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Bourdieu and Adorno: Converging theories of culture and inequality David Gartman Published online: 25 October 2011 # Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 AbstractThe theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Theodor Adorno both conceive culture as legitimating the inequalities of modern societies. But they postulate different mechanisms of legitimation. For Bourdieu, modern culture is a class culture, characterized by socially ranked symbolic differences among classes that make some seem superior to others. For Adorno, modern culture is a mass culture, characterized by a socially imposed symbolic unity that obscures class differences behind a facade of leveled democracy. In his later writings, however, Bourdieu’s theory converges with that of Adorno. He too begins to privilege the high culture of intellectuals over mass culture by employing the universal standard of autonomy from economic interests. But there remains one vital difference between these theories. Bourdieu grounds the origins of a critical, autonomous culture in specific social structures, while Adorno grounds it in technology. KeywordsCulture. Class. Autonomy. Art. Market Arguably the two most powerful and comprehensive theories of culture to emerge from modern sociology are those authored by Pierre Bourdieu and Theodor Adorno. Both share a fundamental focus on the way that the myriad manifestations of culture in modern capitalist society—art, music, television, film, consumer goods—are inextricably linked with the unequal structures of power and wealth. With Adorno, Bourdieu sees modern society as a structure of domination founded on the unequal distribution of material resources. And for both theories, this structure of economic domination generates a system of cultural domination that unintentionally legitimates its material inequalities. The cultural theories of Bourdieu and Adorno also share a critical intent—they seek not merely to understand the relation between culture and inequality but also to change it, to break the cozy symbiosis between Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 DOI 10.1007/s11186-011-9159-z D. Gartman (*) Sociology Department, University of South Alabama, 307 University Blvd N, Mobile, AL 36688-0002, USA e-mail: [email protected] symbols and privilege in order to transform culture into the force for freedom and equality that it has the potential to become. Despite a similar focus and critical intent, however, the cultural theories of Bourdieu and Adorno have major differences. As I have outlined elsewhere (Gartman1991), these theories postulate widely diverging, almost opposite, social mechanisms to explain how culture legitimates and reproduces class power and wealth. For Bourdieu, the culture of modern society is a class culture, characterized by socially ranked symbolic differences that mark out classes and make some seem superior to others. For Adorno, by contrast, modern culture is a mass culture, characterized by a socially imposed symbolic unity that obscures class differences of wealth and power behind a facade of leveled democracy. Underwriting these different sociological explanations of how culture legitimates class inequality are deeper conceptual differences in their theories of culture. Adorno holds a universalist position with regard to culture, arguing that there exist universal criteria by which the cultures of all groups may be judged. He argues that only certain varieties of high culture embody these universals, while modern mass culture falls far short of these standards. Bourdieu, by contrast, holds that culture is historical and relational. He argues that different group cultures can be understood only by their oppositions and contrasts with one another in the process of historical development. For him, the superiority of high culture in modern society is merely an artifact of the historical power of the dominant class to impose its standards on the whole society. In the last 15 years or so of his life, however, Bourdieu subtly changes his theoretical positions on these issues. Although he never overtly renounces his earlier theory of culture nor formally constructs another, this shift is perceptible in both his theoretical work and his political interventions. Especially in the latter he becomes highly critical of mass culture for placing the profits of the market ahead of the independent cultural standards of autonomous intellectuals. Like Adorno, Bourdieu begins to privilege the high culture of intellectuals over mass culture, using as a standard the former’s“disinterestedness,”or autonomy from pecuniary interests. So his analysis of mass culture in the1990s begins to sound surprisingly like Adorno’s writings of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. But even though the cultural theories of Bourdieu and Adorno begin to converge, they never become totally reconciled because they ground the origins of a critical, autonomous culture in different and conflicting factors: social structure and technology, respectively. The initial differences in cultural critiques One way to understand the initial differences between the theories of culture by Bourdieu and Adorno is to compare their evaluations of Kant’s theory of aesthetics as presented inCritique of Judgment, which both cite. Here Kant argues that beauty is a judgment that theformof an object produces in the perceiving subject a feeling of pleasure that isdisinterested. That is, aesthetic pleasure, unlike other pleasures, is not practical or useful, not based on the subject’s need to possess the physical existence of the object. Rather, it is a purely contemplative pleasure, which seeks merely to maintain the subject’s harmonious state of mind as it perceives the object (Crawford1974). 42 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 InDistinctionBourdieu builds his theory of culture as class legitimation on a strong rejection of Kant’s universal standard of disinterestedness, arguing it is neither universal nor disinterested.“Empirical interest enters into the composition of the most disinterested pleasures of pure taste, because the principle of the pleasure derived from these refined games for refined players lies, in the last analysis, in the denied existence of a social relationship of membership and exclusion….Puretaste [is] an internalized social relationship, a social relationship made flesh”(Bourdieu 1984, pp. 499–500). The social relation expressed in the judgment of pure taste is a historical relation of class domination, for it imposes on all the particular taste of the dominant class, which alone has sufficient resources to be uninterested in the practical value of culture. Aesthetic judgments based on disinterestedness thus make all other classes seem inferior, because their lack of resources dictates that they must always be concerned with the pay-off of culture. Thus, the economic resources of the dominant class are legitimated by making it look culturally superior and thus deserving of more resources. So the pure, disinterested taste of the dominant class is in reality interested, because it functions historically to secure its wealth from the challenge of other classes. Although Theodor Adorno is not uncritical of Kant’s theory of aesthetics, he is sympathetic to his universal cultural standard of disinterestedness. InAesthetic TheoryAdorno argues that when culture is interested and gives consumers immediate sensual pleasure, it maintains economic inequality by providing a soporific, a superficial satisfaction for needs that prevents people from taking action to create a more just and equal society. This is what mass culture does in modern society, Adorno holds. Capitalism turns culture into another commodity that must make a profit on the market. This commodification of culture forces cultural producers to cater to the largest number of consumers, who demand substitutes for needs denied them in capitalist production, such as individuality and freedom. Thus, an interested, commodified culture legitimates the status quo by accommodating the victims to the inequalities of capitalism. Adorno holds that only those varieties of high bourgeois culture that remain disinterested or autonomous from the practical demands of the market play a critical or progressive role. Unconcerned with sales, these hold out the promise of human happiness in their beautiful forms, but deny the realization of happiness by simultaneously revealing the ugly antagonisms of the present society. Adorno argues that by revealing that life could be happy, but is prevented from being so by an unjust society, disinterested art delegitimates existing inequalities and stimulates social change. Consequently, this disinterested high art stands on the side of the oppressed in history. One of the basic human rights possessed by those who pick up the tab for the progress of civilization is the right to be remembered. . . . This right demands that the marks of humiliation be committed to remembrance in the form ofimages.Art must take up the cause of that which is branded ugly. In doing so, art should not try to integrate or mitigate ugliness, or seek to reconcile it with its existence by employing humor, which is more repulsive than all the ugliness there is. Instead, art has to make use of the ugly in order to denounce the world which creates and recreates ugliness in its own image (Adorno1984,p.72). Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 43 Against Bourdieu, then, Adorno holds that Kant’s disinterested aesthetic is not the particular taste of the dominant class, historically defined and imposed as a standard on all and thus resulting in the legitimation of social inequalities. Rather, he sees it as the universal criterion of art that is critical of social inequalities. Further, he denies that the interested aesthetic of immediate pleasure is the authentic expression of the relational position of the working class, which is asserted by Bourdieu and others. Instead, Adorno holds thatthisaesthetic is the inauthentic one, for it is imposed on all of society by the market and serves to legitimate inequalities by obscuring real class differences. While Bourdieu sees modern culture as a ranked diversity of subcultures that simultaneously symbolizes class positions and makes some seem superior to others, Adorno sees it as a homogeneous unity of superficial pleasures, imposed on all, that obscures class inequalities altogether. Thus for him what is oppressive about this culture is that it has virtually eliminated the disinterested high culture that provides a standard of criticism, that the pressure of the market has leveled all cultural expression to simplistic gratifications that reconcile the oppressed to their own oppression. Adorno on autonomous culture, mass culture, and leveling Adorno acknowledges the continued existence of critical art that exposes the gap between potential happiness and existing repression. This is especially true in his specialty field—music. Here he argues that modern music like Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone compositions illustrate the critical tension between the ugly reality of instrumental reason and the beautiful potential for a reconciled, rational society (Adorno1973b). Yet, he laments the increasing rarity of critical art in monopoly capitalism, in which all human needs, including cultural ones, are reduced to commodities sold on the market. When culture becomes just another money-making industry, there is an inevitable tendency to reduce cultural expression to products that offer immediate pleasure and eliminate the painful reminders of repression and ugliness. The rise of monopoly capitalism concentrates power into fewer and fewer hands, thus intensifying the alienation of work and depriving people of their needs for freedom, individuality, and sociality. Under these circumstances, the promise of happiness in authentic art becomes an unbearable reminder of the unhappiness of damaged lives.