From Cultural Globalization to Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 423
Oral Presentation
Sylvie OCTOBRE , Ministère de la Culture, France
Nicole GALLANT , Centre - Urbanisation Culture Société, OJS, QUEBEC, Canada
‘Cosmopolitanism’ is often used in relation to ethics, politics and migration. But it is seldom employed regarding common and ordinary situations, such as everyday cultural consumption (Cicchelli and Octobre, 2013). However, recent research reveals that in France and Quebec (Donnat, 2008; Octobre et al, 2010; Pronovost, 2013; Poirier, 2012), there is a growing proportion of foreign products and contents in cultural consumption, as well as in tastes, norms, references and representations, especially among young people. Without eluding the dynamics of local cultures, hybridization and mixing (Amselle, 1992), this “de facto” cosmopolitanism is deeply intertwined with the globalization of cultural industries. It may produce in individuals a feeling of cosmopolitanism regarding interests, attachments and imaginaries (Appadurai, 1996), or a feeling of belonging (Gallant, 2012).

Do young people become cosmopolitan via the globalization of the cultural products they consume and their cultural habits (information media, cinema and theater attendance, Internet use and language practices, etc.)?

This perspective enables a reformulation of the question of “distinction” (Daloz, 2013) in two ways which are central to both the sociology of culture and the sociology of social groups. First, it questions the “cultural distinction” and the cultural legitimacy it is based on, either in Bourdieu’s classical view (1979), or in modernized versions, such as omnivorism (Peterson, 1996), or individual plurality (Lahire, 2006). Second, its calls into question the “social distinction”, through the reconfiguration of secondary factors which mark new lines of fragmentation in young people’s cultural universes (Octobre, 2010). This talk will address these question through a comparison between France and Quebec, within a mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative) research program.