Cultural Consumption in a Globalized World : From Omnivorism to Cosmopolitanism

Friday, 20 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Sylvie OCTOBRE, Ministère de la culture et de la communication, France, GEMASS Paris Sorbonne CNRS, France
Vincenzo CICCHELLI, Gemass (Paris 4/CNRS), France, Gemass Paris Sorbonne/CNRS, France
Subject to wider and wider global diffusion, cultural products today are increasingly consumed by audiences that are geographically distant from their sites of production, and that are moreover at times unfamiliar with the specific aesthetic and cultural codes being disseminated; this is especially true for young people’s cultural repertoires. This presentation seeks to examine how young people engage with the globalization of culture from a cosmopolitan perspective, i.e. by putting at test the post-national dimension of cultural consumption. We shall draw on a French survey (N = 1,605) that was designed to describe how young French men and women (aged 18 to 29 years old) consume widely circulated international cultural products and subsequently structure transnational artistic and cultural imaginaries for themselves. Even if this form of aesthetic and cultural cosmopolitanism is socially stratified, it appears so widely shared among young people that we must reconsider the distinctive effect of ‘good taste’ in a post-national frame. First, with regard to the scale of consumption: although the Bourdieusian concept of ‘good taste’ applied to a national framework has been amply discussed (Lamont and Lareau, 1988), the notion of cosmopolitan ‘good taste’ seeks to encompass consumption at a larger scale. Second, with regard to the use of this ’good taste’: Bourdieusian ‘good taste’ applied to a small segment of society that was highly educated and characterized by its penchant for distinctive artworks (such as operas); it thus served as an intra-national social marker (Bourdieu, 1984 [1979]). Third, the cosmopolitan ‘good taste’ takes into account a new shift after omnivorism, in a context of proliferation of cultural lifestyles.