Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.08 X 1.25 X 9.19 inches | 1.54 pounds

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About the Author

Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) was one of the most influential social scientists of the twentieth century. He was a professor of sociology at the Collège de France and the director of studies at the école des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His many books include Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market, On Television, Firing Back: Against the Tyranny of the Market 2, and Sociology Is a Martial Art: Political Writings by Pierre Bourdieu (edited by Gisèle Sapiro), all published by The New Press. His book Distinction was named one of the twentieth century's ten most important works of sociology.


A book of extraordinary intelligence.--Irving Louis Horowitz "Commonweal "
Bourdieu's analysis transcends the usual analysis of conspicuous consumption in two ways: by showing that specific judgments and chokes matter less than an esthetic outlook in general and by showing, moreover, that the acquisition of an esthetic outlook not only advertises upper-class prestige but helps to keep the lower orders in line. In other words, the esthetic world view serves as an instrument of domination. It serves the interests not merely of status but of power. It does this, according to Bourdieu, by emphasizing individuality, rivalry, and 'distinction' and by devaluing the well-being of society as a whole.--Christopher Lasch "Vogue "
A complex, rich, intelligent book. It will provide the historian of the future with priceless materials and it will bring an essential contribution to sociological theory.--Fernand Braudel
One of the more distinguished contributions to social theory and research in recent years... There is in this book an account of culture, and a methodology of its study, rich in implication for a diversity of fields of social research. The work in some ways redefines the whole scope of cultural studies.--Anthony Giddens "Partisan Review "