“The masses want the shameful difference separating art from their lives eliminated, because if art were to have any real effect on them it would be that of instilling a sense of loathing, which is the last thing they want”(Adorno1984,p. 24). So they demand pleasure now, in the form of consumer goods that deliver superficial, fetishized substitutes for the real satisfactions denied them by society. This demand provides the basis for a profitable industry that produces cultural commodities that console people for their alienating jobs. The freedom and individuality that monopoly capital takes away from it victims in their work lives is returned to them as ersatz satisfactions in their leisure lives—for a profit. Art thus loses its purposelessness and is reduced to another means of making money. Adorno argues that the emergence of a profit-making mass culture in monopoly capitalism destroys the erstwhile gap between high and popular culture, to the 44 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 detriment of both. Authentic high art, which criticizes society, exists only when culture is autonomous, free from consumer demands for immediate usefulness. This autonomy exists, Adorno argues, mainly in the early bourgeois era, the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Before this period artists were generally feudal retainers directly controlled by aristocratic patrons, who used art to glorify their power and wealth. The early bourgeois era freed artists from feudal dependency by creating a market for their works in the rising bourgeoisie, which had the education and leisure to cultivate the image-consciousness necessary to appreciate disinterested, sublimated artistic forms. The anonymity and dispersion of this bourgeois market demand provided artists with autonomy from the direct control of individual patrons and allowed them to develop independent aesthetic forms. But art in this early era was only partially autonomous, Adorno argues, for artists were still dependent on the general market demand of bourgeois consumers as a group. Bourgeois art thus became purposeless for the purpose of the market (Adorno1984, pp. 320–321;1991, p. 55; Horkheimer and Adorno2002, pp. 127–128). This new, partially autonomous art of the early bourgeois era stood in stark contrast to popular culture of the masses, which was not without progressive elements. The economic status of the lower classes deprived them of the education and leisure necessary to cultivate the appreciation of sublimated forms. Consequent- ly, their amusements and entertainments were characterized by rebellious physicality and crude mimicry, which testified both to the deprivation of the masses and their refusal to accept it suplinely. For Adorno, this gap between high and low culture expressed the truth of an oppressive society. The purity of bourgeois art, hypostatized as a realm of freedom contrasting to material praxis, was bought from the outset with the exclusion of the lower class; and art keeps faith with the cause of that class, the true universal, precisely by freeing itself from the purposes of the false. Serious art has denied itself to those for whom the hardship and oppression of life make a mockery of seriousness and who must be glad to use the time not spent at the production line in being simply carried along. Light art has accompanied autonomous art as its shadow. It is the social bad conscience of serious art. The truth which the latter could not apprehend because of its social premises gives the former an appearance of objective justification. The split between them is itself the truth: it expresses at least the negativity of the culture which is the sum of both spheres. The antithesis can be reconciled least of all by absorbing light art into serious or vice versa. That, however, is what the culture industry attempts (Horkheimer and Adorno2002, pp. 107–108). The age of monopoly capitalism, which follows this early bourgeois age of competitive capitalism, conspires to destroy this bifurcated culture’s testimony to an unequal society by leveling the difference between high and low culture into a mass culture. During this age capitalists like Henry Ford pioneer methods of mass production that are so expensive and require such a large scale of production that capital becomes concentrated into large, bureaucratic corporations. Due to the planning required by such large firms, Adorno sometimes calls this new stage “administered capitalism,”or simply“the administered society.”When such large, totally rationalized mass-production corporations seize control of the production of Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 45 cultural products, the result is the loss of oppositional elements in both high and low culture. The autonomy of high art from the market is destroyed, and it is leveled into a homogeneous, standardized mass culture whose sole purpose is to make money by giving consumers what they want—immediate gratification of desires repressed by the totally administered society. The crude physicality and rebellion of popular culture, which testify to the deprivation of the lower class, are also destroyed, as mass culture sanitizes and“civilizes”the expression of this group to make it acceptable in“polite society.” In various writings, Adorno discusses two interrelated factors that force the corporate mass-producers of culture to abandon the aesthetic diversity that symbol- izes social differences and to adopt homogenized goods—the technology utilized by cultural suppliers, and the demand of cultural consumers themselves. On the supply side of the cultural market, the search for profits leads corporations to lower costs by mechanically producing large quantities of the same products. Just as Ford was forced by the high costs of specialized machines to eliminate all car models but one—the standardized, unchanging Model T—so the mass producers of films, music, and radio and television programs are similarly forced by production costs to focus on a few types with standardized formulas. When Adorno speaks of the“technology”of cultural production leading to standardization, he understands this term broadly to include not merely the mechanical apparatus but also, and more importantly, the administrative apparatus that organizes and controls human work. Citing Max Weber, Adorno (1991, pp. 95–96) argues that bureaucratic corporations reduce the diversity of human tasks in order to impose abstract, standardized rules that allow centralized control.“Te ch n i c a l rationality today is the rationality of domination. It is the compulsive character of a society alienated from itself. . . . For the present the technology of the culture industry confines itself to standardization and mass production and sacrifices what once distinguished the logic of the work from that of society. These adverse effects, however, should not be attributed to the internal laws of technology itself but to its function within the profit economy”(Horkheimer and Adorno2002,p.95).Soitisthe imperative to dominate alienated labor within the corporation for the sake of profit that leads to the standardization of work and its cultural products alike. A similar relation between the concentration of power in oligopolistic firms and the homogeneity of cultural products has been documented by the production-of-culture perspective in sociology (see DiMaggio1977). Adorno argues, however, that the leveling of cultural diversity is driven not merely by the corporate imperative of technological domination but also by the demand of consumers themselves. The alienated consumers of the administered societywantwhat is forced upon them by their corporate masters, because their needs are just as much products of the technological apparatus as the goods they consume. As workers, they have been standardized and homogenized by the same production process that levels and standardizes cultural goods.“The might of industrial society is lodged in men’s minds. The entertainment manufacturers know that their products will be consumed with alertness even when the customer is distraught, for each of them is a model of the huge economic machinery which has always sustained the masses, whether at work or at leisure–which is akin to work. . . . The culture industry as a whole has molded men as a type unfailingly reproduced in every product”(Horkheimer and Adorno1972, p. 127). 46 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 It is not just workers, however, but also the bourgeois who have been molded by the apparatus of technological domination, which controls them as much as they control it. “The mechanism of psychic mutilation upon which present conditions depend for their survival also holds sway over the mutilators themselves, and if these are similar enough to their victims in terms of drive structure, the victims thus can take some solace in the fact that they can also partake of the commodities of the dominant class to the extent that these are intended to appeal to a mutilated instinctual structure”(Adorno1989–90, p. 49). From this mass culture consumed by the dominant and dominated alike there emerges an identification between classes, a pseudo-democracy that serves to conceal the continued existence of real differences in power and wealth (Adorno1993,p.22). Adorno gives numerous examples of this leveling process, which results in the collapse of the class-symbolizing differences between high and low culture. But perhaps his most convincing case for leveling is classical music, the art form he knows best. Although he argues that composers like Schoenberg continue to produce autonomous, critical music that carries the promise of happiness but exposes the ugliness of the existing society, he shows that many classical composers have succumbed to the imperative of the culture industry to offer immediate gratification. In hisPhilosophy of Modern Music(1973b),Adorno is highly critical of the compositions of Igor Stravinsky, comparing them unfavorably to Schoenberg’s. While the latter’s highly technologized serial music realistically reveals the individual struggling in the clutches of the collective domination of instrumental reason, Stravinsky’s primitivism, exemplified inThe Rite of Spring, abandons reason altogether and celebrates the return of humans to an infantile state of nature. In this piece the individual joyously surrenders itself to the primitive collective in an act of self-sacrifice, symbolizing an abandonment of the ego and its rational relation to the world. Here, as in mass music, the negativity of denial and historical suffering is displaced by the positivity of total fulfillment in the eternal now. Seeing parallels with the Nazi destruction of individual freedom by the dominance of the collective Volk, Adorno argues that Stravinsky’s music models the submission of humans to a totalitarian collective of hysterical obedience. This leveling of differences between high and low culture occurs not merely in the mass production of new art forms, Adorno argues, but also in the mass distribution of older forms that were progressive in their day. For example, to facilitate the consumption of classical music by masses of radio listeners whose aesthetic sensibilities have been dulled and degraded by alienated work, the culture industry condescendingly instructs them in simplistic formulas of“music appreci- ation.”Instead of raising the masses to the level of high culture, such distribution strategies lower culture to a simplified fetish. For example, Adorno (1993,pp.31–33) cites a popular book of the 1930s that purports to teach listeners to recognize the main themes of famous symphonies by giving them lyrics that can be easily memorized. This focus on the thematic fragment diverts attention from what it essential in music— the structure of the composition, the relation of the parts and their development. This device reduces culture to a set of facts, mere information to be used as a status symbol to display one’s superiority over others and compensate for the lack of real power (Adorno1993,pp.27–29, 32–33). The leveling and homogenization of culture under the imperatives of monopoly- capitalist production and distribution creates a dilemma for the culture industry, Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 47 however. Although Adorno argues that consumers are conditioned by their standardized jobs to accept and even demand these standardized cultural products, he also holds that this conditioning is never complete. Human beings can never be totally reduced to standardized things, because they are inherently thinking subjects with free will (Adorno1991, p. 80). To grasp and to dominate these potentially resistance subjects, the culture industry must offer products that promise freedom and individuality while in reality denying both in order to produce a profit. This is accomplished by incorporating superficial symbols of these desired qualities to disguise the underlying sameness, a trait that Adorno labels pseudoindividuality and develops in his infamous analysis of jazz. He argues that mass music must simultaneously conform to established conventions to facilitate production and distribution, but also deviate from them to disguise standardization and give consumers substitutes for denied individuality. Jazz accomplishes this by following standardized forms of rhythm and tonality, but disguising these with superficial deviations that make each piece seem endlessly changing and unique. For example, most jazz pieces incorporate simple melodies that are merely repeated, not developed as in classical music. This simplicity allows it to function as a means to an ulterior end—a musical accompaniment to dancing. Yet, the melody is also departed from in instrumental improvisation, in which players spontaneously create random variations on the theme without altering its basic structure. Adorno concludes that jazz is“a reproduction which respectfully dresses up its bare walls in order to disguise its inhumanity, but which helps to prolong this inhumanity surreptitiously in doing so”(Adorno1989–90, p. 56). Due to these mass-market imperatives of cultural production and distribution, Adorno believes that the existence of a critical of high culture is precarious at best in monopoly-capitalist society. In this society cultural producers lose their autonomy, which rests on a source of economic support that does not interfere with production by demanding practical results like market sales. Adorno holds out only one such source of support for critical high culture in these circumstances—the private wealth of individual intellectuals or their benefactors. InMinima Moralia,his book of reflections and aphorisms written during his exile in the United States, Adorno writes that only“the man of independent means”can avoid the increasing instrumentalization and commercialization of culture (Adorno1974, p. 21). He recognizes the irony, however, that the individual wealth that confers autonomy on the privileged intellectual most often comes from the commercial world itself, so that “his own distance from business at large is a luxury which only that business confers”(p. 26). So in the end even the independent intellectual or artist remains