The Persistence of Taste: Art, Museums and Everyday Life After Bourdieu, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Persistence of Taste

Art, Museums and Everyday Life After Bourdieu, 1st Edition

Edited by Malcolm Quinn, Dave Beech, Michael Lehnert, Carol Tulloch, Stephen Wilson


386 pages | 47 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138670983
pub: 2018-05-10
SAVE ~$28.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315617299
pub: 2018-05-11
from $24.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book offers an interdisciplinary analysis of the social practice of taste in the wake of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of taste. For the first time, this book unites sociologists and other social scientists with artists and curators, art theorists and art educators, and art, design and cultural historians who engage with the practice of taste as it relates to encounters with art, cultural institutions and the practices of everyday life, in national and transnational contexts.

The volume is divided into four sections. The first section on ‘Taste and art’, shows how art practice was drawn into the sphere of ‘good taste’, contrasting this with a post-conceptualist critique that offers a challenge to the social functions of good taste through an encounter with art. The next section on ‘Taste making and the museum’ examines the challenges and changing social, political and organisational dynamics propelling museums beyond the terms of a supposedly universal institution and language of taste. The third section of the book, ‘Taste after Bourdieu in Japan’ offers a case study of the challenges to the cross-cultural transmission and local reproduction of ‘good taste’, exemplified by the complex cultural context of Japan. The final section on ‘Taste, the home and everyday life’ juxtaposes the analysis of the reproduction of inequality and alienation through taste, with arguments on how the legacy of ideas of ‘good taste’ have extended the possibilities of experience and sharpened our consciousness of identity.

As the first book to bring together arts practitioners and theorists with sociologists and other social scientists to examine the legacy and continuing validity of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of taste, this publication engages with the opportunities and problems involved in understanding the social value and the cultural dispositions of taste ‘after Bourdieu’. It does so at a moment when the practice of taste is being radically changed by the global expansion of cultural choices, and the emergence of deploying impersonal algorithms as solutions to cultural and creative decision-making.


"…the editors draw out the richness of his influence, while also exposing the productive con-tradictions in the diverse ways his work is invoked across disciplines and fields. This editorial strategy is so effective because each paper contributes a new perspective to what Quinn describes as the “socially distributed practice of taste…”

Saul Albert, Loughborough University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Taste, Hierarchy and Social Value after Bourdieu (Malcolm Quinn)

Part I: Taste and ArtIntroduction (Dave Beech)

1. Historical Drag: Bourdieu, Taste and the Bourgeois Revolution (Dave Beech)

2.Transgressions in Taste: Libraries Ornamental, Gastronomical, and Bibliomaniacal (Denise Gigante)

3. Dialectics of Taste and Non-Taste: Archive as Afterlife and Life of Art (Peter Osborne)

4. The Anti-Spectator (Mark Hutchinson)

5. The Configurational Encounter and the Problematic of Beholding (Ken Wilder)

Part II: Taste Making and the Museum Introduction (Michael Lehnert)

6. Musealisierung: Leadership, Tastemaking and Cultural Diplomacy (Michael Lehnert)

7. The (Un)narrated, the (Un)curated (Penelope Curtis)

8. Tasting Rembrandt: Examining Taste at the Point-of-Experience (Dirk vom Lehn)

9. ‘J’adore!’ Aesthetics in Bourdieu’s Account of Tastes (Laurie Hanquinet)

10. For the Love (or not) of Art in Australia (Tony Bennett and Modesto Gayo)

11. Confessions of a Recalcitrant Curator: Or How to Re-Programme the Global Museum (Paul Goodwin)

Part III: Taste After Bourdieu In Japan: A Case Study Introduction (Stephen Wilson)

12. Beside Bourdieu: Japan, Contemporary Art, Weeds and a Fox (Stephen Wilson)

13. Nude Art, Censorship and Modernity in Japan: from the ‘Knickers Incident’ of 1901 to now (Toshio Watanabe)

14. Taste, Snobbery and Distinction on the Periphery of European Bourgeois Hierarchies (Sharon Kinsella, followed by an interview with Stephen Wilson)

15. Grotesque and Cruel Imagery in Japanese Gender Expression: Nobuyoshi Araki, Makoto Aida and Fuyuko Matsui (Yuko Hasegawa)

Part IV: Taste, The Home and Everyday Life Introduction (Carol Tulloch)

16. The Glamorous ‘Diasporic Intimacy’ of Habitus: ‘Taste’, Migration and the Practice of Settlement (Carol Tulloch)

17. Mundane Tastes: Ubiquitous Objects and the Historical Sensorium (Ben Highmore)

18. "Inside-out" taste-making: The appearance of change in everyday style (Maxine Leeds Craig and Susan B. Kaiser)

19. Taste-Cultures in the Black British Home (Michael McMillan)

20. The Sensorial Wall (A Conversation with Sonia Boyce and Gill Saunders)

21. Taste, Gender and the Home: Before and After Bourdieu (Penny Sparke)

Coda: The Tastemaker and the Algorithm (Malcolm Quinn)

About the Editors

Malcolm Quinn is Professor of Cultural and Political History, Associate Dean of Research and Director of Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School, University of the Arts London.

Dave Beech is Professor of Art at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Michael Lehnert is an international relations scholar and cultural manager, and is currently a Director of the Palestine Exploration Fund, the world’s oldest scientific organisation dedicated to the archaeology, history and geography of the Levant.

Carol Tulloch is Professor of Dress, Diaspora and Transnationalism at University of the Arts London, where she is based at Chelsea College of Arts and a member of TrAIN.

Stephen Wilson is a writer, practitioner and theorist who programmes, curates and lectures in contemporary art and is currently a Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate Theory Coordinator at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London.

About the Series


Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General