Culture and taste in the 21st Century
What is culture? It is a notoriously slippery concept. For some, it signifies the highest achievements of humanity; for others, it is a description of a particular way of life. Culture, moreover, provides a sense of meaning and identity in what might otherwise be a meaningless and disenchanted existence. What is the meaning of taste? What do our tastes say about who we are? What is good taste? Who gets to define what is tasteful? Who are the taste makers? These questions and many more are addressed in this lecture which will provide an engaging and accessible exploration of culture and taste. It will explore the ethical aspect of our tastes and will consider how we make evaluative judgements in everyday situations.
Dr Simon Stewart is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Deputy Director of the Centre for European and International Studies Research at University of Portsmouth. Before arriving at Portsmouth in 2008, he worked as a Fellow in the department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He completed his doctorate at University of Sussex (2006). Simon is the author of Culture and the Middle Classes (Ashgate, 2010) and A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change and is a Board member of the Sociology of Culture Research Network of the European Sociological Association.