entangled in the capitalist society that he seeks to escape. The only advantage of this semidetached cultural producer is his“insight into his entanglement”(p. 26), or, to put this in more contemporary terms, his reflexive knowledge of his own social situation. Adorno also recognizes the shameful behavior often motivated by intellectuals’ reliance on private wealth—the vicious competition between supplicants for the benefactors’support. He concludes that the only responsible course of behavior in such a situation is“to deny oneself the ideological misuse of one’s own existence, and for the rest to conduct oneself in private as modestly, unobtrusively and unpretentiously as is required, no longer by good upbringing, but by the shame of 48 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 still having air to breathe, in hell”(pp. 27–28). So Adorno seems to assert that the autonomy of critical cultural producers ultimately rests on acts of individual will, fortified by guilty knowledge of their own privilege. But this is a very weak reed on which to rest the continued existence of critical culture, which may explain why he is so unrelentingly pessimistic about it. Adorno’s reliance on private wealth as the foundation for cultural autonomy surely reflects his own biography, as well as the history of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, with which he was affiliated for almost his entire career. He grew up the pampered son of a well-to-do wine merchant and a mother of noble pedigree, both of whom economically indulged his musical and intellectual pursuits. He became aPrivatdozent(an unsalaried lecturer supported by student fees) at the University of Frankfurt, where he became associated with and ultimately employed by the Institute for Social Research, which was funded privately by an endowment from a rich German grain merchant. But the Institute’s members were forced to emigrate to the United States in 1934 by the Nazi persecution of left-wing and Jewish professors. This experience must have impressed on Adorno the danger of relying on state funding for intellectuals, since the political demands of the state can be every bit as damaging to the autonomy of culture as the economic demands of the marketplace (Jay1973; Wiggerhaus1994). In his American exile, Adorno became almost entirely dependent for economic support on the privately endowed Institute. The Depression, however, severely depleted the value of its investments, forcing the director, Max Horkheimer, to look for alternative methods to support the staff and its work. Securing university positions for members in the United States was difficult, not only because of the language barrier and shortage of openings but also because of the nature of the Frankfurt School’s work. While most American social scientists were dedicated to empirical research on social problems that could yield incremental improvements in capitalist society, the Institute’s research was more theoretical and philosophical, and ultimately dedicated to the revolutionary change of society as a whole. The only way to support the Institute’s theoretical research was to engage in American-style empirical projects that attracted private funding from foundations like the American Jewish Committee. Although these projects entailed some compromises with respect to methods, they did allow the Institute to keep together its core members, which included Adorno, and to test the empirical implications of its theoretical work, which was continued in their spare time (Wheatland2009). Thus, before he returned after the war to the University of Frankfurt at the invitation of the new German state, Adorno’s work as an intellectual was supported almost exclusively by private funds, which surely shaped his ideas on the foundation of cultural autonomy. This presumption made him very pessimistic about the prospects for the continued existence of a critical high culture that could resist accommodation to the imperatives of the market. Bourdieu against Adorno on mass culture, autonomous culture, and leveling Like Adorno, Bourdieu also recognizes the existence of a popular culture of immediate gratification that stands in contrast to a high culture of ascetic Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 49 contemplation. But Adorno’s theory of“mass culture”differs from Bourdieu’s analysis of“popular culture”in important ways. Bourdieu argues that this culture is the authentic expression of the working class’s socially conditioned desires. Being raised in families in which material resources are scarce, workers have to be constantly concerned with acquiring the necessities of life. They thus internalize a habitus, a set of unconscious dispositions, that privileges the functions of things over their forms or appearances. This habitus motivates them to consume functional goods that assert their solidarity with the collective class, not formalized goods that assert their distinction as individuals. Only the bourgeoisie has sufficient economic capital to instill a habitus conditioning a taste for freedom, that is, cultural goods that show a distance from necessity by a concern for aesthetic form or appearance. By consuming such aestheticized goods, members of this class unintentionally distinguish themselves as individuals and set themselves apart from the mass of humanity. Thus, for Bourdieu popular culture must be judged relative to workers’ social position and cannot be compared to high culture on some universal criterion of worthiness, as Adorno seeks to do. He holds that it is not inferior to, but relationally opposed to, the high culture of ascetic disinterest, in ways dictated by the class position of its consumers. Bourdieu’s position of socially relative differences in class tastes contrasts with Adorno’s assertion of a universalism of human needs across classes. The latter attributes to workers the same need as the bourgeoisie to assert themselves as free, self-determining individuals, and thus presumes that they ultimately cannot be content with standardized goods, which are imposed on them by monopolistic corporations, not chosen freely to match their desires. Consequently, even the homogeneous mass culture must provide the illusion of individuality in goods to appeal to this need. But Adorno’s universalistic concept of individuality, unlike Bourdieu’s relational concept, is not achieved in opposition to others, by asserting an invidioussuperiorityover them. For him, individuality is merely the right to be differentfrom others, which can be achieved only in collective solidarity with other free individuals. Only the cooperation of a society of individuals can provide the security that is the foundation for the freedom of each to be different from others. Adorno argues, however, that the emergence of the totalitarian society of administered capitalism denies this need for individuality and destroys the high culture that keeps its promise alive (Witkin2003, pp. 6–12). This brings us to the second, and arguably the most important, of Bourdieu’s differences from Adorno. For the latter, the sin of modern culture is its collapsed sameness, which accommodates all of humanity to society’s denial of freedom by its standardized and superficial pleasures. The mass culture of monopoly capitalism levels the differences between high and popular culture, and legitimates social inequalities by obscuring the real social differences between the classes. Because all classes consume the same standardized cultural goods, class distinctions are hidden behind the appearance of a democratic culture shared by all. For Bourdieu, by contrast, the problem with modern culture is not its collapsed and standardized sameness, but its hierarchical and differentiated nature, which makes some seem superior to others. Because the dominant class has the economic resources to“throw away”on cultural products that have no immediate benefit, they seem individually gifted and selfless, above the base struggle for survival. So culture legitimates class 50 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 inequalities not by hiding them, but by symbolically displaying them in such a way as to make some seem deserving of their unequal rewards. Bourdieu’s early works—those before about 1988—contradict Adorno’s idea of cultural leveling by demonstrating that differences between high and low culture persist into contemporary society. He labels these two halves of the cultural field, respectively, the subfield of restricted or small-scale production and the subfield of mass or large-scale production. Bourdieu agrees with Adorno that the defining difference between the two cultural subfields is the former’s relative autonomy from the marketplace or economic field. But he conceives the chronology of and social conditions for the emergence of the autonomous realm of high culture differently from Adorno. As we saw above, Adorno places the emergence of a partially autonomous high culture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when the rise of a bourgeois class of industrialists and businessmen provides a market for art, thus freeing artists from the direct control of feudal patrons. The anonymity and dispersion of market demand provides artists freedom from the control of particular individuals and allows them to develop independent, critical aesthetic forms, even though they are still dependent on the general demand of bourgeois consumers as a group. But Adorno argues that this partial autonomy is revoked in the early twentieth century by the rise of the large, monopolistic corporations of the culture industry, whose concentrated power allows them to manipulate directly all culture, high and low, to capture the largest markets and highest profits. By contrast, Bourdieu (1996, pp. 47–112) argues that an autonomous high culture of restricted production emerges in a later period—the middle of the nineteenth century—and sees its autonomy resting on a different foundation. He holds that in France before this period the literary field was divided largely into two markets, both of which were dependent on a particular class for sales. Writers from bourgeois backgrounds produced works in the style of formal Romanticism, which appealed to the aestheticizing habitus of other bourgeois. Writers from the popular classes produced works in the realist style, which appealed to their functional habitus. Bourdieu argues that the autonomy of literature from a specific class market was pioneered by writers from a class position between these extremes, the intellectual professions, whose habitus inclined them to precision and impartiality. These writers created a neutral, art-for-art’s-sake style that stripped writing of social content and emphasized form itself. This style was supported not by classes external to the field but by artists and writers within it, especially the expanding ranks of the great bohemian reserve army of underemployed cultural producers. Members of this group, imbued with the autonomous aesthetic standards by the high-art subfield to which they aspired, could appreciate and support an art of pure form that did not cater to the immediate tastes and interests of classes in the economic field. Bourdieu argues, however, that this hard-won autonomy of the cultural subfield of high culture ultimately binds it back to the field of economic classes through a legitimation function. Even though the newly autonomous works of art no longer reflect the immediate interests of the economic bourgeoisie, members of this class purchase the works of the most successful and conservative artists from the autonomous art subfield, because their habitus privileges the form of things over their function. And because such works are concerned with autonomous aesthetic forms and not with immediate economic gain, they seem more prestigious for being Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 51 above the selfish, crass materiality of everyday life. Consequently, the wealthy bourgeois who“throw away”their money on this autonomous high art with no immediate pay-off seem superior to the masses who consume culture from the mass producers, who are obviously out to make money. The very autonomy or disinterestedness of art thus unintentionally legitimates and reproduces the economic interests of the bourgeoisie. Bourdieu’s vicissitudes: Moving toward Adorno’s position on critical, autonomous culture Before about 1988, Bourdieu’s criticism of autonomous high culture as an unintentional yet powerful legitimation of class inequality is unconditional and unwavering. But beginning around this date he begins to backpedal, and by the end of his life in 2002 he is denouncing the debasement of autonomous culture by the mass market as if channeling the ghost of Adorno. Incontrovertible evidence of Bourdieu’s changing analysis of culture comes in a 1989 address, in which he declares:“I am ready to concede that Kant’s aesthetics is true.”Here he recognizes that Kant’s concept of the beautiful as pure, disinterested pleasure is a“(theoretical) universal possibility,”which is both possible and desirable for all humanity (Bourdieu1998c, p. 135). Bourdieu thus modifies his relational position, which sees the different class cultures as equally valid historical products, for a more universalistic position like that of Adorno, which privileges autonomous high culture over interested mass culture. One factor responsible for this change is surely Bourdieu’s difficulty in reflexively accounting for his own theory of culture. The inescapable conclusion of the relational cultural theory he presents inDistinctionis that all knowledge, without exception, is interested. Even the high culture that portrays itself as autonomous and disinterested has an interest in domination, since its consumption by the dominant class serves as ideological proof of the personal superiority of its members, and thus leads others to misrecognize the economic foundation of its privilege. Despite this assertion, however, Bourdieu argues that scientific objectivity is possible, and claims such a status for his own work. As a participant in the subfield of high intellectual culture, how does he claim to escape the ubiquitous bias postulated by his own theory? He does so in several ways. First, Bourdieu seeks to base intellectual objectivity on a reflexive sociological knowledge of the way that factors like habitus and cultural capital operate in intellectual fields to determine perceptions and preferences. With knowledge of these factors, he claims that he and other scientists can consciously neutralize their effects and ensure the autonomy of scientific knowledge from interests (Bourdieu and Wacquant1992,pp.36– 46). This is similar to Adorno’s claim, discussed above, that intellectuals semi-detached from the business world through private wealth have the advantage of insight into their own entanglement in this world. In both thinkers, however, this claim has a distinctly hollow ring. Any beginning student in the sociology of knowledge can immediately identify the problem here. What ensures that the intellectual’s knowledge of the social factors that bias knowledge is not itself biased? And thus we begin an infinite regress that can find no ultimate grounds for knowledge claims. 