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Legitimacy Of Taste And 'Good Taste'
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Univ Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Univ Helsinki, Dept Social Sci, Helsinki, Finland.
Univ Tampere, Sch Social Sci & Humanities, Sociol, Tampere, Finland;Acad Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
2016 (English)In: Cultural Patterns And Life Stories / [ed] Joesalu, K Kannike, A, 2016, p. 393-427Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To what extent is Finnish taste socially differentiated in terms of cultural legitimacy? Is there a consensus amongst the Finns on the nature of good taste? In this chapter we examine these questions by analysing nationally representative survey data (N = 1388) and qualitative thematic interviews (N = 28). The chapter is based on a broader study of Finnish taste, consumption and cultural capital (Purhonen et al. 2014). The results show that a legitimate taste profile is - as expected - most common amongst groups with high social standing, whether this is measured according to social position, education, professional class or income level. In addition, the taste of urban dwellers is more legitimate than those living in rural areas. Also, women's taste is of greater legitimacy than men's. Despite the clarity of the relative differences of legitimate and illegitimate taste, the analysis showed that, in all groups, the most common profile is a neutral one. Legitimacy of taste is closely related to different cultural attitudes. While legitimate taste is strongly associated with a general appreciation of art, illegitimate taste is linked to a reserved, populist attitude towards culture and art (in which support for the arts is a waste of taxpayers' money) and an objectivist understanding of the nature of taste (a belief in general and universal taste standards). The vast majority of Finns, however, are true 'taste democrats' in the sense that they believe that one person's taste is as good as another's. According to this somewhat relativist mainstream view, taste issues are private matters: The boundaries of good taste are limited to manners and respect - or the lack thereof - for other people. In this case the basis of taste is not aesthetic, but ethical and moral.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. p. 393-427
Series
Acta Universitatis Tallinnensis-Socialia, ISSN 1736-941X
Keywords [en]
taste, legitimacy, culture, lifestyle, stratification
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-400861ISI: 000471165400015ISBN: 978-9985-58-819-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-400861DiVA, id: diva2:1382614
Conference
Conference Cultural Patterns and Life Stories in Memory of Aili Aarelaid-Tart, AUG 27, 2014, Talinn, ESTONIA
Available from: 2020-01-03 Created: 2020-01-03 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved

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