hi- likdihood of producing > Mutiful. me:mingleu or ugly phocograph from h of Ihe ,_nty-one sublCCrs.

this, rhe whole SCt of survey dlla was subjected to cor dence analysis.I

Ihc diffcrent sysrems of dispositions cxpress Ihcmsd\". ' To envour 10



f)Ctar)H"inS thus identified the mOSl pe[linenl ,ndi(ilol$ 10 C1eh case, il WlI5 r.C'(csmy. in order to avoid the over.loading resulting from the abundance olonformallon gathered (see questionnaire, appendix I ) . to eliminate from the final analysir--only the results of which Ire presented hefC'-lhe ques flons ...hoch proved 10 he badly phrased (such a ,he questions on do[hing O[ on types of books) or leu classifying, in favour of 'lu(stions (such as ,hal on rook,ng) measuring much the fT>I: d,positions (the 'lutions on p/looographoc $ub;l$ Were also excluded. and analysed $Cpar:lldy). lfle d"l [elained (fo[ disjunclive codong) werc ,hus those wh,ch conccrned Ihe of on intnio[ (twdve adjeClives). the 'lualiries of a friend (twdve 1'X[".('5). [he stylc of mC1ls SC"l>'e<i to friends (six possihilities), furniture PU[chases (5'x possiboillies). preferred singel$ (twdve). preferred works of lm"al musIC (fifteen), visi,s to the Modern An Muse:um or [he Louvre. nO"'I<:<:lg of rumpose:rs (dassifll;d into four levels). opinions on aft (five). To g.v<: [he dcmons[ruion it full force, the cha!'llCleristi(s trelled 15 illus """e variables were age. f11her's occupation. 'lualifical1ons and income; fracllon, whKh constitutes the mos' powerful explan110ry f lo[. WlIS ac as such in Ihe analysis (Enctly the 5ame 'n werc applied _ .... 11ysmg the responses of [he m,ddlt and working cluses: see ehaptel$ 6 . _



1,,'"" CSl!v I$ of the correspondences makes it possible to isolate, Ih tough n.1YS . c d IVls ons, diff of preferen s stemming from crelll coherent d,,,,n q
l SCts c c

- 7J .., - - ---------


and distinctive systems of dispositions. defined as much by their Intc ('.1 11'l:1",onShip as by the relations hip between each of them and ils so . ondll ons of produnion_ The indicators measuring eultUI':ll! capiral ("'h ' (h Vary. of course. in approximately inverx I':IIlio to Ihe indic2l0rs of


(t"o'6rstn [

10 rhe: consli\ulion of l) make rhe s{(ongt'Sf connibulion i( capita against esentS .8 percrnl of the 10111 inertia (lefor <which repr (he second and third be and },2 percent rcspC:Cli'dy for r and 1 2 rc those who, willl ,he: j.6 ll)\JS on ,he: 1.::(, side of figures 1 1 nce. who know the: brgcsI [OfS1 Incomtl, have: the: gf(':l,[CSt compete ), (6 percent) lnJ compo5C.rs (7:7. pcrccm who lo.. of musical work h 15 [he , aesthetic dIsposItiOn, suc \I ks demanding the 'pUfCSt ( e wor , Clat;tr (1.8 perccnt) or dlt lirl oj l'ugut (1.7 percent) ptc come:, tid rc most (apablc of applying this aesthctic dIsposition to less rior de<:ora or cinema or even cooking or intc 1 such :.IS :;ong painting, visil thc Modern lin ",'ho art intc:n!ilW in abslr.lCt ,110' anis!ic (2A percent). On the: [11)11. uJll 11\d expect their friends 10 be th lo .....est ho rctivt tht highest incomes nd hvt side are [hose:: ..... rs. like their kno.... f.... musiul works or com og leOCt, .... ho pC rastes run to 5C('ond scimious (I. percnt ) and whose: tls to be con lllt ks of bourois culture-L';trlhm (\&Iasse or classiul wor k (2.9 percem), La Traviata (2.1 pcrctnf), !Ccnt), Ihe l3iut DanJlbt pJOdy, Bufftt, Vlaminck, Ulriilo, Raphael (2.} per, ,lit /I,lIlgar/an Rha tnl) ----a nd (0 lighl opera-Guclary (1.8 perc mu). w,ua.u, lronlrdotn( ).' ulr' singers-tul Clark (2.2 perc .\!ln3no---<)r (ht most 'pop styles Ihat Ihese mdi(3lOrs of the different life It (3n be sc<;n intuilively s 10 (he Slfu(ture of the space of life [all mto 3 pattern ....hich cOllespond e (0 the $lfucture of posi, )/fks as it has been estlhlishcd, and therefor als, Ihe most dtar-cul opposition 110m. And indeed. in (tlms of individu 1 and. to a lesser ttent, (he induslTi 'I St:t up bet....een the commercial tic producers. who ttnployers, and Iht higher<ouc3(ion (eachers and artis levd of analysis. The dusters of lit vtnually indistinguishable at this tion are disllibutcd in POlOtS r tpnting the memben of the same f!'K (in t expected pauern ' ProjeCtion of the determinants of posilion con ome, (IUalificalions, social origin, ge) lS supplementary variables of tilt distribution 'rns that this struCture corresponds to the structure of the: types of a.piral: educnional capital is distributed along the fint lXlS, from ttro <jualiflCation to post.fiemet degrees, ""hilt incomes have an OPPOSIt (but less dispersed and nonlinear) distribution. (0 the extremity of "'dsllial and commercial employen clOSC$I thc, t a "eI cultural capital has lC2$t l$ arc (hose: in whose overall capinl an: hC'llds of businesses t, thOSe situated dose: 10 the professions hIn Ing t cultu ral goods (ant i(!ue-dea!cl'$. recorddea!crs, the hook trad t{ ) than the 3vtragc for their f ; 1 ing gTC'ltter cultural capital t ....ho sell cultural goods. the: ( (1tmt or granik ko/t). bcept for thrn;c ( ol ll erclal employen an: yery dose: (0 middlebrow cultun: in an Othe, T Tl . ( brought out by the third fetot) in their cultural prefet Cts DalIbt, Gctary: Pcta Clar) an aso in .the choices OSt IlrOngl or or (nend nvollng elhlCal dlsposmons ( m theIr IdC'll1 mteri . k 'luahuts ofttn chrn;cn by tilt working and mldd!c dusc:s, such

-d u rrtrNptrtd ",.1\0 MU:


;t t

as 'easy to maintain', pr.tClical', and 'conscientious', 111 " "" O''' h d'l. ' this respect tht'y are oppod 10 the industrial employers, who '" ," . over.tll to bourgeois taste ary w"h rhe: worklns cI:w.r:s IS much IC$$ mukoed. and situtn! hisher, in the: self-employed SfOr (e$pC<ially in the: omfTl(Crcial oc c tions) Ihan among wasc-o:arners, where at the: level of d r"'" ( 'cal . nS " 115. smaII empIoyers arc much dOSer workers. . lI'I Ihelr eallns hab" " 10 workins class in (for sport. music.hall CI ) die C their vaJcs than derinl workers. who are much more slrongly op the workll'lg class lI'I all these respC<1S but much their lID I(aI pa. sidons.

i n rrsit. O

torical spccmulars (Tht l..FftIgtst Day), ,aI Thus, given thaI the diKerences (0 rhe overall volume of ctpI 10 !III are panially neutralized (by the fact Ihal Ihe analysis is t members of same dass, who are roughly equal in Ihls individual"s position in Ihe space defined by the first tWO faclors i essentially on rhe sIruClure ofhis assets, ,hat is, on Ihe relative the economic opirat and cultural capital he possesses (axis 1 social tra;ccrory (axis 2), ....hich. Ihrough Ihe corresponding <juisition. governs his blionship 10 those: asseu.6 The gmllesl contriburions to Ihe sond f C lor are madl': by the a

. The members of the profs;ons occupy an intermed,ale position ... diVIde IntO twO sub.groups dlKering mainly in fC<lpect of cultural capi_ larger. group, situated near the pole by rhe ducers, mainly ll'lciudes P"risian architeclS, barrislers (al'O(als), doc. (and only a few dentists or pharmacistS); the SC(ond sub.set, closer 10 dII employers' pole, brgely consiSts of rebdvcJy old provineials, ckntislJ,. liciton (nolaim) erc The former choose:, for example, Ihe r:lresr woat.. i3ra'1ue, Kandinsky, Ctm/O IN ujt HaM, the mosr 'intelkcnlll' films (Exlmninaling Allgd, S4/valort Gill/illlfo), and very ofren know !III direclors of rhe films mentionW. whereas rhe llfter declare the mall bnll preferences of middle-brow taste. Vlaminck. Renoir, rhe 81111 Dt' uht, and sec 'wide audience' films (IA diman(htJ(u Vii" d'Away) or bit

0 FligUI, WIll Tnnptrld Clavi" ). 1

The higheruC:l(ion re:lchers, who have very high in less cons:rali. 21OS. such as cinema. occupy the Other etrerni rhe first UIS. Th"r preferences are balanced bet....ccn a :Hain audacilr . . and a rudl':m dasslc,sm;. they refuse Ihe facile pleasures of righ r-" . , tasiC ....lIhOul \'enturmg mto the Ullstic avam.gude. eplorins '. coveries' rather rhan 'discoverics', the raresl worh of the past r:lthcr dIM rhe contemporary anr-glrde (warm, studied. imaginarive inrtnof, . Bra<jue, PICasso. Breughel and sometimes Kandmsky, Firthird SlIilr, ....

c if appears their spch, Iheir USfes Po:: closer in poli( comf'(rcncc ;:' occupied wistic ,..

the Iation (0 1o:gilim1le culture and in the nuances of the 1 . i#'1(hv,"g, Ihey <M>ar:lte individuals who have much lhe same volume -r . ,rr ' t:l.Clor opposes { I capital. Wlrhm each fracllon. Ihe se<:ondof lhe bourgeoish 10 u ra ul l ie amilies have long been members fc . s whose f dl1 have the su.
In rlt<JSC
0 11'1

:lSSfXiltW with mo or less niority in rhe bourgeoisie; mlinly


. senioritr in privig, who acuI Ihell ultural caplral . and . daily comaC! wllh rare, 'd,sI1l'lgulshed thII'I, people. laccs Y , cl by".. s !O hose who owe their capila ro an aC<juIsltlve eKol{ d,recled by ." ' -1 IpLty 0( Ih aut..,.., "dact, or ui by the SC:Ien d" d cati onal sysle . ,. - e u relationshLp to II IS more senous, more severe, often more , 91hose jnd

W 'iS


:vilcgc, ti


ha'IC m:ently emered it, the parvenus.: those :who



l or

) faClor naturally distrib ts {he franions aceordi.n 10 portion of their members who ongmlte from the bourgeoISie or l professions and Ihe hiShcrucuion . . he: pro ' manuther class' on one side the prtVlle-se<:tr eecuflves), and on Ihe .achcrs (lnd. to a lesser eXlent. lhe: secndary ers, the publicsenol e ecuuves the: orher the engine ( categories which represent the maIO roures . Ia acdcmlC sue, ers dlvlck fallly equally ) inlo {he dominanr class, while the: employ the tWO poles. The formel, gfOUped on the posilive side of the ly) acquired sond factor, ha'IC in common rhe fan that they (initial they p rnt signs amiliarization wirhin the faily. their opita by f .. of long.standing membership of the bourgeoISie such as lI'Ihemw furn . (2 4,Percem), a prcd" lure (3.1 percent) , purchases from Ilion for a comfortable interior and lradmonal cookmg (I. percent) , visits 10 Louvre and {he Modern Atl Museum (1.8 percent ) , and 2 taslC for the Ctm/O l Iht u Hand, which provcs to be: almt always ft orl.S5OCiated ....ith piano-playing. The others, who owe Ihe essenual pm of cultun:: to the o:ducarion1 system and Ihe n::lativcly late learning enc:OUt:l.gcd and entailed by a high scholastic culture, are opposed 10 Il1o:rn by the:ir pference (or friends who an:: 'derermined' (2.6 percc::n l) cult; and 'pt:l. mtic' (l6 percenl), nuher than. as at lhe: opposite g Oated 01 uristic. their taslC for clC2n and tidy (l2 percent), sober and







dlSCtttt (1.6 percenl) interiors. nd works of mainstrC2m bourgeois cui,



lure. as the S411fl Dana ( U pel(enr), UtrmO and Van Gogh Of, in aoo.ther order, Jac<jut'S Brei or Anavour, BuKer and Rhapsody in Blut, all


() r( rcla ivcly homogeneous choices. Nevr stooping to works suspected banality or Da7lllht, they vulgarity, such as L'ArliJ/t1l1lt or the v nturc into the slightly less 'canonical' work.s. such a 'E7If tI a7l1

dI(O!$ of upward mobility. They are char.tcrerized by prudent and rhere "





O knion of the father'S occupation, the: responckOl's age, qualifica t ;n(ol"l'le etc. as illusl.nrrive variables sh0:w th1 the prtl(iplc of divi lion' $ Indcro soci,l Inr,ccrory. Tho: opposillon IS cslabhshed be:lwccn


I'gts. which are o(len chosen by the culrural lntermedlancs and



Fiprt JJ V,ri.n'$of,hedomin.nt ''-5't. An:aJ)1ilof(orrcspon<ionce$O limpl ifimpi n.

di:agnm of I" and }rd no of inert;:a.

.,3(J.2'l Io) lmpreionisu pragm:a,;' ].II COJnI><">KIl 711 musitt.l WQlks

"'-'00. d;,,;rttt

Van Gogh


R no l e


cultural copi" l .. Fou,. Sel1101tl economic copilal A." o Fugu, agreg. g. ecol. f
mUJical 'a'Olks


l6compo$<fI economic copi:




paiminp nict bn diffICult Guh::;-..


RI hacl

ruhural co ilal p

P. a:uk Blue Da"ube lis Tr oWlll " Q.2coml><">KlI L.iW;


CEP. u.p no q.... '. . .

W II , T,mperd Citni".

11 ..


depanme", $,or.

Thl' mplir,O<I d ..
,...... .h.tn 1."

,hose members of the dominant dm who 3re bo,h older and drawn !foil the oldest or economiolly rkht:Sc f tions (professionals, induscriJl .... eommen::ial em ploye ), and those whose father deriol worlLa jun ir ex",:utive or manual worker, who are relath-ely less rich in ec0figure 13). The complex rel2tiomhip nomIC opllil and younger ( which emerges betwecn the positions of the fractions in social sr-ace, " niorilY in the bourgeoisil' and age (also linkc-d to che firsl tWO factOfS . and .whi.ch is very impomnt in understanding a number of elhiol or'". thettc differences between members of the dominlnt class-for eXimpir differenc in sports or doching-becomes dellr when one knowS thlt ,he proportion of parvenus rises as one moves from the dominant (0 thC doinated fractions (and, a fortiori, the proportion of those wh? n o thelt entry to the accumula,ion of schol:lStic capital-the dispe r '" the executives is no doubt partly due (he fUI ,hat ,he lower thei cial origin, ,he more likely (hey are to achieve these posicions al a lively advanced age).1 . majOn lJ" The third faccor which, al Ihe level of individual, setS the
rs rac see was I t:S ( 0 rsi

. The only illll.....i... .. i.bl. rop....nd " .d""ottOflol quoJir.coti""


"m only ifl(ludeo ...iabl .,h",h

make on .boolu.. .'fluiJ,.u.ion .quol to 01

("1Chers and espe(ially ,he artists-who are I'ven more inclined (han (tIC \ ( hers to mark ,heir refusal of bourgeois tascnd also the com ,, to (he most Iypically bourgeois (by ori (I!( \1 employers, in opposition l of residence and c-ducation) of the professionals, industrialists ...,e rt l P Sid Cxecuti es cends chiefly to characterize: the 'bourgeois tas,e' of 'hese the other fractions. opposing it to the JI' td dtltegoria bybettl'r equipped and tastes of III 'intellectual taste', more daring b,r ipa ly 'he PfltlClso. secondarily, 10 a taste definc-d neguively lnd combining features ' b middle.brow taste and popular ,aste (that of the commercial employ o 'Bourgeois' t te, a modal taste or taste 11. la modc--as is shown by e'Slfength of ,he preferencl' for the Impressionis, painters (4.2 per I of Van Gogh (2.l percent) or Renoir I) confirmc-d by the choice of 7 to I I 1 re percent, and 7 an 1 composers. 3.2 percent). It is f!'rks. rcenr)-'s based onto 1averagl' competence (knowlc-dgefundamen 3.3 t:lStC for tradition (wi'h a prc:ference for traditional French ml'als, idly a anli'lul' shops, 1.0 perc n foc :J percent, for furnitureafrom of temperate hedonisme(e.g., in'wellbred' favouritc fnends. 1.5 percent) and sorl IMenoC is comfortable but also sober and discfCCl, 1.8 percent, and cosy. the Firt even in audacitit:S 12 perant), maderace n B/ut, ilS. 3 percent, (with Ihe choice offor 'prag. Ihe preference or 1 btrri Suitt or Rhapsody i to ',rtiscic'). It is chieAy definc-d matic' friends, L7 percent-lS opposed by opposition 10 a set of indicators which characterize: a culture that is bo,h more 'schol:lS(1" (knowledge of 12 01 more composers, 3 percent. knowledge of 12 or more works, 1.9 percenc, preference for leonardo, 1.6 percent etc.) and-relatively-more daring (with Kandinsky, 1.4 per and Picasso, 1.3 percent), but also more ascetic (Goya or ,he If/tll TrnI aalJitr, furniture from the Fl Market etc.).
"e v to :lS .. " ccnr, ea

f Tht Modes o Appropriation ofthe Work o Art f

; ...

But hls statistical analysis would not rtally fulfil its purpose of verifica . ' If II did nOl help one '0 undersland the underlying logic of ,he dis IlIbu,ions i t t:Stablishes; if. having provc-d that volume and structure of ( I)Ual, synchronically and diachronically defined. consti tu te the princi c Of divisio n of practices and preferences, it were not possible to bring o lIghl lhe intelligihle. -socio.logical' relationship between, for eumple, asYlllmelri( :lSseC slrucmre bi3S(d towuds culcure 3nd a parliculr re . . hOll l0 ,hI' work 0f U', and to explalll, that IS. undetSland completeIy, y Ihe mOSt orm of thl' xsthetic disposicion and the cu ltu rall I ... I k . . 1scetic f ' ' ' glllmace and economically Cheapest pra.ccice5, e.g., museum . 80;:g, Ot, ' J>;l, n 10 occur (lpiIC larly sport, mount1in<limbing or walking, are likely fTC<ju.:ntly among tn.: fractions (relalively) r icht:St in cultura.l la and (celati,-cly) poorest in economic capit11.

rOlIO'. fr".n a cabine.maker.


no, pr By s tnklmg knickknacks ("rhey're point ...i.h ') bur wi.h dozens of photos . \'(Iith ....icker ba5kets full of bric-i Wilh childrens mugs briltling ..."h pccncii.s. Wi,h novels. exhibi lion C11110gues, magnines on inte rior decorarion (she (u!s au' .he

By mi ngling colrs and fabri . y ",ith a '!!11 aud",u . . . .

ing planlS, books lnd an orchid only flower Ihl. lasts'), tWO (.,he lamps boughl for a $OtIg at I wi,h modern shades, ,"10 jcr! bedside tables recen"y ordered

the t1IJtmblt,

useful addresses and sricks .hem in 5(np-boob), 5('311erW all or rhe place. lind other ry personal de aimu tiles .ails, such as rhe paintC"d ! surrounding .he chimney.piece . . . [n short, by .do ting an original, p

. .. . .....

personal styk of decoration. So much SO .ha. designer Henri Sam uel, who actC"d as rechnical :adviser, and ,hal's a complimenr!'

repliC"d, when ! askC"d him fO define rhis bedroom: 'I,', pure d'Orn1no,

,SS'S" S,S" " " S" " " " " " " SS" " S,'

o de So.n,Sa.,."r, Lt Ft....M.t.",.. i

(M""'-' Fg."'). 7 Oclober. 1978. i

., know

barOifut ""JJlnpitu.

mll"P",t t htr aparllllml. .-1 lj

how i Wln

JiJln-",/aw, "'" matk "" fKdowm 1m

rion is 1 "oay of eprnsing ir:

IJt>btllt d'Oma1f(), 1m AI",i !ln'J 0 li'e.