52 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 Bourdieu’s second basis for objectivity or disinterested knowledge is stronger but also problematic. He argues that, unlike the rest of the social world, the intellectual fields comprising the subfield of restricted cultural production can produce objective knowledge because they are insulated from the bias of economic interests by independent sources of economic support. The main sources of such support that he mentions are the internal markets of intellectual fields (i.e., intellectuals purchasing other intellectuals’work) and the state. Both sources of support give scholars, artists, and scientists sufficient economic security that they can be unconcerned with the economic practicality of their ideas, and thus establish strictly intellectual standards against which to judge each other’s work. There is, of course, competition between participants in these fields, but not for economic capital (material resources). Participants compete for symbolic capital, that is, recognition of their work by other intellectuals in the field. Thus, the actions of participants in intellectual fields are governed by“interests”that are fundamentally different from the economic interests. Socialization into these fields imbues intellectuals with an“interest in disinterest- edness;”that is, they are taught that recognition is achieved by showing a concern for universal ideas, and a concomitant unconcern for practical applications or pecuniary rewards (1998c, pp. 75–123). Thus, in his later works Bourdieu sets up a sharp opposition between the interested knowledge of those in the economic field and the disinterested knowledge of participants in the autonomous cultural subfield of restricted production. The standard of knowledge is now universalistic, not relational and historical; all humanity has the potential to grasp the beautiful and the true. But only those in the subfield of autonomous or high culture have access to the independent economic resources that turn this potential into reality. Others are“deprived of the adequate categories of aesthetic perception and appreciation”by the unequal distribution of the economic resources that are the necessary condition of this realization (Bourdieu 1998c, p. 135). At the same time that Bourdieu’s changed theory praises the superiority of high culture, it also judges the practical aesthetic of the working class as degraded and inferior. He writes inPractical Reason(1998c, p. 137) that intellectual praise for working-class culture is a form of radical chic,ressentiment,and class racism. Although such praise seems to validate politically and ethically“the masses”or“the people,”it really serves to enforce their domination by transforming“a sociolog- ically mutilated being. . . into a model of human excellence”(Bourdieu and Wacquant1992, p. 212). Now Bourdieu holds that the simplistic validation of working-class culture as equal to or better than the autonomous high culture of the upper class serves to enforce class inequality by accepting or obscuring the inequality of economic resources that gives rise to class differences in culture to begin with. This“radical”inversion of the hierarchy of class cultures prevents the mobilization of what he calls a“Realpolitikof the universal.”By this he means a struggle by intellectuals and their allies that defends the institutional autonomy of intellectual activity, but simultaneously fights for the more equitable distribution of material resources in order to ensure access to disinterested intellectual activity for everyone (Bourdieu2000, p. 80). Bourdieu’s new position thus asserts the universal superiority of the disinterested high culture of intellectuals and artists. But this assertion raises more fundamental Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 53 questions. What about this high culture makes it universally desirable for all human beings, regardless of society or social position? Bourdieu states inPractical Reason (1998c, p. 135) that there are universal“anthropological possibilities”inherent in humanity that are developed by this culture, and that Kant sketches an analysis of them. One of these universals is ascesis, or self-discipline. Bourdieu asks himself: “Is there not something universal about culture? Yes, ascesis. Everywhere culture is constructed against nature, that is, through effort, exercise, suffering: all human societies put culture above nature….Itisinthis sense that we can say that‘high’ art is more universal. But, as I noted, the conditions of appropriation of this universal art are not universally allocated”(Bourdieu and Wacquant1992, p. 87). The later Bourdieu thus argues that authentic culture is the product of effort and labor, the endless series of refusals and transcendences of mere animal pleasures through which humans lift themselves above the heteronomy of nature. Culture is thus the realm of autonomous, self-conscious efforts, chosen by humans fortheir purposes, not forced on them by material interests or necessities. It is the useless, disinterested efforts humans impose on themselves through the self-made rules of their games. Consequently, any practices or productions that are forced on people by the economic necessities of earning a living are not really culture, because not freely chosen. It is precisely because working-class culture is focused on such practical interests that Bourdieu now describes it as“mutilated”and“devoid of any social value.”The ultimate pay-off of truly human culture is not anything practical, such as money or power, but the pleasure of free play itself. Bourdieu’s new conception of the universality of culture’s ascesis corresponds with Adorno’s insistence on the autonomy of culture from the economy’s purposefulness. In both thinkers, autonomous high culture stands as a token of potential freedom in a world of human subjection to material production. By providing a model of activity beyond the inequality and oppression of the economy, autonomous art provides an implicit critique of these injustices, bringing them to consciousness and thereby making possible their subjection to willful action. Bourdieu goes on to suggest another universal possibility of human beings that also characterizes autonomous high art—one that seems compatible with Adorno’s analysis but is not explicitly addressed by him. This is the inherently social nature of humans, their selfless elevation of group interests over individual interests. It is this universal, which is another variant of“disinterestedness,”that Bourdieu develops extensively in his later works. He argues inPractical Reason(1998c, p. 90) that the disinterested cultural practices of the dominant class“can fulfill their symbolic function of legitimation precisely because they benefit in principle from universal recognition—people cannot openly deny them without denying their own human- ity.”What people universally recognize in these practices is the imperative of the universal, that is, the demand that the interests of the group take precedence over those of particular individuals.“There is nothing that groups recognize and reward more unconditionally and demand more imperatively than the unconditional manifestation of respect for the group as a group . . ., and they give recognition even to the recognition (even if feigned and hypocritical) of the rule that is implied in strategies of universalization”(Bourdieu2000, p. 125). Bourdieu does not specify exactly why sociality is a human universal, but he would presumably agree with the argument that because humans have little behavior genetically programmed into 54 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 their bodies, they must rely on the group to nurture and protect the young until socialization is complete. Since the survival of each new generation depends on the group, humans universally recognize and reward actions that negate the individual in favor of the collective, that deny egoism and particular interests in favor of generosity and disinterestedness. In modern society, Bourdieu argues, this universal of sociality is advanced by the fields comstituting the subfield of restricted cultural production (art, science, academics, etc.). Because these fields are autonomous from the economic field, due to the control of independent economic resources, participants can afford to be unconcerned with earning a living and concentrate on following the consensual rules of the game laid down by the group as a whole. Of course, the scientists, artists, scholars, and others in these fields pursue their self-interests, but their primary interest is not economic profits but symbolic profits—that is, recognition from the group as a whole. And this recognition is awarded to those who play by the rules, one of which is to ignore economic profits in one’s work. So ironically, these autonomous cultural fields institutionalize an“interest in disinterestedness,”as Bourdieu calls it. That is, participants receive recognition only when they produce work aimed not at making money but at advancing the entire field by playing by the rules. Thus, the rules of the field itself force actors to sublimate self-interest into universal interest, or the good of the group as a whole (1998c,p.83–91). One of the main reasons that Bourdieu begins to recognize the potential universality of culture during the late 1980s is to defend the autonomy of intellectual fields from the threat of external political forces. During this period in France the administration of Socialist Party President Francois Mitterand begins to withdraw public funding from the arts, sciences, and other intellectual fields, in pursuit of a neoliberal policy of privatization. The disinterested knowledge of intellectuals is thus threatened by the competition of commercial media and publishers, which subjects knowledge to the pecuniary demands of the market and thus undermines the ability of intellectuals to criticize structures of authority. Consequently, Bourdieu calls in 1989 for an“Internationale of intellectuals,”a collective organization to fight for the autonomy of reason against the encroachment of economic and political power. And to start building such an organization, he founds in the same yearLiber: Revue Européenne des Livres, a journal designed to provide a forum for cross- disciplinary and cross-national exchanges among intellectuals (Bourdieu1996, pp. 337–348; Swartz1997, pp. 247–269). Bourdieu’s initial conception of human universals, as well as his emerging politics based on it, seem flawed, however. His universals are accessible only to the privileged few in autonomous cultural fields, which have sufficient resources to free their participants from economic concerns. So in the name of the universal interests of all humanity, he seems to defend the particular interests of already privileged intellectuals, with little concern for members of the unprivileged classes, whose chances of entering these fields are, as his research reveals, slight. Bourdieu’s universals seem particular in another sense as well. Since there are several autonomous intellectual fields—art, literature, science, scholastics, etc.