consumer culture

| May 21, 2015

The question is :For this essay, to gauge your understanding of the theorists and concepts which underpin this course, you are expected to compare and develop Bourdieu’s notion of taste (as distinction/classification) and Latour’s notion of smell (as discrimination/learning). We strongly encourage students to take a creative approach to this essay, aka we are not expecting a simple comparative essay.
Requst: Choose an object of taste, something you or others consume, perhaps coffee, bottled water, surrealist art, cheese, or a kind of music.
Develop a conversation on this object with two of the theorists of taste we have encountered in the course so far: Bourdieu, Latour and/or Hennion.
You are encouraged to do this as a creative essay (written, for example, as an actual conversation between these theorists; as a play, an interview situation where you are a talk-show host; a make-believe symposium where you are the chair; a film script, a short story, a poem) or as an academic essay, if you wish.
Ask questions of this object, comparatively, using their conceptual frameworks, i.e. How is this object classified, and classify the classifier? What ��codes’ of understanding or forms of cultural capital might be required for its consumption? How does it require different degrees of attention, instead? How does it affect the consumer? What techniques of engagement or attachment does it generate? Are there ��amateur communities’ associated with this object of taste?
All genres will be marked evenly; sophisticated, critical, informed writing comes in many styles. You are being assessed on how well you articulate your comprehension of theories of taste given by two of these interesting theorists.

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