A Cosy Samovar-Style Bedroom


five childfC'n and some.;m. since i. comm unicales wilh rhe recep.ion rooms, as I second salon for big din.

me.ics her husband IauochC"d 'hr.:.: y(":lrs ago ) . as a TV room f her or

Ihroughour her aparrment-:a rhap sody of colours. i mi r1fion green mamk and Vene.ian blindnd espe<:ially in her bedroom lin al mos. !imds and yet very up-ro da.e room. which also sef\' as [sa belle's s,udy when she is working (markedng ,he 'Sisky" r:mgt of cos

&orning f ashion and irs conven ns. she has applied r his principle rio

mous eighrn.h-cenrury (rysnl chandelier from .he La GnnJi works, bough. from a Madrid in' riquc-dealer. one or 1"10 linle la.e nine.ttnth-cen.ury English s.ands

upholsrered 'rub' asy-chairs and Se<"' ond EmpifC' fireside chairs. an enor

way up. . . . By org.niing move' ment in .he room around 1 cen'fe" p,ece: ,he bed. lind qui.e 1 bed it is! . . . 1l1belk d'Ornano likes 'mus cuhr' furniture and wanrC"d 'a bed which suggestS i gondoli: Her up holsrerer had his work cu, OUI (or ' ynr and a half! By f1ou.ing all the d:ossical rul and combining diff" :nt 5!yl of m u f rnirure-in (",r. every $lyle II Louis XVI inbid roll.op desk,

dull libnry. sumpruous and boring; she has .urnC"d i. inro sometlilng warm and 'cO$y', as me pUIS Ir. First. by having a circular balcon, builT around ,he walls almos! half

nn p1rri. Originally ir was a big

the ,eachers' t1.Ste for the usterilY of pure ..orks, Bach or Bue, Brecht or Mondrian, the same ascetic disposition that is expfCSSC"d in all ,hdr praniccs, and when il senscs in these: m ingly innocem choices Ihe symptom of a sim ilar, hUI merely bener hidden, re13tionship 10 sexuality or money: or when it divines the whole view of fhe world and of eisrence !hu is expressed in !he tlSte for Ihe delights of boulevard !he.a!re or ,he I mpionisl$, for Renoir's rosy women, Boudin's sunli. be:.achcs or Dufy's sta SCts.
which have to be used !o lake measurements are ,wo antagonistic rela tions to the work of arl or, more precisely, two modes of ae5!helic appro priauon exprosing tWO opposife assel suucruTCS. Thus., how is one ro v,e sec!Or,

,esting it-w hen 1t sees in

One's immediate inwirion should be followed-for fhe purpose of

lis is de.arly SlXn in Ihe.ane or painling (hUf rhe s.ame is lrue of !he orher arts). what emerge ,hrough the discontinuous or dispanu: indices

4.61. and ,he publiC sector, 4.77) 10 6.09 for puhlk'scc!or se 7.'8 for private-senor 9.19 for indusuialist$ whIch gives one !he ordinary hicnrchy of the fl'2<Tions dislfihuled by o!ume of economic capilal)flind how does one explain why rhe hienr (y of Ihe fractions is inverted if their ta.e of reprcsc:n!arion in fhe capes, Ihatrcs is considered? If the declive affinily berween fC'luivdy ncrions, or betwn ' xPCnsive avantgarde: !harf( and .he intdknual f , much more expensive boulevard ,hatre and lhe: dom inan t dUSts is fldcrstood superficiallr-i.e., as simply a difC("f eff t of Ihe relalionship ec tween economic COSl nd econom ic men!r--One is lible to fort that IhrOugh ,he price .hey all: willing to pay for access 10 a work of art. or.
nlor execu!ives., 7.00 for the professions, eXu'ives., 7.80 for commerdal employers and

explain why !he median price paid for a tht:l!re ricket riscs from 4.17 fr:l.ncs among te.achers (less than is paid by junior execufives in Ihe pri.


more predsely, through the relationship ixlwecn {he na{erial C OS the expected 'cultural' benefit, each fr.ln;on '; ::; : i d f what spo:dfically makes the value ofrhe work 0 way of approprialing I!.

same logi( explains why ,he ck:sin:d priCe makes ,he SfrOtlge$( cOnlriburi<)n 1 the fil'$l faeror brought to ligh! by lnal S; of!he spondcnces of a $(1 of ,haraClO:r;S!;C! of a s.ample of risian theanC$ rheir audiences (C.S. XIV). Or aga,n, why the pnsity to iudgtc ,"," minion chug<' of I museum Ix;ng cllnp or ery chap ri very in relation the ordinary hieraKhy. as moves from the Ifao, i , rich in cuhunl capital to those rich in economic capital, being distinguish! only by a bi-modal disuibuuon
Y 1
10 ;IS 0fI(C



,...:n ( In order of p",fcrcn):


Indulltial and commerdal cmplo)'erl

Divorce Julian Styk The Trial dim. de V, d'Avroy

Roc,,,,,"' H' BrOllKts I


For certified or apprentice intclknuals. anivides such as visi IS to e:hibitlons or 'art' cine:mas, performed wllh a fft<;juency ularity ....hich lake: a....ay any 'exrrao()rdinary' <juaIiIY. are: in a nst e:roed by Ihe: pursuit of muimum 'culrur.lll profit' for minimum nomic COSt. which implies renunciation of all oste:ntatious expense: .' '', all gr.lllificltions other (han Iho give:n by symbolic appropriadon of the work ('You go (0 rhe theatre: to sec rhe: play, not to show off your ....atd. robe,' as one of them said). 1bey exp1 rhe symbolic profit of their pranice: from the ....ork. ilstlf. from its r.IIriry and from {heir discount about it (afler Ihe: sho.. . over a drink. or in lheir lectures. their anides or their books), through ... hich they ....iII endeavour to appropriate parI of ils distinnive value. By eOfllr.llSt, for the dominant funions a 'nighr our' al Ihe theatf( is an occasion for conspicuous spending_ They 'dress up to go out' (which COSIS both lime and money), rhey buy the most epcn sive satS in the most epensive theatres jusl as in other areas they bur 'the best the:re is'; Ihey go to a rc:$laurafll afte:r Ihe show,9 Choosing a lhe ure: is like choosing rhe right Shop,'O malked with all rhe signs of'quai iry' and guaranting no 'unpltas3fl1 surprises' or 'Iapses of IIste': playwright ....ho knows his job, who commands 'the springs of comcd)l the pote:mial of a situation, lhe comic or biting force of rhe mot juste:, shorr. a goldsmith Of jeweller, a past masler in the 'an of conslfucnoft who has 'the tricks of the: dr.llmadsr's It!' al his fingertips;" actors known emy.four carat" role he: offe:rs them n for their ability to e:nlef tbe 't..... place the eager docility of a perfc:ct thespiln Ic:chnidan al Ihe 'servICe: the: po[ytc:chnidan play.....right;'1 and a play which 'givt'S every sorr of joyme:nl. wilhout a hinl of self.indulgence or vulguity'. which tS de signed to 'relieve a wcllbalancc:d audience by bringing it bak t{O balance: with healthy laughrer', heause it only asks <juC'Stions whIch cur eryone asks himself'. (rom which 'rhe only escape s 'humour and In i able optimism'.



rheare and on The Implications of rhe opposirinplbelween bourgeois4). 10 rcma,avaI. ored (sa chapter we may glanlfl wll the ga'dc Ihealre have already been C\al lhe hm,u o( Ihe dala prOVIded dlfccriy by ,hc survcy. 14), wcre t e 'Ste Of'pOS ([ons found in ,he field of Ihe cinema (5((; fIgure lment IS opposed o for 'mbil;ous' works Ihal demnd a large cultural ,nvt'S lhe 11'C for Ihe mOSt spncular feature films. o errl Ign I? enlcrt.,n (dIfferences hieh arc ofren ccomranied by differences In dm'SSlOn p'Kes r som .nd the grognphical loc1lion lhe cinemas). No doubt there u f e vu,o .n'f>\I'J'O'C films ....h,ch the un:lnimous .pproval o1.f1,he ered. 1'1" 1 off lIOns of lhe domln,nt class (1nd theit critics)-on T"", '1 SlfOflg. solemn work of ;ntelllual oungc nOi . be. mtucd. (Lt . MOIIdt. 21 Dc.:embe, 19(2). RDfflI ",M His B'!Ilhm, by. V'SCOntl. ",uh lam eret.1 Lon. ,nd D,...-u /t","",,, SlJu, with Masnol:lnfl1. n ,bonest ,comm film' for l ( 2 June \9(2) . comedy 'of uoonishmg cynICIsm. cruehy and .ud1Cuy' for Lt M(mM (22 May 19(2)- HO,,""('oet. h.ere are very muked d'vergences of (",emallC t1Ste between lilt I....o_e'rem" wllh ,Ilt profes. lOons. :IS usu.l. on the middle Thus ,he industrl.1 .nd commerCl.1 emkl. ers boos.: h,storic.1 films, like TIN UmgtJl 0<1}. a 'colossal rc<onmU{llOn of Ih.c ' (Lt Mondt. 12 OclO ' of World W'f IIexcelkn, example of lxr 12). most spccucular bmle 'blockbus,els' like o,,}J ",I P,k,ng.. 'an ately smppcd of In'elke . box Ofllcc movle.m,k,ng'. 'sumpluous spccl1Clt'S deliber
Ifl , Ifl ...





'u1 comenr, ....hich show '0 p"ked udjencc:$ because- they know h0 appal (0 the publoc's c'paClty for won<krmcn!' (I ,II""dt. 17 M. .... to , mut, 3 'commerCIally succnsfur films like Vadim's Vu, ,,,,,,I V yC film of undeniable vmuosily' ....hkh 'makn a modentc d[Sill <If\. $rrunw available to all' (F,aJtrt$/J" , 2 March l%}). and comic films and actor , s Fernandd Dury Co..,1 '0(. By COntr:as 'he SC'COl1da.-v teachers . who can. ', '... 'rc'nolS and 1C101'$ of 'he films Ihey h.,.c most a'ways name rhe d' In. S<:tn. tcmatiolly exclude popular comedies and b,S commercial $UCcc' and . give rheir preference 10 'dassic' films (.Imos! all consra,cd '" h " , Ofles..l . VI 1hC CInema ) sue I 15 Ilunud.$ EXlmnm,,/mg Atlgtl. which rhe & M ' criric (4 hy 1%3) compn:s (0 S:ir(re's 111m GI1J, s,.u,al()l't GIII,lI.. , an , . cnthr:allmg and "cry bC"aunful film by Francesco Rosl ....hich rttraces a Ill.:. ,, <": ., me", I n J<CI Ian I e ....lIh the- ngour of an h,stomn and lhe- lyricism Qf a . arrlst. (& At01ldt. 6 March 1%3) and finally 7"/" 51111#, a comed by p, II EUlx. which Ihe cmk predicts ...ill 'one day take ItS placc in th ,a"ctre , dilion which runs (rom Mack Scnnef( tQ T311 Vl. Ma Linder, Chapln '" ' Kealon and a " others (u Ml)ntU, 16 February 1%,). II is sign lfican', e Iha : 11\ order 10 JS(ify ,he ljunCiions which aleH readtrs expect frOm '... ous newspapel"$ ( el5Cnll1l vlCwln,'. 'nOI 10 be mil5Cd' etc' ) . 'h " {an ,. ' "" used 11\ one place ('eerulI\ly nOI a harmlns cl\ltruinmel\l_l..t MOIIdr December 1%2_houl Tht Twd) whICh in another wouJd be' Ifrcvo<ablc cOnOcmrl111Ol1.

$()hII9(,'l. ::"'.

musem obligalory exaltation of tht auSlCre stverilY of the hlnd the glimpses of the true seI"' 'mcdiuI;on' iT encounges. there are sometimes task which lhe dcVOI<:t;S JrJ rC of Ihe visit_n always sorncwhlt laboriousdcterminltion. rewltded ,.Jlll mst1w:s and duly perform with mClhodical I I'" h by plnsurc of con lhe sense of I duty done :1$ by lhe immedialC silence. Empliness. In imprcssiOll or 15 rn I;on. 'The museum left me wilh ce. That hdps you concenlnlC on .he l[rnPb I pclhlPS because of .he silen iI, ii"s cry tc . 'oO;kS helPS Ihem sink into you. .....sn'. ,,?wc over by a self'lmposC<! . [t was ? l.oaking al everylhing systemallcally IS tmng Ihink [ got through dO h's conmaining and you get indigestion. ' dlSCl( ne tdl myself rd done Ihat mucum. ly bo:cause wan,ed to be able to . O II r another Th oughl. t, pUT. very mOnOtonous, one pitture f,c. ,. bu (eng" ttn lhe pll1\tlf\gs 10 break (( up a . . hoO, different in betw e remlf\l$C m 0f some' ge 39. Lille Mustum ). "These commenrs Ire ntCf Amiens. eum. who Stt$ linn Mus ,he- conservator of the New York Melfopo I of Ihe vIsilOr is .bk to dcvdop his eyc as 'a gymnasium in which hIS mU$Cum ,II muSCles.

; \

The middk<las;' viilO<1 and I"'; 'nchef$--<lnd secondarily ,he tngll\(O:D a Ihose mosl If\chncrl to I$SOClalC lhe museum wilh a library ("Wha' do like mosl? II ilbnry. It contams works of value and you ned .0 wanl 10 go th:. Engineer. Cambrai, age 44. Lille Museum). nle same groups arC k Oll 'ndlf\ed 10 combine conlCmplalion with aerl of recording (e g., 11 If\g no,es) and accumulation (e.g., buying rep,oductions) . One also lind! Ih1l lhe lCachers ue Ihose who most Ofltn refuse 10 dissociate di=t ep"" ence of ,he work from erudue knowledge (fhey a Ihe ono who mosl ,urC o(lCn refusc fhe judgc.mc:nl. 'J n'I need 10 know who paimed ,he p,( or how: ....hal coum! 's ....helher If 's plnsurable 10 look at") .

[n (ontraSI 10 'bourgrois' thnlre, Iht. opera or exh ibi tions (nOI 10 . . mtnnon premltfCS and gab nIghts), whICh arc the ocnsion or pretut f?r sO(al ctremonit tnabl!ng sekct .2udient to dtmonsrrte and txl fIne 't membc:rshlp ofh'gh soc,ety In obc:dlencc 10 the integrating .nd . dIstinguishing rhythms of Iht 'sociely' nJendar, ,he art museum admill anyone (who has ,he ntcessary cultural capital), al any moment, wi thout an cOnStr;un ls as regards dress, Ihus providing nont of the social grat 6. nnons as$OC"mcd ""lfh grC":lt 'sociCly" occasions. Morrovcr, unlike rtM: thc:trc and, pc-cially. muskhall and varitty shows. il always oll'"el"$ !l1t uflflcd ubllnaltd .p!c-asurcs dtmanded by the purt 1CSlhelic and, rather he the .[,brary .In IhlS resPC-Cl, it often <alls for an auStere, quasi.scholuliC dlsposmon, oflentcrl as much towards (he accumulalion of exptncnct and knowlcrlge, or Ihe plcasun: of rccognilion and deciphtring, u t wards simple ddigh"

r ont moves f om avanlgardt concerts or It is undtlStandabk (hal as smission ed and lo tourist apptal or pla)'S. muStums with a high ,ran txh,bmons. major concerts or lhe av:anl.garde txhibitions 10 spectacular tvard thealre and v2fitlY shows, 'classical' lhe:!rres, and finally (0 tht boul fractions d istributed in order of the I'll( of rcpresemation of Ihe difftrem omic capilal-i.e., IC":Ichers, decr("2Sing culeural capi,al and increuing econ als. industrial and com ldministr.ltivc txeculivts, engineers, profession continuously, so mercial employtrs-ttnds 10 change systematically and wtigh! in (ht pub. Iha! Ihe hitl'lrchy of the fractions distributed by Iheir commtrcial lic lends to be: invtrted." The fCachtrs and tht industrial or tht diagrams of employtrs occupy symmttrically opposilt posi tions in . onts of shows COrn:lation bclwetn the ralt;S of altendance al t... o caltg tr" and art exhibi p<C$Cnling opposite proptrtits: on the ont hnd conc IIOn on Ihe olhtr, variCfY sho....s and mldt exhibirions. In each usc: Iht an: in an ittrmt. n:embc:rs of Ihe professions and ,he sc:nior extcu(ivts dlalt posilion. The profc-ssions, undtr.reprtsented in uSt of hbnflts and n:ums, arc more rep=nted mong txhibition visilors thn museum '1$1101"$, and go 10 Iht theatre reldvcly frequently (to 'boulevard' plays Or mUSICals ralhCf Ihan classiC11 or avant.gardt the::llre). The museum, a wnse<:ratcd building presenting objtcn wilhheld from n p vate appropr iation and predisposed by tconomic Iltutraliulion 10 u {[ dergo Iht 'neulraliulion' dtfining Ihe 'pun:' gzt, is opposcrI 10 ,ht 10mmtrtiai art gallery ....hich. like o,her luxury tmporia ("bourl<Jut;S" an shops elC.) oll'"trs objects which may be: contemplated bUl also . ugl\(. JUSt as tht 'pure' atsthttic dispositions of Ihe dominated flac t'ons of the dominaf\! class, tspecially lC":Ichers, who are strongly ovtr "Prc.senlcd in museums, art opposed 10 (hose of tht 'happy few' in tht domlnanl fractions who ha lhe mC":lns of mUCfially appropriating "orks of art. The whole relalion 10 Ihe work of art ;s chanp when ,he


'Uoique among irs kind'

5., I....yer aged 4', ;5 the son of 1 lawyer aod his family belongs 10 the . Parisiao 8ramu bourgtflilit. His ..ife, The daughter of ao engiottr, sludied al the Pans Polnical Sdeoce 10sli rUlc and ds nO! work. Their four childreo are al the 'bot' priVltC Calholic sc.:oodary schools io Pris, lh.,oy I,,'c io a very big aparuncOi (more Ihao OO S(luare mcO'es) io Ihe 161h arrondiw:mcnl: a vcry large enlraoce,hall, a sp;!cious living room, a dining.room, a sludy, aod thc bedrooms (his office is nOt in Ihc ap;!rlmcOl). In lhe liyingroom, modern furni. ture (big cushioos, a large (ouch, armehairs), aOliquilies, 'a G=k hcad io slooe. aUlhcnlic and ralher beautiful' (a ...cddiog pICSCO!}, ao objecl which Ihc head of Ihe house hold calls his 'persooal allll' ('a ralher 1I11'1C1ive relig'ous !hiog [ m:loagcd to grl off my p;!rems'-his F,uher (OlIec!S :1[[ SOrlS of ob!S d'm, and h2li bough!, .mong Other .hings. 'all SOrlS of Sluff. cn:lmel work. chalices. crosses . . . from :I SOrl of Ruuiao, a dc::akr'), '1 1(11'1coua thiog from the Taog dyo.51y, boughl from 10 anlique shop ;n Formosa where he weol ((ompa nled by teO spialisls, scyeral paiot iogs, a Pau[ xrusicr ('II is "Iher charming bUI, Ih,u said, I'd JUST 2S SOOO pUI a modern pi(lurc in ils piKe'), io lhe dioing-room a Durch slill life.