—each with its own rules and type of cultural capital, the“universal”appears plural and fragmented, with each field advancing its own particular group good, contradicting the very definition of the universal. Bourdieu solves these problems of the privilege Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 55 and plurality of the universal, however, in his work of the 1990s, in which he postulates the institution of the state as the repository of the common interest of society as a whole. As with his shifting position on the universality of culture, Bourdieu’s changing conception of the state is driven as much by political contingencies as by theoretical contradictions. His earlier work on the state (Bourdieu1998c, pp. 35–63; Bourdieu and Wacquant1992, pp. 111–115) is marked by a conception typical of Marxists and other conflict theorists—the state institutionalizes the particular interests of the dominant class. But as Mitterand’s government, heavily influenced by American- style neoliberal economic policies, begins to cut state support not only for intellectuals but for social welfare programs as well, Bourdieu’s portrayal of the state becomes more complex. He divides state functions into two parts or“hands,” and argues that only one of these, the right hand, favors the dominant class. This hand of the state, comprising the technocrats of the Ministry of Finance, public and private banks, and the ministerial cabinets, engineers and enforces the economic policies that further the interests of the propertied. But to legitimate these interested policies to the rest of society, the state is forced to disguise them as neutral, as furthering the public good. By using the universal good cynically to legitimate its particular interests, however, the dominant class unwittingly creates a standard that its state representatives are forced to live up to by the dominated. Consequently, a site is created for a struggle over the definition of the public good, giving the dominated the power to force the state to actually adopt policies benefitting the universal interest. As a consequence, the left hand of the state, or the social state, is created, which encompasses all the social services that actually benefit the entire public, but disproportionately the working masses, such as health, education, welfare, and housing (1998a, pp. 1–10). Thus, the state becomes the institutional site of rationality and universality, which“is capable of acting as a kind of umpire, no doubt always somewhat biased, but ultimately less unfavorable to the interests of the dominated, and to what can be called justice, than what is exalted, under the false colors of liberty and liberalism, by the advocates of‘laissez-faire,’in other words the brutal and tyrannical exercise of economic force”(Bourdieu2000, p. 127). This reconceptualization of the state as the potential foundation of universal human interests solves another problem in Bourdieu’s sociology of culture—that of finding a source of material support independent of the economic field for the autonomous cultural fields. This problem also plagues Adorno, who falls back on private wealth for supporting the impractical arts. But Adorno does not explain why private benefactors of the arts and sciences would not make their own interested demands on cultural producers, thus undermining the autonomy of the field. Bourdieu’s early work relies on the economic demand of other cultural producers to provide an independent source of support for artists and others in autonomous fields. While such an internal market seems feasible in certain fields, such as film or literature, it seems infeasible for basic research in the sciences, in which the costs of production are so large and the audience for products so small that purchases by participants could not possibly provide adequate funds. By the early 1990s, Bourdieu’s theory of culture increasingly relies on the state, now seen as the institutional repository of universal interests, as the source of 56 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 economic support for autonomous cultural production dedicated to human universals. Science and art need the state to exist, he declares, because the value of works in these fields is inversely correlated to the size of their markets.“Cultural radio stations or television channels, museums, all the institutions that offer‘high culture,’as the neocons say, exist only by virtue of public funds—that is, as exceptions to the law of the market made possible by the action of the state, which is alone in a position to assure the existence of a culture without a market”(Bourdieu and Haacke1995, p. 69). Bourdieu argues that the support of such culture cannot be left to individual or corporate patrons because they dictate what artists and scientists produce in order to stifle criticism and further private gain. And more generally, these private sponsors reap symbolic profits, that is, the good will of the public that comes with“disinterested”generosity. Thus, these cultural fields can no longer serve the universal good, of which the state is the official guarantor, but become the tools of private interests (Bourdieu and Haacke1995, p. 72). Two years after his general attack on the decline of state support for the arts and sciences, Bourdieu writes an essay detailing its effects on French television, which is part of what he calls the journalistic field. He asserts that this field’s responsibility is to provide access to disinterested, universal knowledge for the dominated classes, which do not have the economic resources to engage in the pursuit of such knowledge themselves (Bourdieu1998b, p. 1). This knowledge is especially important in politics, in which the popular classes need accurate information and informed analysis of issues to exercise influence over state policy. Note that Bourdieu’s main criticism of the culture of modern society is no longer, as in his early work, that the dominant class uses its power to impose its particular culture as a universal standard on the dominated class. The criticism is now that the dominated are deprived of the resources necessary to appropriate high culture, which is the universal knowledge of humanity but is monopolized by the dominant due to their superior resources. The only institution that can break this inequality of access is the state, which protects the general interest by subsidizing not only the costs of producing and disseminating universal culture but also the costs of educating people in the skills necessary for appropriation. The neoliberal project, Bourdieu argues, deprives the popular classes of this universal knowledge by motivating journalists to deliver information in ways that foster depoliticization and fatalism. He states that the journalistic field in France is divided into two subfields: the mass-circulation subfield, governed by the external incentives of market sales; and the limited-circulation or intellectual subfield, governed by the internal standards ofpeer recognition. Only the latter is autonomous, and thus largely dependent on the state for economic support. But the neoliberal slashing of state support for culture undermines the autonomy of the intellectual subfield of journalism and subjects it to the market imperatives of the mass-circulation subfield, which is increasingly dominated by television. Conse- quently, intellectuals who want to deliver their universal knowledge to a larger public are forced to tailor their communications to the mass media’s market-driven model of appealing to the largest possible audience. This is done, Bourdieu asserts, by avoiding the deeper issues of policy debates and focusing instead on entertaining confrontations and scandals.“Because they’re so afraid of being boring, they [journalists] opt for confrontations over debates, prefer polemics over rigorous Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 57 argument, and in general, do whatever they can to promote conflict”(Bourdieu 1998b, pp. 3–4). Sensationalism attracts a big market, but detracts attention from the important issues about which people need information and analysis. Bourdieu also argues that competition among media conglomerates for the biggest audience at the lowest cost produces homogeneity—all compete to break the latest scandal or conflict, while the differences on real issues are ignored. The ultimate result is a general cynicism and fatalism about politics that favors the status quo. All politicians are seen as selfish and greedy. And the world in general is depicted as“an absurd series of disasters which can be neither understood nor influenced. . . . a world full of incomprehensible and unsettling dangers from which we must withdraw for our own protection”(Bourdieu1998b, p. 8). Bourdieu’s analysis of mass media is now very close to Adorno’s, for both recognize that the domination of culture by large, profit-driven corporations has a leveling effect, as these businesses seek to capture the largest market for the least costs. And both Bourdieu and Adorno argue that the culture industry produces fatalistic and conformist consumers, whose individuality and efficacy are drowned in a sea of standardized, deterministic images. Despite their similarities, there is one major difference that separates these two theorists of the market-driven culture industry—their analysis of the demand side of the market. Bourdieu’s newly critical analysis of mass culture pays little attention to consumers’needs or demands. He focuses almost exclusively on the dispositions of producers, arguing that the dominance of the market has led to a common set of mental categories among journalists, a shared vision of the world that they impose on all (Bourdieu1998b, pp. 22, 47). But in Bourdieu’s general theory of culture, he holds that producers do notimposetheir habitus or dispositions on consumers. Rather, consumers are attracted to particular products because theysharethe same dispositions as their producers, who occupy in the cultural field a position homologous to that of consumers in the economic field. Bourdieu’s new work does assert that media conglomerates favor topics that interest everybody in order to reach the largest market, but he never discusses the mental structures of consumers that determine these preferences (Bourdieu1998b,pp.44–45). He implies that the sensational subfield of journalism corresponds mainly to the habitus of working- class people. But he does not offer a structural explanation of the growth of this subfield relative to the“serious press”or intellectual subfield. Adorno does provide a structural analysis of the changing consumer demand behind cultural leveling or homogenization. Contrary to Bourdieu, he argues that the working class does not have a structurally determined taste for kitsch and diversion, ingrained by its relative lack of economic resources. Adorno holds that the cultural demands of workers are conditioned by their position at work. The alienating nature of this class’s labor—its lack of freedom and individuality—leads its members to demand superficial diversion and difference that can be easily consumed. By contrast, the greater economic freedom of the early bourgeoisie leads its members to demand culture that is difficult, not diverting, and requires a sustained exercise of intellectual abilities cultivated in substantial leisure time. But Adorno argues that the rise of monopolistic corporations degrades the position of the bourgeoisie to mere employees as well. No longer independent entrepreneurs and professionals, as in the liberal phase of capitalism, the bourgeois are reduced in the monopoly phase to mere 58 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 functionaries of a bureaucratic apparatus that is just as alien to those who administer it as it is to those who are administered by it. Being similarly mutilated by the apparatus, the bourgeoisie needs simple, commodified substitutes for freedom and individuality as much as the working class. So the demand for mass culture is nearly universal, and autonomous art shrinks to a paltry, embattled outpost in the land of commodity culture. If we use Adorno’s theory of homogenized cultural demand to supplement Bourdieu’s theory of homogenized supply, then we have a powerful theory of the displacement of autonomous culture by mass culture. But one problem remains for both theories—that of explaining the source of culture’s critical social content. Both Bourdieu and Adorno demand that autonomous culture be critical of an oppressive society and provide an impetus for social change. What ensures that autonomous intellectuals free of economic interests will produce such a culture? Adorno’s technological source of critical content in autonomous culture I first examine Adorno’s method of introducing critical content into autonomous cultural fields, which I believe to be questionable because it relies almost exclusively on technology. But one benefit of Adorno’s argument is that it highlights the social basis of Bourdieu’s solution to the puzzle of a critical culture that contradicts the society that produces it. From its inception the Frankfurt School paid more attention than most Marxist- inspired theories to the importance of the natural world. Often instrumentalized by orthodox Marxists as merely a material means to human ends, nature becomes, in the hands of Horkheimer, Adorno, and Marcuse, both a victim of human oppression and a crucial part of its transcendence. InDialectic of Enlightenment, Horkheimer and Adorno (1972, pp. 3–42) argue that the emergence of class domination in society inevitably gives rise to an abstract, instrumental reason that is used to dominate nature as well. In this form of reason the natural world is emptied of any ends of its own and conceptualized as a mere means to achieve externally imposed human ends. But to dominate nature for their own ends, humans must also dominate themselves, by renouncing their own natural needs so as to muster the self-denying labor to appropriate nature. So the Enlightenment reason that is supposed to free humans from natural necessity ultimately enslaves nature and humans to a logic alien to both. This instrumental logic of domination reaches its apotheosis in the totally administrated society of monopolistic capitalism, in which even the working class benefits from the rationalized system of mass production, although to a lesser extent than those in command of the bureaucracies. Marx’s biting criticism of capitalist society for its exploitation and impoverishment of the working class is rendered toothless by general consumer prosperity, and consequently no foothold can be found for oppositionwithinthis one-dimensional society. The same system that eliminates the material basis for opposition also eliminates its cultural basis by producing a perverted consciousness that reduces human needs for individuality and freedom to the consumption of superficially differentiated, standardized goods that ultimately reproduce the system. