Bourdieu employs several themes in understanding the approach to culture. Among the main theme is the asset approach. According to him, the work of art is a symbolic asset (Bourdieu 206). Another theme is the aesthetic appreciation. Through this, he proves culture as being affiliated to style and features that are aesthetically significant. Further, he uses the theme of classification based on ones class and societal position. Through the reinforcement of the family and school, Bourdieu also brings out the theme of interaction where the different artistic features that define culture interact with each other while aiming at strengthening and reinforcing each other. Through charismatic ideology, the author is also able to show that art can transform one thing to another which is artistic sensible. Through this approach, the art interacts with an individual not because they are special, but because one is privileged. Symbolism is also another approach used by Bourdieu. Through this, he shows that one thing resembles another and is a representation of it. For instance, museums are used to symbolize exclusion and belonging (Bourdieu 214).
Richard Peterson on his article Why 1955, views culture through several themes also. Similarly to Bourdieu, symbolism is profoundly used in understanding the culture. Additionally, there is the use of aesthetic appreciation about different items such as different genres of music. It is important to note that Peterson mainly uses music in bringing out the art of culture. Through symbolism, Peterson shows how different music was used to symbolize a specific meaning. For instance, there are songs that are used to symbolize marriage. Further, there are those used by the male gender to promise marriage to a female who has the will to share their sexual favors (Peterson 164). The rise of the pop music according to Peterson is based on irony. The ironical concept is evident through the blindness created by the commercial culture industry.
The study of culture by Peterson is through the six facets of production nexus. These include industry structure, organizational culture, technology, markets and laws and regulations. Through the use of these aspects, the author studies how they contributed to the inception of a popular music genre; rock n roll which is also referred to as pop. Through the laws and regulations, the author talks about several factors among them copyright law, and the patent law which greatly influenced the rock music in ways that were unintended and unanticipated (Peterson 165). As regards to technology, innovation was the key determiner of the rock music advent. Among the innovations included television and transmitter radio receiver. Through these innovations, the author shows several statistics that are relevant to understanding the inception and evolution of the pop music. For instance, Peterson states Television began to be popular in the US in 1949 (Peterson 168).
Another approach to understanding culture according to Richard is the organization structure which has three main dimensions. One of the most significant dimensions is the number of levels in an organization that is directly proportional to the level of bureaucracy. Richard states The more levels there are, the greater the bureaucracy (Peterson 173). Regarding the industry structure, one has to understand the two words separately. It is important to note that the industry structure varies in several ways which include oligopoly degree and both the vertical and horizontal integration. Though the three work together, they vary independently (Peterson 169). A profound explanation of this approach is the popular music industry in the mid-twentieth century.
Similarly to Richard, Bourdieus approach towards culture is through several ways such are the laws and regulations. Through the laws that govern the work art, it is important to note that these laws are special as regards to the cultural diffusion laws. Another approach or an illustration is that of schools instructions that always allow the fulfillment of a legitimation function. This is used in defining the hierarchy of the valid cultural wealth in a society at a given time (Bourdieu 208). Categorisation of the different classes is through the recognition of great works done by specific individuals. For instance is the pictorial competence which is represented by popular names such as Da Vinci, Picasso, and Van Gogh. The third example is that of the working class visitors behavior which is used to express the exclusion feeling. Through symbolism, Bourdieu shows the representation of several aspects using others. For instance is the museum which is used to symbolize public legacy. Through the monuments present in the museum, the past is illustrated and well understood (Bourdieu 214).
In reading the two articles together, there are several aspects that are drawn which are not seen if the articles were evaluated differently. Among the aspects or factors that result in understanding the art of culture include hierarchy and classes which are represented in the Bourdieu article and not in the Petersons. Additionally, looking at the two pieces concurrently, we can conclude that symbolism is the main factor in understanding the art of culture. This is because, in both pieces, symbolism has been profoundly used to signify something different. Also, the use of the aesthetic classification, societal classes and hierarchy can be termed as important aspects in understanding culture.
Bourdieu, Pierre. "Artistic taste and cultural capital." Culture and society: Contemporary debates (1990): 205-215.
Peterson, Richard A. "Why 1955? Explaining the advent of rock music."Popular music 9.01 (1990): 97-116.
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