A Grand Bourgeois 'Unique among His Kind'

(Oums for him is beauly of the Ihiog, II sc.:ondly. nol whether IS bUI whelher iI's made in a manlike way': 'you cao -,'" agam, bUI )'OU can a[$O make of il. So II becomes uniqu e iTS kiod, bcc:au( you can'l same obj<cr, Ihe same . . . Wha. makes Ihe beaulY of I face, Ihe beau.y o( a sculp luft, . lhe smile, lhe look. You ca. do il twice. You can make copy bUI you can', do II agal Ihc same maleria[, Ihe mOleriai (OunlS m, anyway as much _ masJ . . . I'd loye IO "' .= bronte. There are b abso[utciy eInordinary.'



"O',,";,,';;';"' ;'

; ..i:.:Ji

He doc$ nor O(ICO i gil[kriC'S and docs 001 . cally' inspecT aOlique sOOps


nouyeauriche apptOllda'

Wheo he buys oDiclS d'au, 'ii'S 00 way an ioves.mem.' Wh.1

of furniture . . .) or"l1"'. ,ue1 picce For his counrry hou in Burgundy, ff: him al Ihal mo ,c< J I a very big one ('a Ihousand square P ,I IS somewhal condescend rflCtfCS 10 furnish, a(ler all!'), almosr 1" '- t-Ie .....,,1 ----.nIe who 'waol 10 a 'miwess'. he boughl furniture . """ 1" ' got Ie !!me ' : " I o haven'l "" from '1 ,a,lt-aod.booc mao': '1 came ,61 a d ' ""I the "me 10 be _ en I "' across a chap, a junk dc::akr, who ha , CSIW. What (S(nhad solid wood furnilure. r(ll[ coun ,'[lltY I 'nle{ IS thern is nOl what Iry,slyk, and I bollgh.1 odr. bits l !lIlly ,o COl bUI whal has Yi[ue.' So aod pieces. Sluffed anmals , onclud Ih " lher aod 'pay III rr' club logt: ing Sluffed boars '....h,ch OU!r.I Olher IheY car They delegate ev(r)onc. except me . . . because ((tiles a rch:lSC for them. On l lhey arc funny, Plnsure is ""hal is on h,"d inYl:$lmenr, and r fun. I[ICOn" 0(\lCf. lOcal illComr:clcnce, [ 'I'm irriuted by people ....ho buy , k , piece of sh" 00 lhe Things just 10 show Ihem off, I? say ...u SlUe ,would be: all Ihe same fO Ihcy' gOl lhem or pul Im on 1 II. t as someone rells them p1flicu[ar place. The value Isn, ' -, .. lhem 'u 100' . mooey. '[1,al's what CQUOIS, it's ,he plcasulC II bo: shu is worth \ . _""ta _fiche 'pproKh. gives you. , . ' I, boughl the boars for I n_ u ' ,,", 10 show 0 Ihat you vc got .nn my personal enJOymenl, Of Simply ble . ' . or ,hat you' IOfIK'lhing bee!U( [ found il W2li funny, a of haviog $Omethins [I'S Ioe hOllog jokc, or bee.U( ;1 anooyed other gaung 1Il ,mellOr designer, dck prople: 1bc hou( is " 00 damp 10 somrone, s PUI a decem piano io il.' bUI he i 'going to gel 1 graod p,a"?' . . . A, 'You've looked for i l for a long the casino, rhcy arc Ihrowmg out and 11 lUI you've foun d iI' limo: old graod pianos . . . rha Ihq have 1 note or IWO mlsJlflg. "'fh< objc<:1 h:lS an ioward value. an emouonal Yalue. when you've ",.n.ro il. looked for iI, for a long 'Heirlooms? Doo't make me rimo: ThaI wu wh1 you wan,ed bugh' .1Id l! 1m, by a moke of luck )'<lor'\'( fouod il . n.c inherited objecTS with which he it's a ",vdahan . When iI'S for my ple2liurc:, ha furnished Ihe hou( arc of [illie r". doosn't COIm into il. it's like intefCSt 10 him. Wheo his wife f(> p hr orgto (. gadg miods him .h1 Ihere arc some. he el, iI's declronic ), "'ant 01 10d I h,Ye ;1 . ' . Ooce replies: 'Heir[ooms? Don'I make me 'ga'n, you normally kp within laugh. Ihere h"e btto Ihree bilS of meoos; I wou[dn'I buy urnilur" She enumcrales lhem: ( I "Wn ""e "''<:'" gerring ma"'ro. U h' ' ulhcdr,al ' (He would Iov"" 10 own . church and , Aunl x. popped off. I inheri.ed , . . '!\(Warc II ' . Whal [ nod " UItuo: (cmin ,mOUOI of silver: fim leg"y f l lloo . I e, Ihe shape of Ihe s'ones, Then Ihere was r.bdame c.: secood St is beauliful.' He kgKy. Then Mademoiselle I..: ,hird , from Catholic f.mily bu. legacy.' 'So we have a cerlaln 110 I oger fa.CliCCS; he makes fre amount of chioa. old bits and pies 'i I. "'I<: h,l -. 'ron,c rc:lig;ou refer. aod furniture. Furoirul'<: has never "") bttn much of a problem for uS

s (In (100 rooms. He buy

'for my personal enjoymenf

,..-.u ,!

I ' P"""

n .


:; r

causo: we inheriled a certain ,moum, Fourlh le8acy, my inlaws gO! rid or some of their properly. We got some UmChlil'$. . . .' If he does not like this furniturt, he 'chucks il our': 'nOI tOO much duner". 'You n('(d :I big enough apmmenl, rooms which allow you :I cemin inner silence, ul'Khmered, and then on til<: o(lI<:r h:lnd, you n('(d rooms comaming all III<: per. son:ll objIS which art never sou nirs-tMy can go into (he: duslbin-but obiecrs you like (0 h:lve around yOll.' He 'de(OIS It1vd souvenil'$' 2nd never brin&, Iny bICk ('ecepl the Ihmg I juSt nllO, lhe: Chinese ler!'Kon:l. . . . I've bough! li!tie knlckknlCks and trin ke!s rhlt wc've disuibufCd to all :lnd sundry, but we've never dUI' tertd ourselve'S up, . . . Looking around, you wouldn't know we'd tr:lvelled. The IOCII souvenir. bough, on 'he spor. has no inrero! wh:ltSO(CYcr'). /k$ido, when you're r!1vdlrn8, it's bener 10 keep:ln open mind. 'wllk around ....j'h your hands in your po<:kets 2nd look around you, bUI without hiving one eye glued to a viewfinder' (in ,he Fu $I, his ....ire ralls. 'we look photos'. but. she :ldds, 'we lookro :If them, showro them round once Or IWlce', Ind now they :lrt 'al Ihe bollom of the cupboard').

Hals, Rembrandt. It's I erent SOrl of painring, I Or:! ( mlKh thicker. . . . Thef(: are some Mati$$( and Coclcau dl1.... Ings.' P;r.in!ing 'doesn't have, 10 figu!111ve f r m 'o o l BUI II<: i$ 'lef ' ; , i. :; pr1(licaljoke . a ....hite (anvas that.' His wife ys doesn'l call Ihat sorl of r mg'. ....herns he is kss 'Well, no. it isn'l painling, a SOrt of 111. of epression.' 'Loving something mnns having il with you'

Ilaly.' He was 'very StrUck catro. by halian painting .' . n1fdo, Venettan and Sien' paintings. a1l the piClures in Villa Borghest, Botncelh.' also 'very 10 DutCh

: S

. ....hich is as necessary I l' os " Oking srove. . , , Every '1'.S sO,,'" o ne who nms noth. ( 1 .:o ' m . , . _ ("c s muSIC. t s a noxu, 'v 'l re<:ords: Vi Among his n J tll:15, 'kc ,. h. 101 of B,(h can t I d " ,ms Monleverdi.', Mod. ,)to ...... " \o( s"\ sn't mean much 10 crt' u <k!iberucJy re bcOu5oC' I nO llon of auun hIt'll, . , II ., , "uO ....1 '1 but 'Mahier,)o,Ivet, . ., r ...- s nrs to ",' "' . :1 ",n cope "'"h. bul ,111 d'S ,en I , K t Iy semI music, cIuon 10< of Ihings thu are some ",IC .:e bouu(ul. and Otrs r 10 me like pnc JIt '" 18ln sound . hreh a . the u thing IS 111 I



" m

o. g
plmun '


po<:kct handkerchief or the flower in my buttonhole, or my tie, If peole . Wln{ 10 Stt me or invite me to d,n. ner, ,hey invite me 1$ I 1m. l . Olher ....ords, I have a high opln.on of mY:lelf: he explain!>. uking Ihe opponunl1y 10 indicate once 191n his distance bolh from bourgeoIS t:lSle and from the qucstions pt 10 him by the socioiogisl ( ....ho be . longs 10 his ...ifes hmily). He 'I Ihink that five hundred fnncs IS qUlle enough (or 1 suit, then:'S no point in spending a IhoU$lnd fnncs on 1 suil ....hen personll1y I don', give a damn:


impont 'When lhere's an

'Many hours

He hIS 1 paInting studIO m whIch he spends a 10< o( time ('He liko t....irling :l brush', hIS wife emphl' ollS sizes), bUI he considers his e 'of no Inrerest' and prt(el'$ nOl to 1:llk aboUI IlI<:m On'lhe Other band, he =tIily eonfa$C'S 10 baving spenl 'many hours In mU$Cums. (or rhe pka$Uf(: o( II. in Holllnd 2nd

foe the ple:uurc of iI, in Holllnd and hlly"

;n mU$<:uml.

you.' And he adds; PI('15.lnt are nonnecessary (hings, I ". to hoard things . . I li"e for , sake o( living. And, so ble:. [ try 10 I"'e for the pn:scflt ment, i, ,sn', al....ays easy.' 'As neuaey IS 3 ClXlking

For him. 'a pliming ;;,; :m'''h'.. ....hieh can be df(:lml of for . I lime and which is I ....ith the Slme ple.sure. pleasure vu;es depending on you are or wh3t your mood is' cmerion is whether I'd wanr 10 have it in my home. . . . !.ovin' something means having ;t WId!


He could IIOt I"'e without system. bough! mort Ihan I 19o for about eight ('No one brand. it's a of $Cvel":ll. I was ,hu, 5<ome r asked around Ind {

He is a busy man and does nOI have much time in the middle of the fl'()rk, yoo ll"" y, know day; he 'almost ....ishes they'd in'ent to concerts all( is ? 1 pill so you didn'l have t ear In He I1Irely goes . the daYlime. . . . Cooking IS a stare one of those people who go nor tnd ,hin&, bau$C Ihey have 10 of mind.' To appreciate ii, you have to be 'rtlued': 'Sturgeons' eggs, k seen" he docs not ftlId the re . ' i Lt MlJlldt (his daily paper ), some Russiln cooking, is quire de!r bu, would mhe! trust rhe J udge ,ious. Cooking isn't juSt a mailer of mtnl and fommendation of a food, there's also ,he :letting. If , . ff>C:nd 'When Ihtre's something on you'rc going to eat smokro ed, II S (hl!'s In Imporrant work, you 11 more agreeable to eat II i the Am ....)1 how. You know bc-c:luse Slerdam fish mlrkel thIn ,n $Ome you'f(: In <OntlC! with loads of pe<> Ilcky resl:lur1nt . . . Real cooking, rk: 'hat's ....hy [ don'l bother 10 . the SOrt ....here il ukes t ... o days to rt>cI ,he ((ilies. If you read one. mIke a maOcira sauce, whe:rt you have, 10 mad all of them.' He kp thin&, simmering a....ay for . , "'tly ..-,nt 10 SCI! 0", At..,. Show I, Ihat's what I oil woklng, and ".liln Maoist alone on stig.:. II'S In 111. BUI wll<:n people lalk - left 11 .he inrC'fV:II beeau51: it tbout cooking nowadays. they ,USt lousy ' When he does go to lhe e mnn Ihro...ing a f .... thin&, 10:, 're. he, does nO{ nC'SUrily go gether, pulling lhem 0111 o( lhe ' f dmncr or 15 "'ell: 'You nn't freezer. Slicking lhem unOcr the I'IIPI things :II lhe same ,ilm ill-thtl'S fIOt cooking. Thert's no gr hIve 10 enjOy thin8$ to the pn:p2Ir:llion, il isn', an art lny !4Il!O'-'

'Cooking is 1 $l1le of mind'



Itt bJ.vc high opinion of myself'

more.' 'A

'If 2ny sartorial 'Il:nemenl': fo,' t;" e Wan, 10 Stt me, it's nOI t $ ock$ l'm we:lfing, my

He like'S 'hunung Out resuunntf wilh Ihe aid of Ih Gui'" Muhtlj"

erui c

n lituegy'

or GallI! tl Millall and remembers ..incs drunk thrcc years ago, a bou 'l....r, a Pori, a ra{her spial Sainr Esrqme from 1 panicular year': 'I haw: vry clear m<'mories of bonlc:s from t923 to 1929 , " Bordeaux I still hav In boltlcs of wine from 1923 he. And four boltlcs of Ii 'lueur dated 1870: A good bonle 'isn't to be drunk with juS! anyone . . , II fr<Jui a certain lilurgy: a Ii,. urgy 10 get the lemperaru righI, and a lilurgy 10 drink il. II's 1 com munion', 10 be celebraled 'only wilh ruin people, who a pabk of enjoying it in lhe sam way , . , I'd ralher drink il on my own than with people who don't app=iare il.' 'A dinner with champagne is rather 'luaint . . . II wine is varied, diffenl; comparing champ:lgne wilh will<' ;, ralher like comparing a SOrt of lin le flute wilh an orchestra.'

Among the books in his libm)" 'left by a grandmother' or 'bought in a sorr of shop in the rue de Pro vence', dlen: an: lealherboune l7lh<enluryish books, 'mon: for

prd'a pleuure'

IUry book considcn:d" in ils day, 'luilc i books he no.. keeps in 'SOrt of philosophical and a bit of poelry'; his ' so on' (about two are in his country house. has books on German IIlgerian war, . . Sc::l(ing leuherbound stuff, lhe: shelvcs', 'for me books an: I ""ork with, nOf books for of it.' He docs nOf b..-long cluhs. ('Some people lov t uniforms, belonging to thl! tum or club: I'm my own individualisl al all com.') longer hunlS 'becau( YOU" go a lon8 ....ay, it's rather iI's also ralher eKpcnsive ' lenn;s occasionally, on Ii goes skiing 'for pbsun:' going to Struggle with skis over my {here's a ski.tow beside me. coming down more h" 8"i" I pn:fcr pleasure.'

IIIQI. hscaJ', IJ

the: beauty of Ihe cditi, mteTesf 0f the ICI '. R



. :I

0:_ _ .



cigarellcs (Craven, IJ<nson and Hedges, Kenl, ROlh luury . ue ane Old England) , chaleaux, II rI' ) ' coulU (Diol Boull<J h,ure 'f(Sideoccs of {harane ", 'puks wilh lake', Champ:lgn, Bor ,'ICS jy brandy, cruixs, movi camens. II lavishly ,lIuSlralro an, cS '"':" U 1 g jUl ( aCllons al lhe H(>ld DrouOl or th hllis Galliera, beside f nlS for anll<Juc-dcakrs on lhe <Juai Volt:li and in .he MU' II m urnilure and OOfClS e'an', 'anli<Jue faIence H OnOri, offering 'f ' :0 "",''' ,. <Inl ' -" - "n " , 'paintings, stltu, furnllure and UUl'!tS d-art. . advertl(, u . ,rS '" . . ...... rccia'" - - h a, 1m, next 10 o e ,nd or rhe Galerie Ardllll, featunng "mron ypcrre , f offering 'ninelccmh-cenlury French and English furniture : t is', o(unoS\b Mu IIgos rfln.Cailie (Faubourg Saint,Honori) , presenting - e Dupom Cl8l'IIC' Gl!enc L - ' it "" .lmprtSSlOf\l$1 <>urn m I 914 ) , oppos . "'" .. ( " from Cognac 10 watches.. of adV(:rrisemen,s r:anging 1.11 lhe wly. pos. Oll of material and symbolic appropmllon confen on the In mb natl IIIe 1 luxUry goods a sond-order ramy and a iegitim:acy whICh make of excellence, First, Cognac 'Princcs de Cognac: 10 0. n:me symbol It ,he , you n 10 u( the ancienl words .of the language of Cognac. ,Ik 'u i ' c, Prmccs d Cognac has The quality of the body of a Cogna , 1 svelte (harnll whIch IS aI, muS(le. What <h,:rJIM bu' a rbamll with no fal, of the filii ,ba", is 10 a Rubens Flillr: Tht seem of Ihe flowtr I has fo"r, 1n eleganl, Cognac g .,n(:, lhe- arislocral of Co n",. Princ de c and breeding. FIi,j rollX: vry old, "ry civilized ftntr ..ilh elo<Jucn s de: . fhal have sown ,heir wild 01tS, shed thil ucos lannin Princc Cognx h:ls aged in fun rllIIX Hence its 11St,'. dry, dean, discrctlly wooded. ..Ji' that's wh:lt w<: call rh cdlu {ontalnmg rh oldest !CSCrvcs of

), ,p p. ; If''7j(1"tCS : P :: , a.,rrI" .arfrd



piming, th statu, th OJinesc v or th piece o( ntiqu belongs (0 the world o( objects availabl (or appropriation, thus rr:ll, and which, even when nor personally possessed, belong ro {US anributcs of one's group, decorating the officcs on works In at salons on f!l:O:juntS,
In {he pagn of a journal like Cmmaanrt tks i

its plac in th serics of the luxury goods which on possesses W;thOlH ncedi ng to prove the ddighr they g ive and rhe rast

into which the dominant flUtions in$l:f! tht work of art: tht luxury objtCts, diStinguished and distinctive, selected and glc: issue (November L9B) we find advrtised: j , furs, pelS, tapestrics, antique f urniture, clocks, f1i<nce, silve"",a, ic-:Ithtr bound books, luxury elrs