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that Adorno looks for opposition to this omnipotent social system in a source that is Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 59 removed from the human subjectivity produced by it. This source is technology, which is a natural force beyond human subjectivity or consciousness but nonetheless involved in the historical development of society. Adorno’s anti-subjective philosophy will not allow him to base aesthetics on subjective needs. He believes the cause of most repression in history to be instrumental reason, in which the grasping, greedy subject attempts to reduce the object to a mere instrument ofitsneeds, with no regard for the object’s own requirements or purposes. Reversing this repressive logic requires recognizing the preponderance of the object or thing (1973a, pp. 183–186), which Adorno does by offering technology, or the forces of production, as the source of the critical social content for art in modern society. He does not argue that in all societies art must express social contradiction through technological form. In earlier societies, presumably those with more overt class conflict, Adorno sees it possible for art to be critical by directly expressing the contradictory social relations within it.“The fact that formper se[based on the forces of production] is a subversive protest is peculiar to the present situation, where social structure has become total and completely melted together”(Adorno1984, p .362). In this totally administered society, in which class conflict is suppressed by a common interest in the repressive apparatus of mass consumerism, the only critical leverage against the system lies outside it, in the technological forces of production. The existing technology of a society reveals the contradiction not between one social class and another, but between the potential for a nonrepressive society and the existence of the present repressive one. Technology contains potentials for human liberation that cannot be developed within the repressive social relations of domination. The most advanced art of modern society borrows these techniques from the realm of production and expresses their true potentials in its forms.“The development of aesthetic forces of production . . . is tied up with the progress of material forces of production outside. There are times when aesthetic forces of production are given completely free rein because the material ones, hemmed in as they are by existing relations of production, cannot be unleashed”(Adorno1984,p.48). Adorno recognizes that these production techniques borrowed by art are deeply involved in the historical domination of nature for instrumental ends outside of it. How, then, can art transform these forces of domination into an anticipation of freedom? He argues that even though the intent of a society’s productive forces is to exploit nature, to do so they must conform to and express the needs of nature itself, apart from human will. So technology combines a language of the subjective will to dominate with a language of objective things in and for themselves. But because autonomous art is free of the world of economic production, it is able to eliminate the repressive intent from society’s technological forms, leaving behind only the needs of objective things themselves.“In the latter [the world outside of art] the prevailing forms are those that characterize the domination of nature, whereas in art, forms are being controlled and regimented out of a sense of freedom. By repressing the agent of repression, art undoes some of the domination inflicted on nature. Control over artistic forms and over how they are related to materials exposes the arbitrariness of real domination which is otherwise hidden by an illusion of inevitability”(1984,p.200). What the artistic subject expresses in the technological forms borrowed from society, once having suppressed their language of instrumental domination, is“the 60 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 latent language of things—a language that articulates itself through the radical use of technology”(1984, p. 89). This radical use of technology prefigures a reconciliation of humans and nature, in which human consciousness is a vehicle for realizing the needs of nature not merely outside of people, but inside them as well. But to prevent this promise of reconciliation from serving as a substitute for changing society, the artist must incorporate into the potential beauty of objective things some of the actual damage left on them by the antagonistic relations of a divided and repressive society.“That is, he embodies the social forces of production but does not necessarily feel bound to erase the bad marks given him by the relations of production” (p. 65). The contradiction between the potentially beautiful use of technology to free the nature in things and humans and the existing ugliness of its use in an antagonistic society creates the critical consciousness to stimulate social change. Let me offer an example of Adorno’s proposed relation between art and technology drawn from my recent study of the art of architecture (Gartman2009). The emergence of modern architecture in the early twentieth century was driven largely by new technologies of building, especially ferroconcrete—a mixture of Portland cement with sand and gravel, reinforced with steel bars embedded in the hardened mass. This technology was developed in the first decade of the twentieth century by American industrial architects, who used it to replace the brick-pier construction popular in factories of the day. Working under the instrumental imperatives of the market, these architects used the new material in ways that reflected a will to dominate, to render concrete a means of producing surplus value, not to develop its natural potentials. Even though concrete is inherently malleable because fluid before hardening, they poured it into rigidly rectilinear frames that were cheap to build because they required fewer skilled tradesmen. Reinforced- concrete factories, like Albert Kahn’s famous Highland Park plant for Ford Motor Company, completed in 1910, also cut the costs of production within them. The greater strength of the new material allowed for longer spans between supports, which not only allowed more sunlight onto production floors, but also created large, unobstructed work spaces—a key requirement of mass production. This work process cuts labor costs by arranging work stations sequentially and closely together, thus reducing transportation and idle time between stations. Long-span ferroconcrete construction created the open, unobstructed interior space that allowed this free flow of work along assembly and production lines. Clearly, then, these industrial architects revealed in their concrete buildings the ugly marks imposed on the new technology by the capitalist relations of production, that is, the imperative to dominate humans and nature for the sake of profits. They did not, however, simultaneously reveal the inherent potentials of the new technology for meeting the needs of nature itself, both human and nonhuman, as Adorno’s theory demands. This required autonomous artists, free of the demands of profit-making instrumental reason, like the architect Le Corbusier. In his 1920s residential work in concrete, Le Corbusier used the rigid, rectilinear forms pioneered by American industrial architects. He clearly revealed in his writings that his intent was to express the domination of nature by the instrumental reason of humans. In 1925 Corbu wrote that rectilinear street grids were superior to curving lanes because the straight line represented the mastery of reason over nature and humankind.“Man governs his feelings by his reason; he keeps his feelings and Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 61 his instincts in check, subordinating them to the aim he has in view. He rules the brute creation by his intelligence.. . . Man walks in a straight line because he has a goal and knows where he is going”(Le Corbusier1987, p. 5). Corbu also used thin concrete columns, called pilotis, to elevate his buildings off the ground because, he argued, the“natural ground”harbored dirt and disease and was thus“the enemy of man”(Le Corbusier1967, pp. 55–56). He even sought to control and to dominate the views of nature from his residences. At his Villa Savoye the roof terrace was surrounded by a concrete screen with precisely spaced slots that framed views of the countryside. Unwilling to let nature speak for itself, Corbu captured and controlled it within his architectural grid of rectilinear voids. By the 1950s, however, Le Corbusier’s work in concrete was tempering his one- sided rectilinearity symbolic of human domination of nature by exploring the inherently plastic qualities of this building technology. As Adorno might say, he was using concrete to reveal the natural potentials of this technique. In an apartment building of 1952, the Unité d’Habitation, the concrete frame was, as before, composed of a rational repetition of identically rectilinear elements. But this symbol of mechanical efficiency was countered by several organic elements. Corbu lifted his building off the ground with pilotis, but here they were no longer lithe, mechanical shafts but massive, ovoid legs, whose“muscles”seemed to strain under the weight of the building. And on the roof, where a gymnasium and playground were located, Corbu placed several monumental organic sculptures in concrete. Not just the shape but also the finish of his concrete here was more organic. Instead of finishing the concrete to a smooth, mechanical surface, he left it unfinished, crudely imprinted with the wooden forms into which it was poured. The architect thus exposed the imprint of the human hand on this modern material, giving it a woven texture. So in the concrete of this apartment building Le Corbusier certainly revealed, as Adorno demands, the ugly marks of the repressive relations of production on the technology. But he also exposed the potential beauty of concrete, its promise to speak the language of nature, both human and nonhuman, outside of domination. Adorno’s search for a source of cultural opposition in the forces of production is ingenious and innovative, but ultimately unconvincing. He is forced to resort to nature or the material world for critical content only because he arbitrarily closes off the social world, or the relations of production, as a site of conflict or contradiction. But Adorno’s notion of the“totallyadministered society”is easily challenged on empirical grounds. It is one of the great ironies of intellectual history that Adorno lost faith in class conflict during his exile in America in the late 1930s and early 1940s, a place and a period that generated an explosion of class-based struggle and a critical popular culture. Adorno immigrated to New York in 1938 to work with the relocated Institute for Social Research, and was surely aware of the popular conflicts in the United States during the Great Depression. And he could not have avoided at least some awareness of the critical culture emerging from these conflicts. Thousands of artists were employed by the US Government through New Deal programs like the Works Progress Administration, Federal Arts Project, and the Farm Security Administration. Many of them came from working-class backgrounds and were sympathetic to the radical movements that challenged the basic structures of capitalist America. The result was an explosion of critical art insulated from the demands of the market. Even the market-driven movies of Hollywood were 62 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 influenced by these critical currents in the arts, with actor/directors like Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin producing highly critical films innovative in both form and content (Denning1996). This Depression-era art may not meet Adorno’s standards for truly progressive art. He does not care for realism, the style of much of the art of this period, in part because Georg Lukács simplistically asserted this to be the privileged style of progressive art (Adorno1977). What is unforgivable, however, is Adorno’s failure to acknowledge this art as a challenge to his portrait of a one-dimensional mass culture that suppresses social conflict by obscuring it under a facade of sameness. The struggles around some of the critical art of the Depression, such as Orson Welles’s stage production of Marc Blitzen’sThe Cradle Will Rockand Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts and Rockefeller Center, testify to the multi-dimensionality of American culture during the period in which Adorno resided in the United States. I do not mean to suggest, however, that Adorno’s notion of technology as a source of critical culture is without merit. Indeed, in certain historical conjunctures I believe that technology may contradict the existing social relations and provide a foundation for critical art and consciousness. But it can do so not because it standsapartfrom the nonconflictual social relations of