Cultural Trends: Culture, Taste and Social Divisions in Contemporary Britain

Bennett, Tony; Silva, Elizabeth B. and Selwood, Sara eds. (2006). Cultural Trends: Culture, Taste and Social Divisions in Contemporary Britain. Cultural Trends, 15 (2/3). London: Routledge.



From the editorial:
This special issue of Cultural Trends follows on from a previous special issue, Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion (Cultural Trends 50, 2004). Like Cultural Trends 50, it is dedicated to the project Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion: A Critical Investigation, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) between March 2003 and February 2006. This was a large-scale research inquiry which considered cultural tastes, knowledge and forms of cultural participation in contemporary Britain in relation to some of the key indicators of social divisions and differences: class, gender, ethnicity, education, residence, income etc.
The papers collected together in this issue of Cultural Trends reveal the inequalities that characterize the British population’s relationships with culture as being strongly connected to some of the main drivers of social stratification. They leave little doubt about the interconnections between cultural, social and economic inequalities.

As a matter of political convenience, certain sections of the population’s degree of cultural disengagement have tended to be described in terms of social exclusion or cultural deprivation. However, the research reported here suggests that such exclusions manifest the ways in which cultural and economic capital—education and occupational class—work to produce cultural inequalities within the mainstream.

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