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Culture and the Middle Classes

by Simon Stewart

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This book is a sociological study of a societal grouping that has the popular title 'middle class'. It argues that it is more precise to describe the middle classes as dominant groupings, and the book draws upon a wide range of characters from such groupings. In a detailed analysis of cultural practices, those making an appearance include omnivores, carnivores, herbivores, the middle-brow, traditional culture vultures, middle class plunderers, the urban arts eclectic and the English gentleman. There is a particular focus on those expressing the 'silver disposition'; predominantly affluent, middle-aged and white, with a taste for conspicuous consumption and established cultural forms. The book brings together a range of disparate sources on the middle classes and offers a sustained engagement with the concept of 'culture'. It illustrates the extent to which social groups utilize the various assets at their disposal and seek to maintain the legitimacy of their cultural practices. The findings emphasise the continuing link between class and taste. Culture and the Middle Classes will be of interest to those working in the fields of class and culture across a range of disciplines, including sociology, cultural studies, social theory, media studies and cultural anthropology.… (more)
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This book is a sociological study of a societal grouping that has the popular title 'middle class'. It argues that it is more precise to describe the middle classes as dominant groupings, and the book draws upon a wide range of characters from such groupings. In a detailed analysis of cultural practices, those making an appearance include omnivores, carnivores, herbivores, the middle-brow, traditional culture vultures, middle class plunderers, the urban arts eclectic and the English gentleman. There is a particular focus on those expressing the 'silver disposition'; predominantly affluent, middle-aged and white, with a taste for conspicuous consumption and established cultural forms. The book brings together a range of disparate sources on the middle classes and offers a sustained engagement with the concept of 'culture'. It illustrates the extent to which social groups utilize the various assets at their disposal and seek to maintain the legitimacy of their cultural practices. The findings emphasise the continuing link between class and taste. Culture and the Middle Classes will be of interest to those working in the fields of class and culture across a range of disciplines, including sociology, cultural studies, social theory, media studies and cultural anthropology.

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