Cultural sociology and new forms of distinction

Sam Friedman*, Mike Savage, Laurie Hanquinet, Andrew Miles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years growing sociological interest in new forms of cultural distinction has led some to argue that the advantages previously conveyed by the consumption of 'high' culture 'or 'omnivorousness' are being overwritten by the possession of what has been termed 'emerging cultural capital'. So far, though, this term has only been discussed in passing within empirical work and remains in need of further analytical specification. This special issue seeks to both critically interrogate and develop this concept by bringing together the work of leading cultural sociologists around four key themes: the role of age and generation in the formation of cultural capital; the power of visual display for distinction; the significance of new elite cultures; and the need for methodological pluralism to apprehend the expressions and mechanisms of distinction. This editorial introduction outlines the descriptive terrain on which the concept of emerging cultural capital has rested until now before exploring the common themes that sit across all five papers in the special issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Age
  • Bourdieu
  • Cultural capital
  • Distinction
  • Elites

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