Arll, w diseo,'er roc -

Otatd, Cognac. Plinccs de CognK was brought up in Ihe paradis of Maison " 'h Chileau de Cognac. Princes de Cognac is produced in limitro 'luanti. e tlCS-<lnly a f w Ihousand boltles a ycar_nd ;s only found in selected e 110m and rCSlaUranlS' (CQllllaiJJaIl(l tks Am, November L97}, p. (6), Burgundy IS rrCl.led lo lhe sam(: CliOteric 1tchlism: 'Oown in Burgundy, 1I'.iptMdt.gt lime The lUI tCOO of ,Ilt vimage h:ls :Karcciy died :lway, and "ftldy ,he Vllles a being anroded fO. Defrly wieleing lheir :K01Urs, Ikllbl {l1If'Smen snip off.he unwamed shoots and prepare 111<:: slocks to n: '''''t lhe rw:XI season's <lrosing; Ihis is ipo"dAgt, :I ddic11e opcr:ation, which much dexlerity and which Moillafd supervises on your behalf. Se, , o f , y conSIdered vIneyards, Moll I" I urg your pla5un: from rht mosl high l B undies art only en{fusted lo qualified diStributors' (ibid., p. 200), rough his ma5lcry of a verbal accompaniment, pferably I<:<hnical, I h I( and telic, which separates informro fasring from mtre passive !'<u mpllon, the , connoi=ur shows himself wOflhy of symbolically appro. . '''' rL' ' , ' ra"l1cs t. _ has lhe: malf1:1, means 0f ac'lumng: , " -' some con'' '' ' " .;; .. l1li) is only one: bttr in France Thot's flOf many_ BUI :I real ur IS hard ro pIca(. Exc1usivt. lind if some connoi=urs ....ill only &!1 n I tlf favour 10 1664, that's <Juire simply because 1664 gives :I uni<Jue IQ lind a pleasure Ihrct hundred years old . , , Somelimt'S iI'S good " o <4rt to5C v". lhe laSle of Ihe aUlhentic' (ibid., p, 187). 'Few prol'le would 4.8111<: Plaln ....hal makcs a good CognK Tht Baron of Ihe ChilC1u de as rha right. In l7<n Baron O. rd made Ihe Chireau de Cognac . ,


, t

, r

his home . , . He also f ound, rhe vaults of the .h:te.... .L l " I 'C (0 muure , - '-'-'8"1(. And you raJic ,,15 c. Ihe importance of rh11 know rhlt ".grrar Cognac hu '0 "St (or many long yC'a ef rr . ) V.S,O.P. S'nce 1795, nO!hmg 111$ chlnged 11 the Chiteau de "me VlIult$, the saint ageing. rhe nme un: drvol<d to rhi$ grat (ibld , p. m). TIle osu:nratiou5, gr:ilfuirous npense impliw in the purch<lSt fa !CSS' obtn"1 is the OSI indi$purabk 'N y of showi ng Ihe PIle( o p:artd '? I on thmgs thaI have no flnec, an absolute Icslimony . of of love to money which only monty 'WL . . 1uxury.' Rcfinemen!; a nmlry ,or those who can afford it, and"at IS a rhost who. whn they Stt iI, frain their eye, their IUIC, and the simpiesr ob!t, a scarf. a skirt, pair of shoes, a gatment. i ful. B uI cxpens!V<:? Haute 'Otu,: i$ absolwc riSOl lr and the . , no I;ll e (Marc Bohan, d,re<tor of the Christian Dio. IClVlew) , 'You have 10 be Perrle':J0llel and own lhe: finesl Vinq of Cramant to afford Ihls f otly and to offer il 10 Olhers: a from the most eKPffisive grapes in Ihe world. But Ihe 78 18th cWtu,), bonk ha," no pricc f " a lo er of Champagnc ? irs uke. EspeCIally when II S an euepflonal v'"ta' (Cmt1l .. ina1lft vc,?ber 1973, p. 14), 'To highlighr you. peoonaliry, wee create dehnre watches . . . made only In limire<! editions. Each of Oil. brrngs oul the personalily of the discriminating purchaser , You ' come rhe owner of an exduslve, dmepie<e' (ibid_. . 8\).


: b ; .::"


,rrtduclb,IIfY c

can bu,'


', ; ';'d;:'i;; :i";, ::: I

_ ,

(which is to the. distnguished. tasting of nalure as Om ), prescnt n Am is 10 the dlSt'"gUlshed tast'"g of CUltllll: /J of appropna ogramme of the legitimate objects and modes r stl,-e rating 'namre'-birds, flowers. lanscapes-prcsup a i : (.!I,u Own'"g a (jOII "rPhe privilege of those who ha>'e anOall tOOts. 1 ",llurt' manor house or gran is not only a ,!uestion of money; one ,!1-itelU' 1 ppropriate iI, appropriate the cdlar and learn the an of bol Ihe wine' which toU!t also as 'an a(l of deep communion with oncc', ac,!ui ll: trophies. o tllMg , .er' should have perf rmed :at least . competenccs whICh arc both ,,-et'i of fishing, the skills of garden'"g, (hC5C<rt'f! slowly learned. Iikc cooking or knowledge of wines, appro( eMt llnd _ r the an 0f l -vm, of the artSfocrat. or coun try genl1email, v ' tC _ . w rd, rn pnl,' and toOted It'I things which last. I to rhe p:tSSage of time , ndr ert'M , '" ,I easIer than pIC '"g gller ,"so my mother c,alms. nS '! nolhin, '1hCrt' as iong as you sweat (hem '" you pick them by a new mOOIl, g them pot after rubbin ult for IWally-four hours in a stonewall: u doth the only sort that is tough alough. As long as yo ,a ",t" " ,-,nen ' bend them 10 pac, them m .dd drrcd but not bone dry tarragon and Ie ber \973). A pot of (Omnai..nct '" la

()I """ r

r n

; :

e , \d


" htly . . , etc: to grandma s reclpe' and brought .t he ' rne-made gherkins', 'made . when exhrbltmg ""ith the apptopriate verbal accompanrmenl-2S



sive possemr of the object and of the authentic taste for (hat which is thereby converted into the reified negation of all Ih un,worthy of posing il. for lack of the material or symbolic m'" sess d,omg so, or s mpl y for lack of a desire to posse!$ il strong enough nfice everything for ir', 'nle consumption of works of art, an almOSI tOO obvious i ' Ihis a .'gument, is only one, among others, of these:: Consrder the new CII1I of n ature which the fashion for ond rhe ll:flls.al of pt:lilboll,gt'Ois rourism have broughl into . hl( has deep affiniry wilh the 'irillt Fr..net' life style of CICnt fractton among tOe dominant fractions, Animals, flowers, ga.srron-omy. environment, riding, gardening, fiShing. 'OtllOlogy', bhng, the ll:gllrar topics of lhe Parisian journal CQnnaiJs#

propnatlOn of symbolic obtectS with a material existe nce such as ings, raises the distinClive force of to the nd I redllces purely symbolic approp.iuion to the suhslitute. To appropriate a work of an is to assert onese a lf s " '"

One might be ll:ding Marx, who writes: 'Man is . 1nitilly posited prV1te propeny owner, i.e,. an exclusive owner whos e exclusive permits him both to prC$Crve his personality an 10 d ' h msclf from other men, as well as relate to them . . . man's, rsonal, disringuishing and hence nrial i ,

twle y French mastn' spotted 2t the tilt 'Iitde piClull: by an eighteenth-cenrur or the 'ex'l"isitc little pie<e of fumitull:' unearthed in a Inlr(lue-deaicr's, lunk !hop--symbolizes 2 S<Juandering of lime and a competence which ran only be 1C<luired by long frequentation of old, cultivated people and things, Ihat is. membership of an ancient group. the $Ole guarantee of s possrsion of all the properties which are endowed with the h ighest dis



lin(live value because they can only be accumulaled over timt'. What is at srake is indcc<;l 'personality', i.e., the '! ality of Ihe person, whICh is affirmed in the capacilY to lpptopriue an object of quality.17 The objens endowed with the gl'ClltCSt distinctive powcr are thoSt' which o fI\ost clnrly atttsl the quali ty of the appropriation, and tht'ft'f re the 'lu,hty of their owner, hecause their possesion recruim time and apaci. s tm whkh. ft'<:Juiring a long investment of time. like pictorial or mllsical C\lhurc. cannot be acquired in haste or by proxy. and which tht'rt'fore ap ' as the surest indications of the quality of the person, This t'KpJains . I , rmpo rtance which dIe pursuit of distinction 11laches 10 all Ihose tlvlies which, like atlistic consumption, demand pure, pointless ex' especially of the rarest and most precious thing of ill-particu I :ry for those whose market vallie gives them least of it {O le n -- lmely, rime, rime devoted to consumption or lime devoted {O t cultUral ac,!uisition which dequate consumplion presupposes.



-- -- -- -- -l Prlh 'o -- --be:.r in mind, firstly, thaI time, despi.e ..... possibility of appron thc. 80 people's time o. of savin8 .ime: by llIlionalizuion and by ex'

ploi!ing rh( frdm 10 ivoid the eff fs of overcro""d ing by US;n , nmes nd plcC$. IS one of the most rigorous an!luopolo gical lim If!, SttondJ.r. thaI ,he market VlIlue of ,imt-mO or 1m dircnly dq:>cndm8 on the mode of munc:r: l!ion {consuhari on {to or profiu)-incl'OSCS as one rises in rhe $()(ial hierarchy, ' in sund [II' "Iue of Ill<: potlatch of rime. This tClm (In be pnnkes i.wolvins (he 'Sr;tnring' Of 'giving' of lime I 11n{ dimension of whar is Ol'fem:l ll ecrnriOllr-and. cou. 10 . -,. . . . IICS '" II sure IIY h0$( symhoi vaIue 1IWlIys lies p:irdy in the Ie Clp:1cjty . , dominate nrnc and money thaI affirmed In 'lakin g one's time' . IQ ' I,e, q. pending such valuabk lime [0 no purpose. Of all the conversion rhniqucs designed to create and ac ymbolic (api al. the purcha f works of an, objectified cv p:nal tUte . IS the one ""hl h IS cJOse 1 (0 [h most irrepr ac . o hable 1lmrtable form of a<eumula{lon, thar IS, the Inrernalization of . live signs and symbols of power in rhe form of natural 'distinct" sonal 'authority' or 'culrure', The exclusive appropriation of wors is not without a a gy to Ihe ostl:OUlious d("Srrunion Of l. the Irreproachable: exhlbmon of ""'C"alth whic h it permilS is, si oc:ously, a challe:ngc: thrown down to all those: who cannot d rhdr 'being' from their 'having' and urain disin rettStedness t he: ,u_ r ' aiiirmauo 0f pe oal excdlenu ' nd as is shown, f example, bJ . or . : primacy gtven to luerary and amSIlC culture over sdentific or ted.... culrure, the xclusive possors of a 'V St cultu re' behave no dilfc: . when they flmg mto the potlatch of SOCial enco unrers the lime they .... spenr without thought f immediate profit or in exerdses as pr("Sugiolll . they are useless. The dominant fractions do 1'101 have: a mono poly of the usa of. work of 3fr that are obcrivdy-"lOd sometimes wbjectivdy-oDclll towards the exclusive approprialion which alto, s ,he owner's 'personaliry', But in Ihe absence of ,he conditions of material Ihe pursuit of exclusiveness has 10 be Conren{ with i . mode of appropriacion. Liking the ume Ihing differ i s ently, ent things, less obviously marked OUt for admi ration-{h= ' K< " Ihe strategi("S for outflanking, ovemking and displa cing ,i taining a pcrmanent revolution in laSlO. enable the ominated. d wealthy f ractions. whose appropriations must, in the main, : symbolic, to secure exclusive possessions at every moment. Ir and artists have a special predileCtion for the most risky bur profitable strategies of distinCtion, those which consist In power, which is pcculiarly theirs. '0 constitute insigniliont works of art or, more sub!!)" to give aesthetic rc:delinition !O ready defined as all. bUI in another mode, by other cbsses or rions (e.g., kilseh). In this case, il is the manne of consuming r Crel'es the object of consumption, and a sr:<:ond-degree delighr

' tslcrn:"li,e .

arrifaclS abandoned to common consumption. s the 'yulgar' o r1nf frn strip cartoons, family snapshots, graffiri. into distinguished works of culture, drS!l> ""



; :



. the tC":lchers and intdln:luals cultural practices f1'It :l5'etl< colouring of karl, when they are replaced in (m: sYSlem to which they be. . ds out C JM and ....hen it becomes necessary to I th 'luesuo.n 0f the ,e \oIlS' ing of culture and symlic appropmllon-the sublimated subu . . ruItS of the elt{h which " II material app<opnauons and all the f ( "",S for l . . tUI . . . or domination Icaves f thI' poor reiauons. .... dlY!Slon of the labour of . 109 to thc oppoSing IifNlyles correspond ''' ..... 1ntagOO!, m tween the . " H of lhe field of the dominant class is ckar-<ut, tolal, and the 0PPOSI' S rok' bet""'t:Cn the {eachers and the emplo)crs (pardcuiarJy between Ihe . . tOfI I , I camparahie to tIe gap d middle ranks of the IWO o.tegones) 1o... ln . I d 'cullUttS in the anlhropoIoglo.. sensc. 0n one Sl e, read. "Cffl two !ltt... . l work LA "Ont , and 1 s, ' - ' L """'If)', philosophlo.J and politICa . . ' tn. and reading rL. Othe huntliler.try or arnstlC magazlno; on ' tbe (gtnerally leftish) . , . betting. and, when rhere is reading, read109 Frm/ft-,JUlr or 1 8 or . I " , 'd l'.MIOoftlirna/ or <111m pollr 10lll, On one SI e. cIa1C or avant'jl:ar"" or tllnl" (wllh. for example, Roger Planchon's producllon of . otx/ WtddinK or Turgency s A AI.mlh In 1M CoIl1/l7 )' /..I mrlfJt, I.oro's lli mums, classical music. FranceMusi'lue, lhe Flea 1>hrket, campmg, moumamt:Cring or walking: on the Olher, busmess lrips and cpr:nse K{Oum lunches boulevard thellle (Robert Lamoureu, Marcel "chard, Fl1In(oi Dorin) and music-hall. vlriely shows on TV. commercil1 ehi blllOnS. the aunion room and <bouliques', luury o.rs and 1 boat, three $I" hotels and spas (C.S. V). And the Style: itself of the dif erent cultuf:l.l f acUCts, the: pr social philosophies and world vIews they Imply, are Ken much more c1C":1rly if 01\(0 bears in mind the universes of pr.tCtlces to "h"h they belong; if 01\(0 knows, for example. thaI ayanl.gardc thntre, Of Ing poc'ry or philosophy. is opposed 10 bour,2C:OI thntre or the muslChall. 10 the reading of historical or adventure novds or glossy ag :t.z,. as lhe tnchers' wllking. o.mping. mountain or country holidays 1 OPPOsed both to rhe SCI of luury activities and goods which charac ttfl the old bourgeoisie-Merccdes or Voh'o, pchts, hotd holidays in Ipa 'O.... ns--,tnd 10 the constellation of the most expensive lnd prcsti. Rlous cuh ural and matcri::!1 possions and praClices-)rr noah, mO"ie tpc TC<orders, motorboats, skiing, golf, riding or water'ng-whlch distinguish the liberal professions . cic;aresl indication Ihat aesthetic choices belong to the set of cthi r I ....hich constitules a life.sIY1c is the opposition which emerges, aesthetic area ilself. belween IWO categories as close to each other ".Ilt-. ' rtsf>\Xt 10 cultural capllal as the memrs of the prof essions In,j the

f Variants O the Dominant Taste


,:, I .



ns, I

t (CS



O"dkn< du Poo,Nn.f o..dknt Y,lmonn

T """1iI Nbtt. Boub <t Cit ,, 8o:n"""", H.,n."",

".,. POIel e, Choblor "..

TRAVEL c", H",

fiREWORKS R ugg.."



e.."... I",""ion.1 s.. S<rvi

s. S<...,.,.,., 'MJ M";,,,,,", u ,.-' Jtt I.", ("''' . IblJand. '

Boullct UcNU"",



l'fefff,u", d'lnd, (,0,,,,



p'= ""

...., "'" Dom,n"!",,

1' ..",,,, " IIonnO(l\on Th,......





,,>' Lo,rond Lo"", Ih< ...


""m< G.m'"..,.", M,n,m6mn

""," f .......

J.,'ybu, bllit de I'onb" M.n1 T.illtm..



1..0: N"n Sk..

''''. Ca.... pn-I.ou.. 0..><1 C.N," COU,rt,.. 0'0'




M."",.n, T.vel ASTROLOGERS

VII",F] Ih", CI;ni'lu. d.. D. N...n" Clin u ir."n." d< H6p".1 Prig" 0,,,"1"" du B<lvMo;",

01>"""" ",n, ,.,

lJto<n"'it ......n.. ..



M"""". S>bato
Au D.o," do 0""" )u,( IX1ep,....


M."on,-AI(olt Fondmon Windsor



.,," ,.,.....

p<" "!,,,'h 1.F ,




1.)OOF 1.)OOF


lopidu. R,b,nne


C,rdrno, >(ro.d '"g '0 ,"s,on

.. ..

I.IOOF l.000F
I.OOOf .,,,

He bribed a suile overlooking I prdcn 11 [he Belve<kn: Oini, in Boulogne-sur.&inc, where ;1 was only forbidden to plug in film projn:lion equipment so as 10 avoid endangering {he dectrical sySlcm but this restri(lion could bt lifled by special permis.sion of {he manage ment.
IkI.eJc", oi"i.

M"" "pen,ive:

Cadhi,n J,nlt"


00" HeM "".

1Io" ,n



Cam. G""rt,," IbnO(t Hublnrd Ayot


Bozobt'h Ardon

JEWELLERY ao",hcro"






V.n o.d &



Germ".... Mon,..1 Helen. Rub,,,,,.."

lion. s..,...... IIolbrd "'". ""'"'pn.... s..n!ky



tl(l boes (or life u the Cornedie Fr'naiiIC and disdained, 'lfh,evousJy no daubl, {he price . ItUOn u(\eCI$ for cvcning-d,cs P<rfO'manC('$.

He I'<:g,cw:d (hat there we,e


Sm,1l room o""t\ooking .""ny.rd Sm.n r oom overlooking "'" p M.d,um room (Wertooki", p"" Lo.gt' room overlooking p"'" s."". ov<tIooI<ingll'rdcn

including: m...mjly .....d. '....""ent. mc>lI.nd u.u.1 ..di.i..... .




fler"'" Morobno


No. ,neluded: s.,.-... .nd ...... 'fC'Ci.1 mr;din...... " d""ks, I.und,),. 'eIcphonc etc


Rogt'. V.....




C<'>te de Fronc< [)om!n"l.... God,y, HCd,.rd

.... F, hon


D.o.,<nd.., Cu,m..

EMSAI.MING .:" Ma",u.


11"1"'''' de P""ln

Pt,.".."n M.."", de b T"'tI'<


Lt,.., "" In




5 i j 5 '

(r:I.S, lape l"l:Cord(rs. foreign cars, skiing. playing lennis and golf. hunting and wat(r.skiing.

(biers, galkries and concerthalls, holidaying in spa. towns, pianos. illustr";lrOO art books, an rique fumiruf(, works of art. m,.." a

amass th( (cultur";llly or onomically) mosr expensiv( and gious activities, ("(ading (xpcnsive glossy magazines, visiting

mubtion of symbolic opital. The a$ tic arisrOCr";ltism of th( (and public.stor (xutives), who are syst(matically or kntOO th( least (Xp<:nsiv( and m05t aust(r( icisure aClivities and ." w, .. and (v(n som(what scvere cultural pr";lclic(S-visiting mUSCum s, ampk, especially in th( provinces (r:.uh(r Ihan major i ' leries and foreign muscums, like th( m(mbers of rh( I opposed to the luxury tastes of rhe m(mbers of th( professions.

