What makes “good” taste? Who decides? And what’s it got to do with inequality? Sociologist Irmak Karademir Hazir grew up watching women in her parents’ clothing boutique. She explains how her fascination for taste emerged from that and why talking about things like fashion, film and music is far from trivial – it’s how we distinguish ourselves from others; how we’re recognised, or dismissed.
Irmak tells Rosie and Alexis how sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu have theorised “distinction”, showing how “highbrow” taste is decided by those with money and other kinds of capital. They also discuss the idea of the “cultural omnivore” and ask: Is what looks like broad consumption – of everything from opera to grime – just elitism in disguise?
Plus: Why are Marvel blockbusters Irmak’s “guilty pleasure”? Why is “symbolic violence” as scary as it sounds? And do we have a moral duty to be honest about our tastes?
Guest: Irmak Karademir Hazir
Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong
Executive Producer: Alice Bloch
Sound Engineer: David Crackles
Music: Joe Gardner
Artwork: Erin Aniker
Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.
Production Note: This episode was recorded shortly before the devastating earthquake in southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria.
Irmak, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended
From The Sociological Review
By Irmak Karademir Hazir
Further reading and viewing