Social class and cultural mobility - Reconfiguring the cultural omnivore thesis

Emmison, Michael (2003) Social class and cultural mobility - Reconfiguring the cultural omnivore thesis. Journal of Sociology, 39 3: 211-230. doi:10.1177/00048690030393001

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Author Emmison, Michael
Title Social class and cultural mobility - Reconfiguring the cultural omnivore thesis
Journal name Journal of Sociology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8690
Publication date 2003-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/00048690030393001
Open Access Status
Volume 39
Issue 3
Start page 211
End page 230
Total pages 20
Place of publication London
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Subject 1608 Sociology
Abstract This article explores the idea of 'cultural mobility' both as a way of thinking about the polarizing logic of class relations and practices in contemporary society and as a means by which the debate over the cultural omnivore might be advanced. The concept of cultural mobility refers to the differential capacity to engage with or consume cultural goods and services across the entire spectrum of cultural life, an ability which is itself premised upon an unequal, class-related distribution in cultural competence. Cultural mobility, then, is the ability to move at will between cultural realms, a freedom to choose where one is positioned in the cultural landscape. I argue that the concept provides fertile ground for exploring possible interconnections between a number of divergent strands in current social theory which have largely developed independently of each other. At the same time much of this theoretical effort remains divorced from concrete research agendas. Using data collected as part of a major study of Australian cultural consumption, the article provides a case study of cultural mobility and its class moorings which serves to clarify some of the existing confusions concerning the cultural omnivore.
Keyword Sociology
Cultural Mobility
Cultural Omnivore
Social Class
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Revised and shortened version of a paper originally presented at the seminar on 'New Social Inequalities? The Impact of Class in Contemporary Australia, University of Tasmania, 11-12 December (2001)

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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 23:53:35 EST