."' the d m .. ;: ' "' '" "' '' ;.", ;'" most'[ ' ; ' I b : cumulation towards furthc:r such S th( j : f :;{ ; i i mOl"( : since rheir low onomic opital doc$ nOI lhem ro (Xpttl temativ( pklSures and profits. By COntl"2St, Ih<: members of the sions hav( th( mans to rc:aJizc rh( dispositions towards luxury whkh are associared with a bourgeois origin and cour";lg<:d by the requirem(nts of occupations presupposing a

On on( consid(rs, in addition ro rh diffl"(nces f($Pt rhose d<:riving from rr";lienory, and in paHic ular that the proportion of individuals who owe th(ir place in the class to rhe accumulnion of <:duotional capilal riS(S lS On( m"''''' the dominant fr";lClions to ers and, sondarily, (nginttrs and (xecurives al"( th dil"l:Cr th( :lS("(tic disposilions by and


t(1ch(tS. '9 l.IasW On rh( opposition b<:twn ethical ! I sponding to diff(r(nr tr";lj<:ctories, ir is ("(inforcd and brough r . by V(ry diff"(n{ (conomic condirions



n neither the compctnce Jllbc:fS of the professions, posscssi C rtldiS ..n<O itions ncd to r(invest eff (lvdy In the. cconomy .rh( and bemg Ihe f . l' v profirs they deriv( from th("lr cultural caplul, pO .h eConOrll ,JlC:Clual valu' by <:ducation and life.styk (thO!)' provid(" a . J Mr ' . 10 Int . 'on of the ama!("ur wnters),10 find III smart sportS and jll o OfIl p 8h r receptions. cocktails and other SOCIety gathenn not on y .ln. . ' . :KlionS and <:dillntion bUI al$o th( scl("(t SOCI(ty tn whIch S)IlSf their 'connections' ,nd accumulate th( capi. .... I k( ,nd k ... n rtI' -, r 'lons. Th' IS 1110" c:a rabiliry they n in or<kr 10 nrry on theil prol($.$ ou C25("$ in which luxury, 'a con"emional degr of prodi

[1I<S. (\SI' ,n


,sonlr,one t.bnr obsc, 'a business nCC($.$ity' and '("n\(rs into ,,Jlt)" beC n of representation' as 'an (xhibition of waith and con ll _",I s cpc ,
forms depending on tlK profession, '( tendencies take ' , "Jbt5' tfOC , ,nd rhc plac( of l'($i<icnce. Thus. doctors, who hv a savings ho: " , specl:l If t of d,spo ](" In h blgher Ihan the national. ,verag\" (30 percCn . nlr rnuc ' ' gainst l percent) but wuh an Incomparably hgbcr Incom, high percentage o their V(ry hIgh in,com(, particularly ?n hoi s . Very (10 percent of disposabk Income): atrs and consumr durable rds of them do), they often own oflrn o ning their own homes (two-th woods and l and 1t"f000d hom(5. inv<:$lmcnt propcrty. agncuhural (Iu,dly c"c' industrial companies) and :IS? shares. Propcrty puhscs arc tnO$l fl""luen! :lmong rut"1.1 gen(t"1.1 pUClllloners, whefCas financl:Il IOV<:$I mrnll. which generan, inere:!s<: with age, arc more fr<:qun! among sur !fOOl md $:>i1 i l l$. ' One m:ly aS5ume Ihat surgeons and othet JflfCi:lIiSlp i1I1y in P1fiCVOlC a parricularly hIgh proporrion of ,lor. . to luxury epcnditurc, pmicularly Ih( purchasc of works of
_ _ cul " source 0( Cr . t." If'IuCrllI, as a as

t,J o( hon




I .


= ,.ry




. b


I\s in OUr survey. !ht rhird faCIO' brought 01,11 by 1nalys; of I co.. :; k < ne in Ihc SOFRES survt)' scpmues all OIhcr fncdons from II><' of lhe prof (Uions. The bllt 1 particularly inclined ro luxury and Kriviries. as ;$ soo....n by simply listing (in order of imporTance) !III ....hich make the highnr ,bsoluI( (oO!r;bulion 10 ,his $uriplion$ 10 glossy monthly magazines, possosion of a movie eamtllo wlu:r.skiing. possesiOn of a I'pt" ror<kr, an books, PlaYing s holidays, bridg.:, huming, skiing, riding, businC$S cock" ils tIC. kno"'s Iht! magazines like Qmlfllm.,"{t tkJ ATIJ or U M4i "", a p.opon;on of p,o(($$,onll$ among rh<i. readers (I .'j p<'rf" 18.'1 percent) Oil( may, in addi.ion, on the b:l5is of rhe 1970 CESP (=jutnr amo"S amiburc 10 [his f lion prOf>(nies n( of these journals, such U po$$($.on of antique f $ urni",..., and v;s;,s 10 aUClion rooms 2nd g1!1ri". On also knows from the $Ull:' , that the m.;mbc" of the profions give 1

bl:n es



! :'; :


8y Contrast, C"2ch of Ih( l(1(h(rs' (thor prcf(f(nc(" for a har monlOus. sob<:r, diKl"l:Ct int(rior, for exampk, 01 for simple but ",dl Plnrnl<:d m(1lls) nn be und(rslood as :l way of making a virtu( of nes .ltl)" by Ihe profit thO!)' atn draw from thdr cultural capital :Ind t'r .spare (whil(" minimizing Iheir tinaneial ouday) . If rh( prolOnais to malCh their mans, th( not always hav( th(


maimizin8 time do tastes tr:Ichtrs hardly eV(1 hav(" th( me:Jns to malch (hdr and this dispar. II)" . " Cuhut"1.l lnd economic opilal cond(mn! th(m to an a.sce.nc lCIs . m (a more aus\(re variant of th( 'anisr' lif(-5IY1c) whICh Ihe mOSI' of what it has, $ubslilUting 'ruslic' for anlKJue, Roma (a'lltl h


s for Pcrsian carpc:ts, 3 conv(IIOO barn for an anc(5tr";ll manor l hog raphs (or reproducrions) for paintings--unavow<:d substi . to!f:$ Ic, u hlC "'1Ir " . like rc:ally poor people's lath(refle or 'splrkling whit(' . ..1 _ ""tt, a'e the tnbutes uo:;priv3tion pays 10 p05SCSS,on.IlTh Ispanty VC' c ior, ono. mic capitll and cultur l capilal. or, more precisely, !he edu a 3 capI tal which is its certified fo m. undoubtw.!y on of th(

r is

A 'Truly Classiol' University Teacher

L, aged

Prderring 'sobricty' :lnd 'discretion" Jean dislikcs 'fat cushions and hc:I.vy curtains', and 'apartments donc up is 'quite by intellor dcsigners: scnsifive 10 the overall harmony of an in !erior : 'If you' re lucky cnough to come across :I really finc piece of furnilure, you put that one piecc in :I corner. That's :III you need for a whok room.' 'At homc. until rt' ccnlly. ....c had cheap f urni.ure th1t 'Nf! bough. whcn we marti"'!. A <juicily modern s.ylc thaI wasn'I un attnctive. Venec."'! leak, quite ch(':lp. but now the chai rs arc giving up thc ghost . . . Now wc have one or tWO old bits of furniture that 'Nf!'ve picked up, '01 antiques . " :I Louis Xlll conVC'lll lable Ihat s0me sporr...! for us in lilt Flea Mar kel, a Louis XIII chest that isn't bad'. found in an antique shop in 'Of course, we won't be gerring any Louis XIll chairs-for on thing they're terribly epensive. and anyway, if ,hcy're genuinc. solid. So we'lI ge' they're nO{ some made fur us in ,hc pmc style

'A loui XIII convent lablc s from Ihe Fie;!. Market'

Eeolc Normale Suptricure. has thc galion in physio. He is now a agri mailrfollUillanl (scnior Iccturer or 1S' sistan! profe-ssor) in one of The ris uni"ersi,ies and lives in 'hc nonh ....cstern suburbs. His ( atlltT (an I1grigi in gnmmar) a Iyctt tnclltr and his gnndfarher a pri, c mary '(':Icr. HIs ....if . a pharma cist's daughter. is a ckntist. She tcaches at the ris Dental &hool and also runs hel own pnClice.

:lAS, an alumnus of tilt




cenfUry and thec or r

menfS :;: ;: ; :, : i; some ;


but wilhout pretcnding to li<jue' ooon,ing and ing of 'he hou!;C :IrC mainl y his wifc who of imporlance 10 them. . expel! at that. I'm 00,,, ,", , regards prices . . . I enjoy when all's pid and dOI\t on my own I don't think" " much fime to [ haven'T Bot much of a 11Sle for it, bUI In certainly has and in the end preclate II, all the s.ame.' vcry fond of old f ai"l(t: willing to accompany her i Pys, "Come along, let's go at some porcelain. [ know cnjoy it, I know she's much sensitive to it han 1 1m . . . one thing I'd really like to haven't done so yel, bu I limn look: ifs old $(icnlific



:ng hIm'

ber Irkc that. . . . 1 remem for five minute$; l llich "'. l",n gcc Jbk 1'm gl. 1 s.a.... -.u I l onslnd of jun ,.""s

t nfh,nngs kSfhk . l c
ofI'-(1\IS. re

used rC'llding .,.II !f Y I. /lfoHd' l sor<I on .... ',1 I


l '" ..;.


J (>>In"Il1llllr. ial view /.J ;0."" . 'lr glvd :I supelfic

tbcs 10 Tribunr Srxiafim t-1: sub>Cd'-and ()(casonaly reads

Ihough some of the i nrcl' 109 u'"'" All my read' d to 1 ased on Lt MOIl"'. use ."" .... nut now I don't egularly. rCI"C il r , 109 IS cry day. Hls read" ""d " ,.. e, no de,ectlve ...hat auSler or novelS: 'Solzhcnitsyn's Cirt/(. all the pme. because my





w,fe takes


br Illich ('It made a great imprcs '). c;,.,nft and NrcflJiry Il0<l 00 11\(

FtrII .,k Id I ough to read it.' Hc has abo m:ently read Dntl-'ing 'kxitry (Monoo ). :lnd Konnd lorenz s 011 AUft.lSl<)II. He owns a UNESCO

rcs :'


Amien!. e


At home, he does a bi, o(,m. carpentry. 'ou, of dUly'. ' ,he one who uys Ihis or dOing. and I do iI, laking ' necessary uouble over it. 1 it (luicker if [ did it less but [ enjoy designing ing them out and then them.' He don nOl have a TV c home bur manages ,o . fime 10 rime. 'The i I, , Ihings hcy're d(':lling sels diluted. On any given mo I'd nther read something cen,ra,ed. Slill, thcre I things for which ifs i haY<: 10 admil, 1 wenl 10 my mother's to $ce ,he firs m.,oll

more roncemnlcd'

'I'd ralher read somethinJ

history of world cuitures in sevcn or <1gh' volume$: 'Its marvellous, i Mt. nam"ive. certainly nO! a nar' 1t"'1'; if lhere are ch:llKfen and so ..... rh1l docsn', In,cleS' me, Af(h.." oIosY, no." hat inrcrcsrs me a lot. . Somelhrng I bro in a good deal f the O/(fHn/ary o Ar'


g,. '

: ;! :

'Truly ciaSJ;(':I1 tain.,.j Ihings' . .... Vet1l><>:r IS somethmg 1 un gaze 1t for I.I'IS"O hours and I feci lly ' """fC':I! that {a book of dr:. I>ot t,s by "''' .
'a guy called Esche. ) :1'.11 ' , ' appreC1:ucs a h'lI of t an In the series edited by as'el. 'The ext is oumand ing Ir<J " Iten' t many reproductions. the, ' tL . Y Ie no brilliant though . 'e ttla m'ely originI, bu, " ftc < 80Qd becausc t""y analyse


thc painters' ideas, nm jusl :lnecdoti, cally but tilt way They connect with lhe economic and social Stru(lurcs of lhe period: He 'docsn'l "do" mu, !;Cums exhauslivdy.' bu. i, WIlling 10 go': 'I'm quitc prepared 10 go along if a fr end say, "Look, there'$ $ mcthing [ want to go and .sec". or if I've secn or rcad some' thing. . . l"m always will ng TO go, and I spend a (crtain amount of time lhere.' He has to Tuscany !;Cvenl times: 'I love erylhing $cen tlltre . . I cnioy there is to the painters of the period situating in relalion to one anmhel: I say to myself. AnSc1ico was still painting like this while w cone else was doing that.' He particululy likes <the Quallf()(ento. Botlicelli, Piero della Francesea and also Vermr :lnd Wuteau.' '1 don'I <juite know how (0 put if. whether iI" the sub ject, or ,he techni<jue. . . , [ like (he surfaces. and Ihat SOrt of gracc, (hum. melancholy ' He realizes Ihat painters (annot dispense with Slylis' tic devices, but he dislikcs those of RouUC"/;u: 'There's something un, nalural. ov".&:liberate. oY<:t'sophis, ticared aoou' his technique.' 'Matisse. no..... Huly d:usical. rt' Slninw things. tOO9: I do like. I like :I 101 of Pic:tS$O's work. and ViI, lon, Ihe little [ know of il. To be honot. I'm not well up on modern painting. . . Thef('s one thing which 10 me is no/ pind ng. and thar's the whole of Surrealism. In my view il's a purely inteliectu1 ex ercise. D:ali and company af( some thing I detCSI.'




: ":" :;;:"



on Ihe organ'

.( prefer TN Arl of FlIglI

He has no hifi ('I'd <[uiTe like to have one, but for me it's not e$scn, tial"). but he does hl" 'a record player that isn', bad' ("mono. I bough' il for 600 francs f our or fie

<hestnal version. it InUy is pure music, it's nO! a question of timbrc.' He dislikes 'Romantic music, iI's too emphatic. tOO gnandiloquenf. For example, I like Ikr!iol, but lhe ymphtnrJ is 100 rheloriul.' P""/lIJ/ic S Although he h:l$ 'aU $OIlS of minor activilies', he is 'busy four evenings a w""k with m.ings, choir rehears ab' with a chonal sociely he joined ( fen yrs Ig0): 'ind nO'Olf:ldays, with a group of operalovers, you do a bit ",," of ope.... a bit of Ii , i kcs up a 101 of lime in I.... rnd.' 'Fo, m.., ,.... summit of music is Moun . , . CDJi I"" lllllt , . [ adore ill of Poulenc, [ like Dclalan(/(, . ' . [ rnlly enjoyed .t DZUI' wh('1l Boule conducted it IJI it .he Plllis Ope.... II was .he fSI time I'd he1rd it.' He gOC'S '0 eon. our or ve times a yeu. 'Ear. cefls ( lie. this w""k 1 Went '0 hc:Il Fi$C.:Di bu; for me he's .he god of sln8lng. He scarcely ever liSlens to light music or non-classical sing ers, and has never boughl any of Iheir m:mds ('I like Brassens, but 1 don't listen 10 him'). i He s '!lOt rnlly 1 connoisseur of films'; he often 'just gOC'S ro the local cinema in D. to sec dIe Cur trnt releuc$ if they're !lOt foo bad.' co:ive 'Elf
UK of limircd

)'Ors ago'), 'In my view, music is something you ought '0 go and sec done by the people who make it. Thu's the best way. Otherwise, al home, you jusl ntto:! soffitlhing In. $Onabk 10 play the m:ords on Ind some good performances. . . . I'm not enormously sensilive 10 the per ormance:, bUI sliIl, I do appreciate f it.' His '.sense of the eronQmy of mns', his t:l$te of 'sobriefY' and 'abo his s<:ientinc Hain;ng' incline him 10 appm:iue 'pure music', 'Tk , I 11., " FMC/it for eumple, I prefer (hal on the organ ruher than an or.

He likes Trufl"au. but '"', to ttJ,c, Amerin ans' ( of Ametic.n films a c<:pt Woody Allen'). watch mlny histotical I 'Obviously Abel Gance's that was "ht missed, or 7 or IIkxaNIH Ntl'd).' ' gic to anyfhing that i overdone. I like someone to me something he (""Is Veho .. " ' makIn e. ' euseO(Jimltc C;tlv d He tS neIther a 'gastrono ' 'onolsseur', but he is 'faitly live to rhe food he is olfefl:d ' '....n frirnds invite me fo, a ," [{ $ a pls rt r t2ke noti<c of, J prW21e II. He 'trles (0 keep a prcsemable wines in the hou . {'I've ( ound a liftle dnler ing in Be-aujolais. 1 like some 01 things he has to offer, Ind hu'l how I stock my ceJlat').

' Z:.