production, but because it is an expression of continuing conflictswithinsociety. Marx himself informs us that the ultimate contradiction of capitalism is that between the increasingly socialized forces of production and the necessarily privatized relations of production. Because humans are by nature social creatures, the productivity and power of their labor increases as it becomes less individual and more collective. Thus under capitalism the competitive pressure to increase productivity forces capitalists to socialize labor by inventing new forces of production that harness the cooperation of large numbers of workers. However, the coordination of workers’social labor is blocked by the chaos created by the privatization of capital, which prevents capitalists from consciously coordinating production between firms. Thus, for Marx the forces of production contradict the relations of production not because they express a nature apart from capitalist social relations, but because they embody the contradiction within capitalist society between the social character of production and the private character of distribution (Marx1967, pp. 262–266). And this contradiction necessarily divides the classes, although it may not be expressed in overt conflict. It is the working class and its collective organization that represents the potential of consciously coordinated, socialized labor, while the divisions of capitalists represent the outmoded individualism of market allocation of resources. For Marx, unlike Adorno, this fundamental opposition between classes is the structural foundation of capitalism and cannot be overcome by the mere extension of greater consumption to workers, which he characterizes as“the better remuneration of slaves”(Marx1964, p. 231). Thus, ultimately a critical culture must find its source in existing conflicts and contradictions within society, which is exactly what Bourdieu’s late theory seeks to do. Bourdieu’s social source of critical content in autonomous culture For Bourdieu, as for Adorno, the autonomous cultural subfield of high art or restricted production is the privileged location within modern societies for the Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 63 expression of social critique, for only it is insulated from the demand of the subfield of large-scale or mass production to make money by catering to the popular demand for superficially soothing works. Autonomous cultural producers are driven not to make money, but to follow freely the collectively made rules of the game, which brings them symbolic capital from other producers. In doing so, these cultural producers express what Bourdieu now acknowledges as the universal potential of all human beings for freedom and sociality, and thus provide an implicit critique of societies that are repressive and individualistic. By Adorno’s standards, however, there is something missing in Bourdieu’s model of the autonomous cultural subfield prefiguring a free and collective society of individuals. His model certainly reveals how the world should and could be structured, but it does not oppose this ideal world of beauty to the real world of ugly conflicts and antagonisms. Without such an opposition, Adorno argues, culture degenerates into a comforting illusion that conspires with the existing society to sooth the discontent that could change it. Bourdieu does, however, provide a mechanism to introduce social conflicts and antagonisms into autonomous cultural fields—the habitus, a curious construct halfway between nature and society, a sort of second nature. Bourdieu defines the habitus as a set of unconscious dispositions or propensities to act that is conditioned by childhood socialization in a specific class position. Depending upon the material conditions provided by class standing, an individual internalizes structures of perception and recognition that either take the necessities of life for granted, in the case of the dominant class, or take these necessities as a constant concern, in the case of the working class. Although the habitus is a product of social learning and not an inborn“nature,”as the ideology of charisma mistakenly asserts, it does have some characteristics commonly associated with nature. First, it is durable and not easily changed. Once ingrained in early childhood, it tends to persist and shape the individual’s actions for life. This is not to say that it is unchangeable—it can be affected and changed by later adult experiences, but only slowly and incompletely. Second, the habitus is implanted in not merely the mind but also the body, for it shapes and controls the physical contours, movements, and feelings of corporeal existence in ways not easily changed. The habitus, Bourdieu (1990, p. 69) writes, creates“a practical sense, social necessity turned into nature.” In it are inscribed“the most fundamental principles of the arbitrary content of a culture in seemingly innocuous details of bearing or physical and verbal manners, so putting them beyond the reach of consciousness and explicit statement.” Because the habitus of different classes shape different tastes for culture, the field of culture is a misrecognized and symbolic expression of conflict between the classes, especially between the dominant (bourgeois) class and the dominated (working) class. This conflict occurs not only among the consumers of culture, but also among its producers. Each class consumes culture from a different subfield, composed of producers of a similar class—the dominant class, from the subfield of restricted or high culture; and the dominated class, from the subfield of large-scale or mass culture. Each subfield has different goals and standards—the former is dominated by formality and distance from necessity; the latter, by practicality and functionality. But because the dominant class monopolizes symbolic power in society, it has the ability to define its own tastes as the standards of judgment for all, 64 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 thus precluding anydirectconfrontation between the classes over culture. The early Bourdieu (1984, pp. 318–319) paints a portrait of culture as a game in which the dominated class concedes the contest from the outset, by letting its class opponent define the rules. The dominated are forced to concede the superiority of the culture of the dominant, while continuing to prefer their own“inferior”culture. And within each separate subfield, which is composed of producers with similar habitus, little fundamental conflict occurs, apart from competition for sales among those who share the same values. In his later works, however, Bourdieu provides for conditions under which class conflict is introducedwithinthe autonomous subfield of cultural production and becomes explicit, thus providing a consciousness of social antagonisms that were heretofore misrecognized. This occurs, Bourdieu informs us in bothHomo Academicus(1988) andThe Rules of Art(1996), when homogenous rules of recruitment break down, and outsiders from the dominated class slip into autonomous cultural fields bearing alien habitus. The consequence of this breakdown in recruitment is a revolution in the field under consideration— academics in the first of these books, and literature in the second. And in both cases the breakdown is caused by an increase in the educated populace that provides both the producers and consumers of the field. Both of Bourdieu’s cases of field revolutions follow a similar causal logic, but I concentrate here on his study of the French literary field because it more directly concerns art, which is my main focus. The Rules of Arttreats the emergence of an autonomous field in French literature during the Second Empire period (1851–1871). Industrialization undermined the power and wealth of the aristocracy, leading to the decline of the old patronage system for the arts. At the same time, however, industrialization created a new market for literature among the newly empowered and enriched bourgeoisie. This class also contributed to the field writers who produced work in the style of formal Romanticism, which reflected the bourgeois habitus privileging form over function. This style did not go unchallenged, however, for the expansion of education during this period spread literacy to the working class, whose members began to demand literature that reflected their habitus of practicality and function. Soon writers from the working class, such as Émile Zola, entered the literary field and pioneered the style of social realism, focusing on the practical interests and struggles of the oppressed. Finally, writers from the middling position of the intellectual or liberal professions—what Bourdieu calls the cultural bourgeoisie—entered the field as well, pioneering a new style that sought to reconcile bourgeois formalism and social realism. Gustave Flaubert, the pioneer of this position, created a style of disinterested removal or neutrality that reflected the habitus of this class. Flaubert’s new style also found an audience in the growing ranks of cultural producers themselves, especially the underemployed bohemia in the emerging art fields. Consequently, the literary field found a source of support outside of the marketplace and became increasingly autonomous. The French literary field thus no longer reflected the rule or interests of any one authority or class, as did the society outside of it. There was only“a plurality of competing perspectives”(Bourdieu1996, p. 133). But through the habitus of the individual competitors, these perspectives represented the antagonistic structure of society as a whole—not directly, but indirectly through their aesthetic forms. In this Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 65 way, the struggles over power in society, which are usually hidden through misrecognition, are remembered and revealed in autonomous cultural fields.“It is through this work on form that the work comes to contain those structures that the writer, like any social agent, carries within him in a practical way, without having really mastered them, and through which is achieved an anamnesis of all that ordinarily remains buried, in an implicit or unconscious state, underneath the automatisms of an emptily revolving language”(p. 108). So, ironically, when art becomes autonomous and is no longer obligated to directly deliver an interested social message, it delivers a broader message about the structure of society as a whole. Artists with different class habitus are unconsciously attracted to particular positions in the field, where theyformallycontest the power and dominance of other positions. And this vision of artistic antagonism prevents any one aesthetic form from offering the illusion of a unified and whole beauty that might serve as soothing solace in an otherwise ugly world. So unlike Adorno, Bourdieu finds asocialsource for the critical content of culture, a source that inevitably and unconsciously carries economic and political struggles into cultural fields and reflects them in form. This formal reflection of social struggles is only possible, however, in autonomous fields, where culture is freed from the practical necessity to make money by giving consumers what they want–beautiful illusions of freedom and individuality. And as we have seen, for Bourdieu this freedom of autonomous culture to reflect ugly antagonisms as well as beautiful wholeness rests on an independent source of economic support, which he argues in his later work must come from the institutional protector of universal interests, the state. But Bourdieu’s last theory of culture has one more self-imposed obstacle to overcome before it can provide a satisfying explanation for critical culture. This obstacle is conceptualized in his early work but continues through his entire corpus–the scholastic fallacy. The problem of and solution for Bourdieu’s scholastic fallacy As we have seen, Bourdieu holds that autonomous cultural fields insulate their participants from the distorting effects of economic interests. But he recognizes that this autonomy also introduces its own peculiar distortion. The privileged participants in these“scholastic”fields do not recognize that their ability to treat ideas as pure forms, removed from practical interests, rests on a base of independent economic resources that allows them to be unconcerned with practicalities. Consequently, they generalize their privileged position of autonomy, mistakenly seeing the entire world as a“school,”and all actors in it as motivated, like themselves, by universal principles free of practical interest. This scholastic fallacy substitutes the scholar’s relation to culture, a relation of disinterested contemplation, for the relation of the vast majority of social actors to ideas as interested means to practical ends. By thus attributing to all the freedom that intellectuals alone exercise due to their insulation from material necessity, the scholastic fallacy ideologically obscures not only the unfree conditions under which the majority of social agents operate, but also the privileged access to economic resources that permits the disinterested contemplation of intellectuals (Bourdieu1990, pp. 30–41;1998c, pp. 127–140;2000, pp. 1–92). So 66 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 autonomous cultural fields, upon which Bourdieu’s theory relies for the universal knowledge to criticize social inequalities, have a structurally induced blindness to such inequalities, which facilitates the monopoly of universality by those with privileged access to economic capital. In his last works, however, Bourdieu offers a convincing, if