. .hich docs nOt of thcir propensity to contest a social order . t'()Ils 1"nda l ples of (las e thdr mcr;1S beouse if (:ogniles other princi i\ reeogntl classified Ihem. ti e educational sysrcm which has (Jlr dIan those of l ll ratic) revoir is inrens; Jlli't Oflitocralic (and thercfore, in a sense, aristoc . ies, rcfusats ind impossibilities, ",tS it .s combined .. ith the loyalt j\l f saIs of Ihe impossible, which are linked to a pelitbourgeois or mic con ".. Itug.class origin and which. togcrhcr with purely ewno r n .'O kl prtnt full membership in the bourgeoisie. Slftn . t t


== ''':;oo , ==:: r ---CIy ,,,,= b' ' == ,p= room 'h =='''::: -,", -CC ,CC==w,y Cr ::::=:-;= , ,o = - . "b, ,;.C=p "C=. o= =;og =::-:==o d ()!IC 0 from t.... bel that cuhuf11 capllal is a dominated principle of pltln in participation as a udrc in the organiulions claiming 10 don',na ion lies of the dominated classes. Thus the disrribu .nd Mfend the iRlerem aspire ns "rrr (he memrs of the differcRl dominaRl-claSIS (f1C1io who ItOIl success) 10 posilions as political representatives uual chanccs of d by analysing I.... social char1Crcris.ics of parliamcn. ( 'lCh ClIn gauge corresponds fairly SIIiClly 10 the dimibution of their rc (. candIdates) the fIeld of Ihe dominant class. II follows from Ihis fr.actions of ,.... lren:l$ of I.... Struggle to impose the .lul poitllnl struggks arc one iple of domtnation. kgt"ml(e (I.e_, <Iomin)nt) princ



He 'would like 10 be able (0 chess' and $Omclimes play. 5C " He docs 1 bit of photogf1ph) " end up using two rolls of Ihl pictures a year, mainly on hoi""" One thing I typically do when ,.. on holiday in he mouRliln, is. toke picfl1rn of lahdscapcs . I spend hours poring over a working OUt what can be SC'tR ' holid.y ., rush Oul "'alk'"g and then, like an idiot, [ do fony metres a. !Op sped on the firsc ' .. ind then my (""t arc s...ollen for I . ortnight. W....n I go walkIng ( rtY" it Iioirly inrcns;,'ely, bu unfo nafely ,herc arc long periods don'l do any. For the l25t I' had a dog. and she has Ihlt aken for 'OIf:Ilks. I ous pace. . . . I I1ke urd.ys and We cover ren i

ing' 'I rush OUt walk

rulcur.al services to a clientele, the accumultion of economic capilil merges ...ith the accumulation of symbolic ,apitl, Ihat is, with the c qUlsition of a repumion for competence and in imige of fCSptability and honou...bililY (hat are easily converted into political posirions as a Ioc:al or national notabl,. It is Iherefore understandabk {hat they should Identify ...ith Ihe cstablished (mor-d) order 10 which they make daily (ontributions, of which their political positions and anions, o r the decla tal101lS of the national mC<lical as$Ociirion. are only Ihe moSt visible """. 10 SOFRES doc nasional sample o( /:: made kf the firstsurvey of alhe 1974 plcsidential(WO hundredpereltion. )9 round of ro. 'd they would VOtc for Giseard, 16 percent for Miner...nd, 9 percent a .n

)' B CORlt1st, for those ...ho, like Ihe professionals, live on the sale o f


o.l G,

b; Dclmas (the GaulhSI candidare) and I I percenl for anmhcr nn dtdat , and ) pe rcent were undecided. Asked who they thought "':1$ mOOt hkd c o t WIn, 1i .. petcent said Giscard. 16 percent Miller. nd, 9 percent ,";ptlmas and I percent anOlher nndidate, and I } percent would nOf One can get an i(/(, of what the doctors were voting for in . b "" "'idtrY .o:-adtng the interview with him in the same issue of u Qllolidim '" thO! rq>OrtS the survey. in which he declarn himself in (avour of hlghl . It(,, re(rui'mcnt, the main.en.nce of the 'li...1 profession', ( l<n ' f \ ""t'", Y PrOCtllloner and the QCxisten(e of public and private hospital ItlI!, o romi5l"S to dim;nase 'W1Stage' in t.... Social Sccunty sys(em ind for any ref orm of fhe Ordre des mCdecins.

conslelluions of choices, / "it m fint lind '" i m fil d t m lOSr:< , "" """ U, ..d d"k 'ho'8h", bo,'""d ,h," ,.d '"'." 8" 'Sj the social oplimism o( people wilhou[ problems lnd [he lI _ nti pessimism of people "'ilh problems-the opposilion be t",ctn In and menIal comfot{, wilh imimate, discreel imeriors and nadi ' French cooking. lind 1CSlhcric and imeileelulil invention, with thef1IIIt1A (or exotic dishes or (by inversion) pot.luck. 'studied' interior s, or ( version ) those Ihlt are c:lSy to mllintain, furniture from the Flt"lI MIIIIt , and avantglrdc ShowS l'

tween twO world yieW$, two philosophies o( life, pic, by Rcnoir lind Coya (or (l.hurois and

tween the prefer'(:nce for contempol'::lry works (her'(:, within Ihe lim offered. Picasso, Kandinsky, Boulez) lind the taStc more COn5e(l':red works (the Impressionists and especially :l Ic:lU, the Hungdri"" Rha s , the Nllr 4S(jm, Ein' Kkinf p ody ' between the taSfe (or solid values, in paiming lind music, as in and rhc:l[re, ,nd the commitment 10 novelty. I I is also an I

So the COntrllSI Ihllt is usulilly dl'::lwn betwn ' I tllste and 'bourgeois' or right.bank lasre is nor only an

::; ; :

I (aVlnl-su<le) Ihearre feslival, 83 perccnt al the Royan contem r,(lOM , fcstival' and that nle of ,((endanCe vuics in thc same way , "- , muSI ' lntCS 10 at La R0. per person an ave.-age of 3, showsC S X X [X al XX X , 1""'''' (rOm ' N { a:' 7 CCCCd RO "___ _ ,___ __' CC ' '" C _ C , _ C _, loCH'



__ __

__ __ __ __ __ __ __

r the cen :;: :;-.


lua]' public, one only has to oIcrve ,hat the proportion crs and art;s" is H percenl al Ihe intcs anClenl music I' al Ihe La Rochelle cGnlempo.-a,y "" f perccn' at ,hc cs"val, 66

The oppositions I>o:tween systems of purdy aCSthelic prderenccs [hal Ire symbo!ied by Ie antitC'Sis Kand!nsky/ enoir can 1>0: replaced R Ln Ihnn.. , of chOICes conswullng hfe.styles Simply by conSidering Ihe chal'::lcfenstJCI an audience such U Ihal of (AmMi!Jan" titJ ;i'll, Th;s reia,ively npensi.., luxu,y cultural jou,nal, which is al Ihe ume time .n advertising rm<!IU& for Ihe luury goods Inde, especially in obiets d'art, no doubt g'v('$ 1 1(CU,3(e plctu,e of Ihe S'oups who are united by 'boufscois tastc' and . are brousht togelher by Ihc mOSI $l:lect and also mOSI e_pens;,'c cuhllill cvcnls-smm cxhibilions, gla performanccs al fhe P,ris Opel'::l, prem major concens ctC, The common {ealures of Ihc pri,'a'c-$l:C'Or necu,,"" r and profcssionalS-IInd the many kWCf, and the,efore srrongly o,-n'!(kx I leachers and induslnal employers-who make up Ihis ,eadership are a f npens;-'e, prC'SItSlOus activtltcs (goJf. riding) and for (ultul'::ll pta( or orienled al leul as much lowards ma[erial approprialion as 'o,,'a'ds IftCIIIII symbolic appropriation, frequentins Iheattcs and g:.lkrics (predomHlarldr rigt,bank!, aU, mon rooms: an"<jue shops and luxury bouti<ju('$_ 'The gems taSle ""hoch (harxtefllCS (hem .s opposed nOI onl)' 10 'H1,dlenJ taste but also (cucnlllily by possession of ""orks of I goinS) 10 the 'mlddlmg' laSlc of the great majority I especially Ihe commercial cmployen. sreat rders of Ib /(1-jmml.J, proprl" e only II\osc rare goods 10 which money gi"cs direcl ,cc, luxury cars (CS, VI) To measure Ihe d'slance 1>0:(1"1'1 Ihe 'bourscois' public and Ihc

l'::lctions expect I'::lther from the artist a sym s the 'inteJlcclUlIl' f C , 8 of socill realily and of the orthodox rcprescntltion o( it ,.t cCha'" .8;. , \X'!> " ' ' tis' art, .he 'bourgeois' fracdons expect .herr aI1StS, t,he'T wnl' 11<'" , I 'bOIl allies, like their couturiers, jc'll.'eJk or Interior dcslgf'ICrs, to ir emblems of distinction which are at the SlIme time mc:lns of. (IS. art are only Inc mOSI VISI' prO SOCIII realily, Luxury goods and works of I I of this decoT enveloping bourgeois e)(isrence, or al Ic:lSt, [he " g e, pari of a fundamentally dUlil lif spuriously unified in tole t domC'StiC a spurious division lIinst illf. disinterestedness lIglinsl " l'rou8h , It,I flO' agllinsl money, the St!ulli agamsl the emporal. In((rtSI, art . , ,w'P'p'rs discreetly pollllClttd or ostental1ously depolmclttd, '" 1110(1 . -d lift books, BIue GUI es nd tr.t.veI det'on[ive Journals lind coff -!abk , novels lind blogr.t.phlC$ of grc:lt men are so mllny screens _ sro, .. "8ionlll , " ' , represen u hide 5(x'IlIl ! lIlity 'Bourgeois' thetrc, a scarce, y uo:: - rc:I C : tton of one of the forms of bourgeois existence, with its bellutiful stllse !CIS, prelty women, facile lIdvenrures, ,frivolous convel'Sltcion lIn,d lIssu , .ng philosophy (ny other combmlIon of the nouns nd adJCCI'ves IS , ualJy v1id), is no doubt the form par excellence o( the art the ?our. . grois' re<:osnizC'S because: he recognizes h imself in II, The boureolsle ex pe<tS from 1If( (nO! 10 mention what it calls lilcrature or philosophy)


Ivanl'gardc, cven in the most hiShly neutl'::llized arts, such as music. o\nd for every enlightened amateur who has undeTSlOod rhlll it costs IIOIhinS to 1>0:, like Proust's Mme, de Camb,cmer, 'in lIrt, 1I1ways on the

a reinforcement of its self-assutan ce, and, as much OUI of sufficicncy 1.1 Inuffi(iency, il can never really recognize the audacities of [he

kft', there arc many prescnt.day lIdmirers of Fbubert or Mahler who haV1: tnc same impatience with disorder, even symbolic, and the same horror of 'moveme nt', even lIrtislically sublimllted, as their counterparTS In the PU I of Intellectual s Of artists in general (althoush antHnteleeluahs IS a oltttt ln , bou fIl lnt chal'::l(telislic of some fr.t.(lions of lhe bourgeolSlc and pcme .

gw,$IC) by the artiSls and intcllecluals it chooses {rom Ill( nnge of lhe field o( p,oduction, Thus Ihe anli-intcllee,tualism of,Ihe domi_ ant rac"on of "'tt1 til( dominant class may be expressed tnc chOice o(
In tlw: luals ..ho are inclined to anti_intellectualism by their 0"'1'1 posilion ' t , In:;tllcelual field, The (Ultnct one mov('$ f,om thc 'purest' pres, PoI'tl ( mOSt completely purified of all refercnce to the social world and (\ first musk, then poelry, philosophy and painting), ,he wider ,nc

cb o. I - , 1class frxlion is defined nol--- its over.t.ll jud ss --- so much --


sal? be!wn 1m, prodc"r$ recognized by rhe domtnarl! {ncrion, -!>Jay.. ""flghlS and rhe:t!re critiCS or phil_her5 and political =yJ$ I5--.f.:I t . - -, rerog"'z br IhC Prod\Ice" rhe selv". Furrhermr,. ., one -S , " . . I e f1on If arouses amon, tho: declinin, r bour,-- h : PlrIICU,2f ..verylhing in it which Chl!i(ngts tho: ordina Sl,(" $/aI\ls) and symboli, 2(uibu(: sue :Is '... shIps b(,IWttn a (or ing. or behaviour, such as S(CxuaJ or poJiriol conduCi. '"" '1m! a v .. . ,_ _ UOluncrlnon of roo<;: pr:ICllCIJ f>O$lub'e$ which are the Ins"s 0r bour-., '-lik-slrk. Like III' old 'I'Omrn in AU$Ir.llian myths ...ho vcr, '0.... _ _ . " '" . I>I:lw SlructUIl: 0, re,anons L. n the gcncr:lfions by Sa,, } a . youlhful skin. and inodJruals (l ke smOOl:h, " , u5mg a N"" e . age when ohel'$ rquenung young revolutionaries al e pn pUl'$yt somelimes rail in .<jueshon 0IIe honours and cuhivae he powerful) [he social of -[he most dttply buried . pmOlas ...... - /flill"", [he d-5po:$mon 0, those who have selfrespect and kel en[uitd 10 1 command rcspet".

_ In


wlS, l e




ran found1lions of

l h magicali (onscrvmg , i an to order s


funClions as ar type of 2SSO:t structure in which time . CS 1 particul But y ime[changcablc wilh economic capital p,ooppO dent fac[or. pard by renouncing what it could ;lI' ill and he disposiion to defend ii, ) c"Olpial n to mak.e rn, presup tJ:oth the (inherit . y ansIOCtaUc-dISPOSI' ssb ma[erially po lc and the-hlghl \lC 'on UnC1JII rcn renoun.

o (I

bur (kitseh, p by [h,s d'stance from all oher life.s[yks and [heir temporal

wich are mml"diatc:ly devalued by their new vard usal of bourp's tllte, I.e., [he typically righl.bank luxury [ . h me u:compl c among the miSts; and, finally, refusal of rhe ;s ers pedantIC llte. whICh {hough op [0 bourg\"Ois [ll[e ets of the arllm. merely a variant of if. disdained for its hcavy. glng, passive. stni!c didaClicism, its 'spirit of seriousness'. and for liS prudence and backwardness. And so [hI" logic of doubk tS can la the anises back, as if in defiance. to some of the prdl"renc acterl$tl( of popular [ll[e. For example, they concur with cbsses and the lower ftaClions of :, middk classes from which " . r in every other way. in choosing an interior Iha['is 'praclical and I 'easy [0 maima in. the amithcsis 'bourgeois com(Of{'; i [hey may rehabilitale, a[ [he 5ood degree. [he mOSf of po ul r Ill[e pop an). 11H: 'artist' IifC'S[yle which i

One ll to [ ke a inro aC(ount [he whole logic of thl" field of . . producuon and 11$ rdaflonshi [ the fidd of the dominanc class .. <krsland why avantgank anlS[IC produclion is OO""d [0 d- 1JlPaill " IS " bourls e>cpectaUoflS--unl"qually, and always in thl" shorr termNo I no acct<knc thl! Ihe tll[e fo [he artisric avantgarde appears in tnc- . . SIS only a[ the end of a sen(S of opnntitions' [n - . , very[h - g -,_ . :Z ' . PIace as I . although It embodlCS arllStlC legitimacy, thl" anistic prod. 'f tlltl" for thl" avant.gardl" defined i[self in a <juasi.negative way "015 [ncof refusals of al1 socially recognitcd [ascs: rdusal of m i ddl . rad t .llte of the big shopkrs and parvenu indus[rialim, [he 'groaJJ pillorled by Flaubcrr and others II one incarnation of Ihe 'bourgroiJ. .. . (SpeClaI.ly, perhaps, at prcscnr, [he pe[ite bourgeoisie, led by [heir pretenSion [0 the products of middle-brow culure or Ihe most an 1, products of legitima[1" culture (such II light opeta or thl" C1 Sicst

f." ,





a: '!"

I W __ __ re ry sion of the ordina. world view . f: almasl compkle inver __ __b an t helr earned through awvlllcs nsider Yc k and [0 lead [he 'artlSI s life means of buying lime [0 wor l specific 2Clivity.lS Thus 2rtiss (and inte in egnl pm of Ihe c .'hl \ they could otherwi exchange money, which ob)ec[s which itCI02 counling 10 produce hilS 10 hi" spent no markelS, "OInd to 'discover' objects and thl" 5horl [erm) res oflCfl Ihey help to produce, anti<jucs, backsree hosc rariy and c pI,ccs appropriae collti" shows eIC.; and lhey <juui-cxclusively tI utal broals). Vanllions in . strViccs (mu$Cus. galleies. cult unequal propcnsny o mne arc. logcher lirr>e and in [he relulon urc very factors which make pallems pf expendil ::Sume, among lhe h class. gu;dcs 10 he resouKCS of

"rll' q"crH

money (oflc.n their ,(,1ft)hi :n r I Wilhoul hich havc ,,"" ('n "211,11" r>O:W

-- -- -, -- -- -- -, -- -, -- -- -, -, -, -, -- -- ---


earn, for time,



The Mark o Time f







chal opposition between the young and old. the In no othc[ class is senior sition -ll ses kngt'1"S and the possol"S-nd also Ihe oppo be suo G! always members of Ihe class and the newcomers. which cann mOSt senior are perimposed upon it (sinCI". in some sectors at leas[, the dominant ilIO IJH, mOSI procious)-more delerminam [han in Ihe class. which can ensure ilS own perpetuation only if il U capable of over . coming [he crises Iha[ are liable to arise from the competitioo bet... cen the: fl"2{lions 10 impose the dominam principle of dominalion and from lhe: SUCCession suugglts within h ftaCiion. The differences belween the: gcne tSe wilh ta[ions (and the potencial for geneta[ion conAiCls) inclt the: magni s of tude of Ihe changes hat have occurred in Ihe definition of acccss to positions or in the institutionalized mcans I. . ion of Ihe inlvidals 2ppointd to modes :f..t.I9 e . netar sIty of [OUles !fItO a ' . ConSl"quently, the differences due ro the diver populations which 2 Job at. given moment (particularly viible in l the I"xecurives and engineers) lre [Ou ;gh Y ?ISpersed in (his [cspec[, like in the differences resulting from [he variations over time tbr descn lion and in the conditions of access to the job, in pmicu' . the Itt a Villons in [he rel"Ollive importance of [he different routes I" educational sySlem and its relation IQ ill a ., ked o changes in (he dUSlry


between the

CUp:ui % on21 the giv 2 Wlt "l-ti(h


The opposition bctwn the oldest, who valorile the most ascetic disposidons, and the youngC'St, who identify with the valuC'S most the modern eecutive. is pmicularly marked among the executives ginn ( nd sondarily among the tchet'$ and professionals) , For pie, in the dominant ciw a whole, U percent of the 'conKic:ntious' friend, 1$ against 24.} percent of the under-<ls, 39 of whom ,h 'dynamic" against 19.) percent of the over45s: the executiv($ and engirn:ct'$. 42.} percent of the under4s and 8 the over-<l}s ch 'dynamic', while I percent of the under4,s percent of the 0"e'''''5 ch 'conscientious'. (Simibr variafions, ah,.,,, more marked among exn:utives and enginn. are ""ed for '<kter. mined'. which VOIriC$ like dynamic. or ellbred. which vari($ like COf!. SoCientious'.) similar evolution (no doubt linked to a gcrn:nl incl"t"1Sr II culll,.nl capllal) is found in tuu:s in legitimate culture: thus, the younJlll' executives and engirn:cn more often choose ill Blut (52 percent. againsl \7.' percent) or the Four (47 percent and 24 percent). Je. oftcn L'Arlh;m1lt (IB percent and 28 percent), HUlfgnian RhapVJdy (U percent and '8,' pcrcent), BlUI Oa"IIIN (I} percent and ., percent). These historical variations are particululy significant in the C1St ofdt fnctions mOst direerly linked to the economy. the engineers and ti\'($, but they have, in a more insidious way. affected the whole of tie dominant class. They arc likely to pass unnoticed because they aJ.",. manifest themselves in combination with age, that they can e:lSil, be taken for an dft of biological or even social age nther than gener:uiol, and bc<auS( they arc translated into trajectories, i.c.. ind,vidual hisuxitl which are many responses [0 a given s[atc of the chances objectrrdr offered [0 a whole generation by colleerive history. The 'libenl prof($sions' (doctot'$, a[ least) have succeeded in m... taining rhe tnditional definition of their job and the competen" requires by defending. among other things, the most Malfhusin (_ dons of access, thus in a S(nS( CS(aping from history and the div between the generations. By cOntnst, categories such as those of the_ ecutivn and enginrs bring together individuals separared both In jectory and in generation, in the sense of the SCt of products of a mock ofgcner.nion associued with a similar pallern of objecti"e C.han: In fact, because of the duality of the modes of a("cess, by <jua lifio(lOn .hich PfC'o'COted n by promOtion, and the corrc:sponding divisions .. nized defence of the modes of access and of the corresponding PI1VI.;.J. these: categories have been much more di=rly affected by cduca __ expansion. which, by incring Ihe number of formally <jual&d hu transformed the de heto relationship be;""" dales entitled [0 job$, tirlcs and jobs and the form of the competition for jobs berwrcn fo <jualified Ind nonualified candidates.)O . Furthermore, changes in [he economy have becn reflected lA merical and hierarchical relationships belween the different and exccu[ive funerions. Ihereby tnnsforming the system of
u 1$








ts of different types or engmrcnn u[odidact to the producn engtheers from the minof (rain.mgg schools, n opelcS romo[io ine ole ni<j d,daCrs :r:! Ihe SoCienific grandes ecol (Polytcc.hnceue, r.uesdes dcs scie poh!l or nc: clI11"id etC. ) , graoduatcs of the various Instllu[sembered thast the different ,... st, .0 " .. '0 the new situ . "'C etc. (1t muYaTlOf couour_always be rem ations arlsmg from 0,I no; " 0f [heca beUS gred back the differences .m SOC.Ial ad educa' ctSpOn chngcs , me dlffere nOmiC or g ; h have always determined important at a glces positions . ; , 1,,,,,11 n In:vi;u occupying formally identical e and markeungv tcc t. ) For exampi', thc strengthening of financ fm he .mcreased ... . ' , l departments, resulungal1ona auon of 10' lalive to .tcchnica the growing intern hz !fIO(1lCfI [S m r' dl(banks over dUS[ry ' ' r therr pat h I"' . " " p"" a1. their manaDt'ment. and ns Icad"mgents.,th'" "' to dustnaIa groups. "thelr f 1 ,"alinea[ions and inlIlUlio J revaIual10n 0 ><; " . (1UIt" . . or HE the one hand, Polytechm<jue ns. SClenccs Po' ENA'hool, C onthe other hand, and. s;multa I(lo ther engmccnng "'" on . -' 1' . t ,od he rcul' Stnbut..... . ,hances available to rhe fncllons 0f the bour' J , . otOUSIy, h0 u these mstllun'ons. Th",, :as a resuI t 0f hangcs " th, w gtais,e fI:lCturcs" and : IeIt through its uSC of the Paris InsmutS QC> h' J onomie St, ues SIlUt'"" ar ,Yh, bonom of the specifically aca.demic hi ' ct pol((ttl d! bou r', Ihe Parisian granr, the rgtl:JtJlt hndmg of erarchy :l [he hools mopowe ple[ely Ih eve comma h pi re pp.n atl.ed, pe ano and comcivil service (provoking collective and l the ndrr;ofC of whom atC y :::i:l iI:y ; tCChnique gradu S 'more l T ba rc a n u: n l ti::g.e: e: a : 7t 10 I promise profits at least e'!ulValeo[ s. butose hout off .n gel wit and Slrictly predictable carccr rarsubvCf( the sYler:n 0Ilc::I::: inrttS of SlXurity, is tending rowhen both .te'r nss ad t I fi of profll, /+.[ leut in the phase: eal 1?tS In : :1 [h . " i" tions situated at enn'iaI ollgm hiSrproVIOI:d :rem gft'.lft' thc:sc new "" . , ive fun: arc: mos[ a!trlct-- to those wh.ose SOC ents. I he . conneclions With an indination towards nsky mvcstm alion n Id .In order 10 orm ttctdcd m order to make them and the inf SUcceed in them. ;; Within 1 utegory $u(h u that 0r 1,,<; eng'ntrs' .il is .... lc to di r ,ib ' t ' al t'nUl.!lh families of tute corresponding fO sub-sctS of Ind,.vidu- .s ncdtn gu ln wuh ,oruy w1lh bofh rcsptlt ro cultunl and educational capital and toisS(n of the the boUrgco.Sle. At elf(:me is found ,he pttir.bo,urgco [Ule older cnglnters. originating from the middle or work"' c1:wes and er ex "'otl:<! from the nnks or !rained in serondrank schools, at rhc oth trtfllt. the bourgeois IIS[e of [he young enginrs who have rcc<:tly duat from the grandc:s oks and arc at IC'OSI sc:<:ondgcncnuon mem of lhoc bourgeoisie. Tho, Umc divisions rppca' a fortiori in ,he catchall (alcgory f the


-Cf .. 0



" ' ' 0





, c. ><; ,



:as , re



A Young Executive Who 'Knows How to Lve'

Michel R., an advertising exe<:utive ...orking in a Paris agency. the son of the managing dire<:tor of the Ftench ubsidiary of I leading mul tinational corpor.uion. studkd in a private Catholic secondary school in the 17th arrondiucment and then at the l';lris Political &nce Institute; his ...ife, 1S2b(lIe. the daughter of a provincial indumialist, abo went to Sciences Po and ...orks for a ... etkly ne...smagnine. He is }O. she is 28; thcy have t...o children. They live in Paris, in a modern IivNoomed apartmcnr in the I )th arrondisse ment. They like things to b( 'snug and cosy 1bcy have no interest in ', 'home.impromen!' and haV(C kq>l: their apartment as they (ound it. '1bc: dc.::or:ltion is all 'he ...ork of our predecessor. I didn't much like the green in the dining.room, If ...as r:lther gloomy. hut ...e gOI used to If, and I get bored ...orking on the place I live in: 'I hale thu beading on the doors, /'d like to get rid of it. 1lM: pKudo l6rh or 181h<enlury venring or ...h3ft'VCr it is all over this modem apartment is ghaslly; I put up ...ith it bUI it getS on my nerves,' says Michel. ...ho has re moved some of it but 'couldn't face the rest.'

Michel. who the tSIS In nard, and Monet or lhoc: ...ho does a lot of l andsca Pim.ro', docs nor like dto:m UIIf Nor docs he like still lif es r 'problem pictures', 'Fernand 'U and Sluff like Ih>!, is hO!ribl, , III thC' and havy, " 1"'0 or ! thrtt ' Br:lques can b( InteltSting to 100Ir It, hut ....hen you S ''''0 hu of rhem. all done dto: S2me ..... . It getS I bit rq>Ctiti, a hir nigh;: . marish. . . . I tcod 10 go for land. scapes . . . My grandmother's gor Bonn"d in her apanmenl, the really valuable piclUfe she O"'ns .. won't inheril it because there a , lotS of relatives. But ;1 would be "'onderful to o....n it. I go (Of th-. that IK outside f ashion, SOt! of timeless: 1S2b(11e docsn't enlirely agrtt ...ith her husband: 'There att some rhinss I like a lot in modern an, bu, 'hat's bc<;ause like ,h ,olOlllt . . For eumpJe, Vieira cia Silva (she hc$ilatcs over the name), B0. din, who i$ b(hind you, I like I Iot.' They bolh oc( asionally vis" gtl lcrics, and exhibrrions ....0 or ,hlft times a year. They ..nt '0 thot Br:lque exhibition Ind expeel ,0_ rhe ImprWionists It DUr:lndRud


expensive It would : thinS very ...,.:(OSt ,...icc as much on Pans. toJd ,:en I lot of medioc stuff dtCiJed ,,",e didn', like II. 1m "" n" he furniture ...as no pf"Clh. ! ...,.- " t It's c.empc from C\,lSIom Jrf": You jusl have fO pay VAT ' '"'"ts added lax].' In the living - a u," I and ,hey have some mouern m kcase from urnirure, a boo ,-o<) old f .IJoboi s, sofa from a shop in . .... .,1I2 su,sse s or is 'only In old !>(;cher PeUgeot 404'. ...hereas his bosses '1\1"' goc Jaguars. the dif((lor of IK' ancy has an AlfaRomC(l, a ncia'. 'From lime 10 ime: tcy, y "So you aren'l tr:ldong " on?' y'd Ix relieved if I got a ne... car. They're afraid I'll visit diems ,n my or.'

"J, r 1

sure of himsdf, he ...antS to make In impression.' For :I ....hile, ,he agency had 'a nnlnee manlger from I very modes, background; ....hen he arrived he was so badly drnscd thll il ...as bad for busincs:l . . . he was drnscd like a junior clerk.' 'War ing a 5uit ...ilh narro.... lapclJ. nar ro'" bonoms, a bit short. in "01 loud colour wilh a shirt that docsn', milCh and I narro... tic. for example, by our Sfamlards. that's grony:

'Wc'd sccn a loc of

mediocre stuff'

1lM:ir flu 'is parlly lhe ...orld of my gr:lndparcnrs. my great.gr.mdparcnts, ...ho were g,,1IIh IK;IIgtI'; picrute$ J'; by Michd\ gr:lnd(ather. 'who spent hs ...hole life paiming and never d,d a day's ....ork; othe. pictute$ ... hich lhey have be.:n given_ . Boudin, a BiS$II!". and I Folon. But

'The wodd of my gnndparcnu'

The diningroom tables 2nd cha'''' mahogan y. 18th<enrury Enghsh style. ...ere bought in london 1$ t soon as 'her wcre mmied. '1 don" kno... if ....e'd do the same ,hln,l ,000ay . . . [ can't rememlxr why bought ,hem. but from a bo"r point of vic... Ihey muSI Ix a g ... . Invcstment.' Afrer vlsiling many 'ique shops, ,hey 'nnaUy ,h05(

'On the other hand. b(ing 100 fash ionable is not much b(ucr.' adds Isabelle, who dresses their children 'in (airly daic sryle. paying panic ullf attenlion t the colours. '1 like o a preny smocked dress from time fO "The right 50ft of cloche! for time, and English oercoa,s. Of coutS( it's dono: ...ith an eye 10 fash people in advenising' ion, but not in the silly way some Though at ...etkends, It home, he secretaries t L'Exprns do iI, dress '0'(11/1 ':I filthy pair of trousers', for ing their children in the new kiddy. II'Ork he dte$scs with g!CI' clre and bouliques, Mini.this and Minilh"Ol!. drgance. He buys his suits al with things that (OSt a f ortune and Barnes, the advertising man's nilor, arc a minia,ure copy of the parents' ,n lilt rue ViClor Hugo in Paris. 'nIq're the flgh. sort of clothes for clothes: These ser:retuies 'IK all ptQpk ...1\0 make il in advcrrisins well drnscd, by my Slandards. they ha perfecl colour 5cn", TheK Engl'sh cloth, p. ince of Wales ...eK some girls ...ho arrived, ...ho (ks ...ith a touch of luxury. Not drnscd ...ith terrible tasre, il ...as the SOf( of thing civil servall!s could vulgar, che"Olp, tacky. juS! awful . , . "'C'O" Ind bank managers couldn', and ,hn, afler (our yutS. 'hey Ii t aW2y ...ilh it either. In banking you nml a plain shirl; banking isn'l nally gol il right: lsab(lle has a (riend who is 'always equisitcly ..,y, ...hereas in advertising, pco drnscd . . . ,he effe<:1 is II...ays stun pUI every pcnny Ihey ea.n infO (" t ning, I mean. it's chic. it's gol !CII ' ilts " . ,n my busoncss "'eK cOt!slIntly d:ns <lass ' She pays allention 10 e'"Cry .. ifyl., , " ...,., Ie . there I't ...... , link <ktail.' Michel's father is also --.'2 classes. Casles and it's I . . fIllt'tr of IilIong I product to the 'very "'ell.Jrcs.scd, nothing is ever ,,ght C'UIC. . over-<ione, his colours are al ....ys When someone new ( to the agency, we size them perfe<:1 Retinemelll wilhout lhe u al I glance. shghtnl osten<1lion. He has a tailor . . A guy with a vel Ytt UII and big lapels is compensat in London.' Michel's mother is 'ng or somelhing, he's nO! ry 'equally rcstr:lined. AI....y$ a beauIi .
. . .

some $CCTCIlties do it'

'Noc the w"Oly


A Young Executive Who 'Knows How to Live'

Michd R" an adv<rrising u"uiv< working in a Paris agency, the son of Ihe managing dirC(lor of lhe French subsidiary of a leading mul. linarional corporarion, studied in a privare Catholic secondary school in the 17th arrondissement and thn at 'he Paris Poli'ical Science Institute: his wife, habdle, ,he daughtr of a provincial industrialisl, also weill to Sciences Po and works for a w('(kly nwsmagnine. He is 30, sh is 28: they have tWO children. lbcy liv< in Paris, in a modem five-roomed apmmem in th Urh arrondisse ment. 1ky like thin8$ to '5I1ug and cosf. 1ky have no interest in 'homeimprovemen,' and have kept their apartment 25 they found it, 'The <ior:llion is all ,he work of our pred('(cssor. [ didn't much like the g=n in the dining.room, if "'.s rather 8100my, but we gOt used to it, and I get bored work,ng on the place I live in.' I hare that ading on the doors, I'd like 10 get rid of it. Tho:: pseudo 16th or 18th<entury VCf\C(rlllg o. whuever il is all over this modern apartment is ghutly: I put up with it bUI it gen my nerves: says Michd. who has moved some of it bur 'couldn't face 'We'd a I()( of the I(5t.' mediocre Stuff' 'The world of my grandparcnu' 11lc- dining.room rabks and chaill. mahogany, 18th.cenlury English Their Aal 'is pardy the world of my 'lyle, were bought in London ' gr:lndparents, my greal.gr:lndparents, soon as Ihey were mlfriro. '[ doli t who were grandJ bourgtoiJ': pictures know if wc'd do the Slme <lunll", by Michel's gr:lndfather, 'who spent lodly . . . I can't remmbcr !:.... his whole life palllfing and never bought them, but from a boU 2 8"'; did a d.y's work': other pi(lurc:s poinl of view ,hey muSI bemJll 1 whi<"h they have been given-J "frer vi,iting Boudin, a Bi$ljiere, and a Foloro. BUI ;nVesrmenl: rhey 'finally choSC' ti'luc shops,




Mi<"hel, who 'adOI(5 rhe im in gener:ll and ai;:i nard, and MOr>e1 or w.ho a 101 of landse1. Pissaro , does nOl lik r Nor does he like slilltk.fTt lif 'problem iClul(5': 'Feman': and Sluff I,k Ihat, is horrible thick and heavy . . two Or Ih 11\ Bra'lues can interestin o IoaIr at, bUI when you sec 1"'0ghtu of them, all done the same , .Y " gets. a bit repetitive, a bit n,&" maflsh. . . . I lend to go fOI 111"\4. sopes . . . My grandmothe" SOI l Bonnard her apartment, 'tho: .. mally valuable piClure sllc- 0",,",- ., inherit it b.xau5C ' loIS of relatives. But it wOllld i: wondctful 10 own iI, I go (Of t Iat are outside hion, son 0( IImeleu.' balIe doesn't endrcly agTtt wilh her husband: 'There arc Ihing$ r lik a 101 in modern bur that's because r like !h colounl . . . For example, Vieir:l da Silva (she hesirares over Ihe n.me). It din, who i$ hind you, I likr. 1e&: They borh occ::asionally vi,;, gal. leries, and exhibirions IWO r. rimes a year. They weill 10 lhe Br:I'lue xh;bition 2nd CXf>C'I to _ rhe Impressionists 2' Durand.RIICl
won', III SOIIIf Uf. 01 Ken



expensive. h would Sure of himself, he wanls 10 make For a in ",fII",,n8r...ice .s muchiocreParis. f an impression.'finance while, thefrom manager agency h:ad 'a 5! , 101 of med Sluf ",'" ) a very modest background: when he we didn't like iI, 1m arrived he was SO badly dressed that ,'d sc: doc" c mpt from (USloms ob il b:ad for business . . . he was ,rod"'n Ih#fumilure 'wilS no pr pO [I s e just have 10 pay V"T dressed like 2 junior clerk: 'Wear You k'" ing a suil with narrow lapels, nar dUI !ax].' [1'1 Ih living. 1 heY have som<: modern and row bolloms, a bil mon, in a loud [.-1 Ihat doan't joo'" lid furniture, a bookcase flom colour with a shirt march and a narrow lie, for ",,n( sobois a sof:a from a shop in .' example, by our standards, RoCtie- SUIsse. , . . IIJ or is 'only an old thtt's grOlly.' Lc hcrs ,' T 4()of, whereas his bosses 'Not: the way Ihe "" i't'Ugco l ,, 'h;I"C'),guars. "lfadirIor ,of some secretaries do iI' . e, I ", Y has )n . e 10Romrohy 11>1" um lim 'On Ihe other hand, ing 100 fJsh. " u""'.'. 'From aren'I tr:ldtng " , 'So yOU ionabk is nO! much ner.' adds if" 'd relieved if I visit a news lsallc, who dresses lheir children They're afraid I'll client 'in fairly classic slyk', paying panic. ubr attention 10 rhe colours, 'I like on my car. a pretty smocked drt'$$ from lime to 1"hc .ighl son of ci()(hc$ for lime, and Engli5h overCNIS, Of propIt in advenising' COUI'S( ii's done wilh an eye 10 fash Though .1 wkends, 11 hom<:, he ion, but nor in the Silly way some iI, . fihhy p"ir of {fousers', for sccrcrarics It L'Exprm donewdress the kiddy. wolk he dresses with grcal care and ing their children in and Mini'lhar, cs, Mini,his bouli'lu deg.n,c. He buy, his JuilS ar with Things th1l COlt a fortune ,nd 6Im0:5, the advertising man's tailor, arc a miniature copy of the parents' tn the rue ViCtor Hugo in Paris. 'Tloo:y"re lhe righl son of dOIOO for clolhes.' lbcsc: secretaries 'are all poopIc who mak" it in advenising ,,"'.:II dreuocd, by my Jranduds, lhey have ptrf1 colour xnx. , " There Enghsh cloth, Prine" of Wales ,,-ere some girls wno arrived. who eJo..cks ..-ith a louch of luxury. No! lho: SOfI of Ihing civil xrvantS cOIIId dressed wilh le!riblr: taste, il was r,.nd Nnk managers (ouldn't vulgar, cheap, lacky, iusl wful . . . &tl ......y wilh il eilher, In banking and then, ,fter fOllr yean, lhey fi right: [salIe has a banking isn'I :"nd . plainin :advertiSing, pro n211y gOt it is 'always eKquisilcly y, whercu shirr: It pUt every penny they earn infO friend who Ihe eff1 is .Iways Slun dl(5$cd . . . IoI . In my business we're ning, I mC1n, it's (hie, iI's 801 mal ( n"'lly daifying prople, Ihere dass . She p.ys mntion every . SOX .I claS5C'S caSles, and it's . lillie del.il ' Michel's farher is also . ' fIIalle of fi!ling a produCi to the 'very wdl-<lressed, nOlhing is ever nth over-<lone, his colours are alw:lys When someone r>ew .". e to the agency. we size them perfect. Refinemenl Wilhoul the up a slightCSI OSlcnralion. He has , l1ilor 'tr t glance. . . . " guy with a v<1 'II " and big lapels is (ompensal' in London.' Michel's mmher is Or SOmelhing, he's nor ""ry 'C<ju.lIy teSrr:lincd. AIw:lYs a beauli
. very
was '", 11'1. (:II t.rs
' '


I c?OklOg, 15 in clorhlng and fur, nlshlOg, rhcy manifesr rile nm r, (usal o( prerensioo, of 'cxcns', rile nme sense of 'diSlinCiion', W;lhoul being ':a wir>e-buff ....ho an Iell ooe year from anOlher', Michel is 'somc, thIng of an expcn'. His ( lherin. a la..... ....ho has a huge (ellar, has 510:",ly initiated Ihem. When they . . YISII hIm, Ihey drink 'Margaux 1926, amazing Ihings Ihal Ihey don'l siock in rraurantS any more . : . Wilh (Olleagu, for example, [ m Ihe one ....ho chooses ,he ....ine. They an sec [ kno.... ....hal I'm doing. [ don'! go for some miser able Cahon,f example. I know i, ol 'I 115le Ihe ume as a Sain,. EsfCphe Of a Saint,Emilion. Hardly anyone kno,"", how '0

'A vcry light meal. 1 vcgnbl dish and some chtesc'

:nx ptfill boJlrgtoi 1>3'-C no IISIC, J u"s 3 plinK we of n usc, ,hough e l wc're well aw:are i(s neis!.' (Michel and lnbdlc (OnSllnriy indica!c in this way ,heir 'disunce' from the ways of the older gencnuion of the grallM &1l1rg>iJit-pefhl especially when speaking 10 1 sociologiSf, al beit 1 friend's siSler.) [ubdle's par enlS, provincial indumiaiisis. arc more scvell: or less tolerant: 'Aboul phcnomcnon-pr() vlnCl11 ckrlu who fill the;, pldenl wilh gnome!. windmills and similar rubbish, Mummy u5e<l 10 y, " [('S outr:l.geous; making things like ,hn oughT ,10 ?c Innned " II was terribly aUlhomamn, ':lily fa$CiSI, ""hera! we spoke up for everyone's right 10 have their own 1150:S '

'Provincil ekrlts who fill their gardens with gnOnle$'

fully (UI fur (O!. She, 100, often buys her clolho in London.

I p!'il."""ij

choose wine, so as SOOn as kno.... a lillie bi, aboul 11 like someone who , [iYe.' AI home, Ihey have fc., a magnums of Veuve Oicquo . ... . which Ihey boughl: 'good air" fhings; we drink some I 1I1T1CS a mooth and Ihen 'he httt ' file ChriSfm1l5 presents . . . I II . Whisky, we drink Chivas, "'e'ft J "!.Iher demanding ' They buy 1"--' clarer direct from the p""uccr. ' 'l( n fleen or etghlttn fr:ancs a be. Ide, < forry francs in Ihe sho.... a vcry -, , good w' e.. In Ihe evening, m "'hen Illey arc alone. rhey O! 'a very I. . meal, a vegerable dish and SIJ " chcc$c.' Thq like ro tn"ilc f

knows' i: IQ

"' " I ;;'

bUT Ihq have kcpl up ,h(crr "..tIP" pla)'S bc,ship, Michel no longer hi nlS: 'l i's very stressful . . . you to keep movlllg all t .ime, ",,,, ning up '0 Ihe nel. I. gi>'C5 "'"

Miehd and [sahelle are members cI a golf club: 'it's man'cllous, bUI die: people an'l. They're mosrly gap. [n France ii's always a cerlaln ,ypt' of people. ....hereas in Japan 30 pt'" 10 J cent of Ihe populadon belong liOll golf club: Their initial subscrlp no COS! them 10,000 francs: rhey lCfto longer 80, benuse of the (hild

'HClIlhy xctcise'

d,shes, h:alian Of Olinesc cooking'.

G,,"II tI Mill,," guide, o(len blJ$i. nen lunches ('I only paid for len III them'). He also lik mdi,ional rench food ('pllin home cooki"" ,n oThel words') bUT is nOr kn link local IC$nur:anlS or 'fore'p

cooked in the cmls, and " _ He has earen in W of the 100 bat resraur:anl$ in Paris lis'ed in rhe

curry, ulmon [hal we: buy occuao. :ally. Michel is pa.niculady parrg[

for 'tJla/tI/Xl Ii '" (rtwu, Willi 4t ""

Golf is less hud on che . ' . of fashion, ev, . ,. J<l '"Ics.' 'Viclims . Ih year, IS '01Ix>UI " 's ralking ,II' s.coumry going 10 go cros 1heY have :also boughl sec' I"" racing bicycles and .Iasl wen. for long "des: . , Of'" ___r Ihey " ,"''' ,.., .....llhy exerclSC. . '[IS , L ,,, as a s,,,<.><:nt, M1(, , When he .. jt<l 0 go 10 Ih<c TNP (Theil.e " Aube",il al Populai) in Nl" browiu or Brcchl, 10 5 Gom 11(I have re\e no longer goc:s: Ihey bul Ihc Carlou,hcrie de ily been 10 a ris Opera: Ihey ccnncs and Ihe airly ofiCn. They tf! 10 the cinema f

t1l re

n . sk' d


c ' c . . , c . , " >c , c , c

have a hifi syslem and a lape' .eco.der; Ihey IiSlen fO Ihe cI:wiul record ftviews on Francc-Musique. Midlcl pmicularly lik Mauri (Tht Mlmi<l81 " Fi / l"nI), Schubo::rt QuarteTs, B:I(h. and lhe Bcclhoven QuarrelS. 'I haven', learnl 10 appre ciale purely modern Sluf, Webern f .' Michel docs nO rad and so on many novels bUI intends 10 rad Tony Duverl (he likes boob Ihu lire 'a bil slimulliling'; he read RobbeGrillds LA Gummn but 'couldn'l gel into il'). He mainly r(2.ds 'anylhing in social sludies'onomics.

psychology, ec

1011 Ik {<lIl<lrJ/rau ""X r"'sNt/



on where one encounters "J,rj (exeo::uliv), a sort of juncti ( cultural upiral (usually :!Cicnlilic), who -ed nctfS, endo... w'lh a Imlilional former engi.

liv.;s ho ve aUlho exercise a (delega.ed) managerial publicrily; administr:llilal cxecuinalion) by eum se(lor. by intefl (in Ihe

ha"" achieved promolion l1y (evening c\lISSC:S eIC.) Ihat is din' of a grc;\1 effort 10 cuch up scholaslica al' titln); young gndu' mely sanctioned by diplomas (execpl purely 'inlern for Ihe publiC in IICS of the granclcs ecoln (Polytcchnique and ENA), In ed ns in Ihe private If(lor but dlined, in many cases, 10 movc 10 high posilio lly in markedng or man' If(lor: and, ftnally, exCCutiv of a new Iypc, genen from Ihe .gement. derivmg Iheir educuionai upiul (when ,hey have any) e'slyle bU511\ru schools or polilical :!Cienee inSlilul, and inclined to a lif whICh differs (rom Ihal o( Ihe 'old bourBWisie' from ....hich m:any of lhem

E"Crylhlog secms 10 indicale Ihu lhe diffr(nr modes of :acCC$S (rom lhe .."ks o. by 'lualifulioo) kad 10 very differenl arttrs. The possessors of hfica,lon$ movc much furrher and fl$le., espccilly in lhe SC(Qlld half of t Carttrs (all observers .grte Ihu aulodidaCls have lhei. best chance in (rom elllry 10 mld.cIm:I. i.e.. 10 about age n-40). BUI occupa.' sesso lfe'Cyd also depend on firms: Ihe posrs of qualifications have af!; .t.\ with tile larSCSI firms, Ihe only on which on provide earttr, (U(!urcs f Ihe bureaucr:uic type. And il is among Ihe execulivn of large ":s In ,he priv1!e seCtor Ihal all Ihe fcatures of rhe new bourgeoiS I;f n _ yk arc mOSt strongly developed.


'he" nod :1Oo



A . ' hhQUgh eX(i;Ullves and engineers have !he monopoly o( (hc me:I!lS of ' $YrnboIte appropri ario n o( the culiura\ capital objeclified in Ihe fOlm of 'OSIIIJ rnents, machines and so fonh ....hich arc csscnlial lO lhe eerci.sc of et ofeconomic eapilal over Ihis equipmenl, and derive from ,heir 'fIo - yv l y a real manageri.1 powel and rclarive privileges ....ilhin lhe

I !::..

Model Executives
rapid analysis of ,he 'ex\"Culiw: opponuniries' 2dveni in u MUtUk in [he course of a single ...o:ck ( in July 197 is $uffil;i(m 10 i<knlify (he 5(1 of cha"ctc';st" fa.. [urn of [he new brttd of market ing.oricmro managers uin:d by [Ixe new forms of bU$i organiu


InSlilut Supericur des Affa i ) \If (ISA), generally lislro rOgt"r btt ptrhaps roun<kd off by a ' . sllIdy in an American uni' "

gT.dUtlit h O1Ir h lIN ntw h." ,- f f K hoDJ HEC, INSEIID Ec " Supericure: tk Commere (

personnd, pies service and


helhc:r 'produCl manager', 'pin cngmttt' [these fW() terms arc in English in [he original f(xI], 'ckp. uly utes director', 'usislan! financial manager' or 'genenl ules manager', he mus! above all be a 'ncgoliuor' and a 'communicator', and be


sJ:illtd in '11JjJ-Jtwt ("I,,(/J'; able fO

tions, highly arriculne';

ael ....i,h 'diplomacy': adaprablc (0 'contaCI1 al all levcls': 'accustomed (0 conllelS ....i[h $enial civil sel vants. excellent negotiator': 'upacity for high-level contac[s'; 'Iop-lcvel contans and negotiation'; 'negoti.< .ion ....id, banks'; 'ukc charge of 111ions with Governmem tkpartmenrs, represem the firm on nrional negotiring bodies'; 't:l5re (or contacts and morivtion'; 'r:l5re for problem,solving and human rela,

and adapale . he must Ix ptt pared (0 tom a tt:l.m'; 'to dirccl'" mIIlivalt a staff of t....enty:

""ing tt '11lJ1r f Itttm-wo.k' .. vr (tt tnlJ IIW 'ttnimttling' blM, (tire pt subsrirure ( r authorilJ): 'dynamic o

( English absolutely indisl'Ols.ablr': Engl'sh voubulary; 'mark g' etin 'merehandising' [last r....o_ English ] (1(., and gl op. porluni(c' etc.):

lrkJ Implird m working for -v" In:'!tU 0: J/Tfnlgl} U Tin/l _ P OTI-O

"''Y'. u.lh lIN aplillltkJ tnrJ ':"


An.krsen or Price Waler rr1" ")unior" will pick up or" 110.000 to 80.000, a "seni ndaf antU}JI s!ill 11. 0. The fina 20 00 f !O I ,, ]e7.S t 60,000. The di.trlIW o (J-s tI<>pm ",1 h:15 come up . " OOO to 70,000 1:151 year, gl sr Y 80,000 this ye:ll. In tho: to nb there: are even some " )0,. ,r<J_1}0.000. flJ/Nmwk,1 [shop110. center) _nagm have been _0' r .,ng up tn tho: pme ""ay. ThIS !flO five chJlengt/$ have broken

]IfJ" :u,

i Ihe ma.k.tling audlIW and the pllbiic. rt'ttli01lJ ttlldil(ff. '

An icrsms,

jirr(1#r. _anag" (wilhin tho: mar English] plan. ho: enoov wing [Enghsh} e h,s product's Olln ro improv 10 the ne"" disl/ibulion eir po:sition cuirs, the bsic merchandiser [Enghsh] goes round the hypermar kl't shelvcs trying to gel tho: maxi mum display "footage" for his

"", ' the 'l. "ttt , lho: "':r. rlK fIN,'/fI" "dfJlngtr{.'" hold /IU'f{


....hich mans, (or a had of pies mana ment: 'an on'going co-or<iinuion function ber....:en pies division and general managemrnr': for a chief buyer, 'this position entails full con lro! of liaison between a marketing [English in original] departmem and a production unit'; for a Pin engineer, 'the negotiarions ho: ....iIl have to eonduCf ""ill require: an un tknilanding a!!irutk and the (tiv. ily ....hich his competence justifies'; 'co-ordinuor bet....:en clienu, sales

tiM m mltnltU "WJlitllitmJ,

mobi: he musr npect ro trawl qurntiy, parrleularly 10 11K USA.

mali", and d ynttmir (like the tin'll If,. self. ....hich is 'rapidly expandinJ ,ntO the export field'): 'lead. an mate, form a team'; 'dynamism, drie. opacity for symhesis and tamwork ;
('young nccudve' );

company's produCts), the bllJjnw 1M/hods ""tU)l1 (he nalySl:S rhe com pany's sysrtm lind standuds: like au dLlOlS. his starting salary depends to a IarSC eXtent on rhe praCtices he has been trainro in), and lhe planl _gt" (lilt Anglo-American O{i g'" of this position mc:ans thar the ICinI cnd,dlle is one who has expe' r!tnCt In a chan(r accounring [lir] firm)_ An<.l what of the future? Two - rare b"ds are on lho: horiwn:

frmw,Jplml1li"g will IMYS S

mand for inlrmtU al"ljlQT1, if possible from Pear

ra 70,000-80,000 { ncs year: a ml {01IIF1Ji'" t bc!wttn 60, ttgmt and 90,000. The's sHong <It

A similar profik emerges f..- typical report in L'ExpttfJj 64 (June 1973), p. 139)--tnll1kd 'The New Rare Birds', on utive positions' that re ..,eli ..I for IKk of appllentS':

a n ., ." - -

'A JjrtntI f-"

'ne"" ;:'

profits :Kcruing from {ncir cultunl capilal are al leasl partially by those: who have pow<:r oer ,hi capital, i.e_, rhoS!! who s the onomic capital ncroed ro ensure the conccnrntion and util on of cuhura l capilal. II follows from rhis thaI (heir posirion in ,he class is an ambiguous onc which leads lhem to a highly ambiv 1lcn heren both ,0 {he firm and 10 the 'social orocr'. When making dcrn:nds r I sm to rn . I g in prolC$!, rhey are actuated :.IS much by lheir concero a ta t '!l m the legilimarc distance, C$tablished by academic verdiers, be themselvC$ and ordinary workers, or by meritocr:aric indignation at In; !reu ed like them, as by rhe S!!n!i(: of a real solidarity of condition; '

;opl12{ed ( r



" ,." ,,.!!,,.!,.,-!!!,.,..

The polllair of the modern man ager. as dr:awn in 1973, seems to havc changro recently, no doubl be (luse the ression is cting condi, ,ions more favourable ro rhe old sryle of mllnagemcnr (there is again a demand for Ihe 'lca.der of men' someone who, as an inf ormant 1"" it, 'can y no wirilOUl explaining'2nd an increased demand for pro duCtion specialists and Ics manag inro 'on Ihe ground' ) and e/$ tr:a al$O hause Ihe engineering schools he reaClro to rhe riS!! of the man agement schools (for example, the crealian of tho: inslitute for ,he Sci ences of A(lion al Polyrcchnique in 1977). According to a survey pub lishro in u Nbuvtl E,01IiN1Iim (No yemb.:r 8. 1976), which 'Iueslionro the personnel dirccto/$ of 5,000 companies, firms sdil iook for 'open, mmdedncss" 'dynamism', 'capaciry !O adapt and relate". <abihty !O syn thesie' and 'S!!lfmOliva!ion'. but they also insis[ on 'loyalty' (at intGobain) and 'ream spirit' (BSN and Oreal ) . Some 49 po::rcenr said (hey a!tache<! importance to undidales' vicws on politics an<l tratk unions, 33 percent uid they did nOI (18 percen. did not reply).

and, conversely. their anxious $eifeh for intc:gndon inlo the ,,,'' class. either for rhemso:lve$ or for [heir chiJdn, always includes greater or lesser exttnt, depending on rhe (urrent Slart of their ;, an elemen( of ambivalent resentment towards prizes rhey can completely possess nor completely ignore and n:fus<:_ All these dispositions char:l.(!cristic of the 'cadre' category as a are perhaps most intensely developed among those. who, for J cational capital, or of rhe Iucational capital most valuable at moment or of [ social npirl. n 10 io,-esr it profitably, . galtd to rhe position of IKbnma/IJ, I.e., excc" w hO ' '':;,; ': " : '" :; : ' poliTical Of culfUnl power. Bringing illlO the !( : : lmn! dus Ihe perirbouri5 dispositions which brought lila. in almost all rs to the YOung .. rh positions. they arc op Uf!VCS from the gr:andes k"ob and often from bourgeois families, CIID. ... occupy a large proportion of the new positions crnted in the privHe ..,. lor.31 . The dispersion of Ihis fracdon. a simple category of bute:l.ucratk .... IICS, bUI al a.movemem .of corale defence whkh is affirmed in die repmcmaH:,n It has and glv of ItSeir. expfC$SCS the objective ambi.., of the posmon of the 'cadres , who are condemned to oscillate be"... ; collaboration and distance and therefore to be the objcct of annex,: strategies which enable them to use their solidarity as a balgai", . counter; It also stems from the fan that the term cadre is one of rile '*' which, as rewards attached to the occupation of a position, are importllli weapons and prizes in the games which arc played in and on the gap . tWeen the nominal and the real.


,;::::: :

Although the opposition between the new positiOns, with the correspond ing life,tyle, and the C!t:lblished positions does nOt eactly coincide with the opposition between the private sectot and rhe public sector, it is mJinIJ among Ihe private-s!Or exC(utivcs Ihat one finds the life-sryle charactenl' lic of lhe 'new bourgroisie,.ll And, ahhough Our survey only imrfecrIp Cltures of the new bourgroisie.H it does regisfCf' C:lplures the distinctive f 5(t of slight but systematic oppositions belween the public.sector execu tives-more often originating from the working and lo...r classes. and clOi\er 10 the engineend tnc- privaIC5C(tor executives-younger, P. erally of higher social origin, often graduatcs of HEC Ot Scicn,,"' Po and closer 10 the profmions. Private-sec:tor executi,'es buy slightly mon:: ofteII from antique dealeiS; ehoose Dali and Kandinsky Tluher Ihan Vlamlflck. Renoir and Van Gogh, who are preferred by the pr ivale-seclor cxCC\.Lu.cs; choose the AI FliIglilt and the Ummltlj ,''' Lt l Hand ralher 111 j j lll' L'Armimllt, La Tav;arll, lhe Tuilighl tl jl'" GII<h, Em Kltint NadJ n and XINhwIlZadt; Aznavour, FTlInoise Hardy and Bra.sscns TlI ,lIer rlla , Ixoud, Piaf and Jacqucs Brei; pllilOlOphiol essays and f"Xlry : , : tTllvd. lIislOry :lnd lhe classics. They dcsclibc Ihe ideal friend as . the I 5!ylish Tluher Ihan conscientious, bon vivant and teriOf 15 studied. imaginative and warm, TlIther tllan


short. differing liule wilh rcspe<:1 10 SIIict cultural competence d>jl:ge of composers), private and public.sector exC(utive$ ate clearly in all tile areas which depend on elhos. difl"erenccs would be evcn more marked did nOI nch of Ilie IWO d (onuin a proportion of individuals ....hose cl\araClerislics are (1[tgoO'I in :lnl in the opposing (;Itegory: gr:tda,cs J The grandes ecoles. geois origm, puslng through hIgh posmons m lhe pubhc sector and to f#,ltlh"irim engineers and the prof6sions; private'5C(tor exC( he wOlking or middle classes, ....i,h low qualificuions, who are ,-cr'( ' from , '0 (he publicsector executives and ordinary engineers. . u, ; the" ne... bourgcoii is mai.nly cha.racteriw:i. Y its opposition 10 Id business bourgeoISIe. HaVing achlcved posmons of power al an len belonging ro bigger, (lit as<, more often being graduates. more of ! 1 rc modern firms. tnc private-sector executives are distinguished from (1 Industrial an (ommeial empltS, a .tr:aitioal bourgeoisie with and It 'SOCiety obllallons, by a .more lt iD holidays, Its ter"OnS .modernist', 'younger' hfe-style, certainly one thaI IS more conSiStent ...ilh the new dominant definition of rhe dynamic manager (ahhough . IhI: same opposition is found among the ownermployers) Thus, they much more oflen rnd the finanCIal daily Us Eti]Cs (pcne (ration index 126. industrial employers 91) and economic weeklies (224, Indusllial employers 190); they seem kss Inclined to invest their capital In property; they much more oflen indulge in the sports lhat are al once smm. active and oftcn 'cybernetic', such as sailing, skiing, walCrskiing and lennis, followed by riding and golf; they moce often play parlour games Ihal are both 'intellectual' and smart, such as bridge and especially (hess. Above all, Ihey identify more fully wah Ihe role of Ihe modern rxC(utive who is oriented lowards Ihe oUlside world (along with the public,sector exc.:utives and the engineers, they have the highcsl rate of f oreign lravel) and is open to modern ideas (as shown by Iheir very uent allendance al professional conferences or seminars) . 1\ final, f app3o:ntly minor but very significant index of Ihis opposilion may be In lhe {acl Ihal private-sector execulives far more often keep "hly In the house ....hems the induslrial nd commercial employers most allached to Champagne, Ihe drink of tradi