underdeveloped, solution to the scholastic fallacy. Combined with his concept of the state as the ultimate guarantor of universal access to autonomous culture, this solution comprises not merely a powerful theory of culture but also a practical program for ensuring a progressive and critical culture. Bourdieu attributes most dissent and conflict within society to hysteresis, the discrepancy between the subjective habitus embodied in agents and the objective structure of fields (Bourdieu1990, p. 62). Because the original habitus developed in childhood is durable and changes only slowly to accommodate changes in social fields, there is always the possibility of a mismatch between the dispositions of individuals and the structural requirements of the fields in which they participate. This is especially true of upwardly mobile individuals. When autonomous cultural fields expand, as did the French literary field in the mid- nineteenth century and the academic field in the mid-twentieth century, they often recruit new participants from the sons and daughters of the dominated classes previously denied admission due to deficits of both economic and cultural capital. This creates at least an initial discrepancy between the behavior motivated by the lower-class recruits’childhood habitus and that required by their current field positions. Bourdieu argues that it was just such a condition of hysteresis, or old habitus lagging behind new field requirements, that led to the explosion of protest among students and young instructors in the 1960s, as well as the revolution in literature in the 1850s and 1860s. In his last works, however, Bourdieu uses this situation to explain not merely conflict and dissent but also the reflexive knowledge of fields that allows some agents, like himself, to transcend the scholastic fallacy. As he writes inPascalian Meditations: In particular because of the structural transformations which abolish or modify certain positions, and also because of their inter-or intragenerational mobility, the homology between the space of positions and the space of dispositions is never perfect and there are always some agents“out on a limb,”displaced, out of place and ill at ease. The discordance. . . may be the source of a disposition towards lucidity and critique which leads them to refuse to accept as self- evident the expectations and demands of the post. . . . Theparvenusand the déclassés. . . are more likely to bring to consciousness that which, for others, is taken for granted, because they are forced to keep watch on themselves and consciously correct the“first movements”of a habitus that generates inappropriate or misplaced behaviors (Bourdieu2000, pp. 157, 163). Thus, agents who are socialized in dominated-class positions but move up into the cultural bourgeoisie experience a mismatch between their childhood habitus and their structural positions. Their working-class habitus inclines them to practical action aimed at material necessities, while their position in an autonomous cultural field requires disinterested action that denies economic exigencies in the name of pure knowledge. The survival of the parvenus’practical dispositions and their sensitivity to material deprivation allows them to see that the cultural field’s Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 67 emphasis on pure, disinterested action actually rests on a privileged access to the very economic resources it disdains. In two of his last books,Science of Science and Reflexivity(2004) andSketch for a Self-Analysis(2008), Bourdieu applies this insight to himself, accounting for his own ability to objectively penetrate the scholastic fallacy and its ideological misrecognition of the origins of social advantage. Bourdieu argues that his childhood circumstances created in him a cleft or divided habitus. Both his parents came from poor peasant families, but his father became the clerk of the village post office at age thirty. This position carried the prestige of a white-collar job, but was poorly paid, and Bourdieu’s father continued to vote for leftist parties and taught Pierre to respect working people. But the father’s white- collar status deprived the son of solidarity with his working-class schoolmates, who rejected him as one“with white hands”(Bourdieu2008, p. 85). Graduating to a boarding lycée, Bourdieu retained his status as an upwardly mobile outcast, rejected by both the rural, working-class boarders, with their loud-mouthed machismo and anti-intellectualism, and the urbane, bourgeois day students. Because he was himself a boarder from a rural, working-class background, he experienced the crudeness and cruelness of the nocturnal culture of the boarders, whose lives were dominated by the struggle for existence and all the pettiness that accompanies it. This underbelly of the school stood in stark contrast to the respectable face of its diurnal classroom culture ruled by the bourgeois day students, in which cool, universal standards were applied to all. The contrast between these two school cultures served for Bourdieu as a lesson in the material foundation of the academic world, the interested resources necessary for the disinterested pursuit of universal standards (pp. 90–100). Bourdieu thus developed a contradictory relationship to the institution of academics, characterized by both rebellion and submission. His working-class habitus made him deeply skeptical of scholastic authority, but his success and upward mobility simultaneously made him grateful and submissive to its demands. He argues that this cleft habitus shaped his affinity to sociology as a field of research and study. Educated in philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, he was disgusted by the arrogance and naivete of philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, who believe in the supreme power of disinterested ideas to shape the world. Bourdieu argues that such arrogant disregard for the practicalities of life is instilled by the scholastic institution in“overgrown bourgeois adolescents who have succeeded in everything”–that is to say, everything pertaining to abstract ideas (Bourdieu2008,p. 24). He was attracted to sociology because it seemed practical and useful, and also because it repudiated the specious grandeurs of philosophy.“I had entered into sociology and ethnology in part through a deep refusal of the scholastic point of view which is the principle of loftiness, a social distance, in which I could never feel at home, and to which the relationship to the social world associated with certain social origins no doubt predisposes”(p. 41). Because Bourdieu is an outsider from a working-class background, he is imbued with a habitus that privileges practical knowledge and material necessities. Thus, he can see through the ideology that the scholastic world of autonomous cultural fields is totally free of economic interests. In reality, all the privileged agents in these fields have an interest in the independent economic resources that give them the ability to be unconcerned with practicalities. But because Bourdieu is also an insider in the 68 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 scholastic field, he does not now merely reject these privileges as superfluous and inconsequential, as many working-class outsiders do. He is able to see the universal benefits of scholastic privileges—the freedom and sociality that all humans share as a potential, but can be realized only by those with access to resources. Theoretical imperatives for a practical program of critical culture: autonomy and diversity Neither Bourdieu nor Adorno offer practical prescriptions for creating the kind of critical culture that both believe modern society needs and deserves. Both offer mainly critiques of existing culture, which supports the unequal and oppressive status quo of society. But both theorists base their critiques on an ideal of what cultureshouldbe, and thus prefigure a culture that would facilitate the more egalitarian and free society that each prefers. In closing, I want to briefly explore the implications of these theories for the practical construction of a critical culture that could mobilize people to create a just and free society. One requirement for a critical culture shared by both theorists is the autonomy of cultural producers from the economic imperatives of the marketplace. Only when artists and intellectuals are free from the demand of the market to make money by pleasing the masses of consumers are they able to expose the unpleasant truths about the existing society. For both Bourdieu and Adorno, such autonomy requires a source of economic livelihood for cultural producers that is independent of the market. But, as we have seen, the nature of this independent livelihood varies between theorists. Adorno sees no source of support apart fromprivatewealth and philanthropy, thus ironically depending on capitalists to finance a culture that undermines capitalism. He cannot rely on the state as a support for autonomous culture, as does Bourdieu, because his theory of the totally administered society holds the state to be an integral part of monopoly capitalism. Following the theory of state capitalism pioneered by Friedrich Pollock (1978), the economist of the Frankfurt School, Adorno holds that the state is crucial to monopoly capitalism, for its rational planning of the economy is necessary to overcome the vicissitudes of the market and contain the capitalist contradictions detailed in Marx’sCapital. Consequently, the state is thoroughly infected with the instrumental logic of the economy and cannot be relied upon to support critical cultural works that expose social contradictions in the name of human ends. Bourdieu, by contrast, argues that the state is the privileged institution for the economic support of critical culture. While recognizing that it often serves the interests of the dominant class, he asserts that its ideology of universalism opens it to popular influence, which forces it to live up to its promise. State support of culture thus may provide artists and intellectuals with the autonomy from the market necessary to produce critical works, those that promise a more beautiful world but reveal how the ugly conflicts of the existing society prevent its realization. Thus, one policy recommendation for a critical culture that Bourdieu and Haacke (1995, pp. 69–72) make explicit is increased state funding. Of course, this need not and should not mean that politicians make the decisions about the allocation of these funds. Surely what Bourdieu has in mind is the administration of state funds by intellectuals Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 69 and artists recognized in their respective fields. This ensures the autonomy of cultural fields from the power of both the market and state. Some propose a“third way”of funding culture between these stark alternatives of market and state. One such alternative is said to be provided by the non-profit sector, into which the majority of American art museums fall. Although this sector is usually funded by the private, tax-deductible donations of wealthy capitalists and corporations, independent boards are established to distribute the funds on the bases of artistic standards and the public good, rather than profitability. But Bourdieu and his artist coauthor, Hans Haacke, argue inFree Exchange(1995: pp. 68–84) that the non-profit sector is really not much different from the market sector, because businessmen dominate the boards of trustees and are reluctant to fund art that offends or threatens their wealthy donors. Further, due to declining funds, these non- profit art institutions must increasingly rely on direct corporate sponsorship of exhibits that cater to mass tastes in order to attract the largest possible audience and create a favorable public image for the supporting corporations (Wu2002). So Bourdieu continues to see the state as the only supporter of culture that can guarantee artists and intellectuals autonomy. Bourdieu’s last theory of culture, unlike Adorno’s, implies however that the autonomy of cultural fields is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a critical culture. For him, autonomy means merely that artists and intellectuals have the freedom to express in the forms of their works the aesthetic dispositions they import into the field through their habitus. But if all agents in an autonomous field are from the dominant class, their works will all express the distance from economic necessity characteristic of this class’s habitus, and the scholastic fallacy will reign supreme— that is, the privileged will remain oblivious to the economic foundation for their autonomy provided by their privileged access to independent resources. Conse- quently, the real inequalities and antagonisms of society will be buried beneath a facade of unified beauty. Art, science, and other intellectual works may faithfully reflect the contradictions of society only when the participants in autonomous fields are drawn from diverse class backgrounds. Only when the dominated classes also have access to cultural fields will participants be forced to come to terms with the economic foundation of their works, the sensitivity to which the dominated carry in their habitus. The clash of different artistic forms in the cultural field, reflecting these different dispositions, may then provide a metaphor for the clash of classes in the social field as a whole. So the ugliness of social antagonisms disrupts the beautiful promise of art for reconciliation and happiness, protesting that the promise cannot be realized inthisworld, not yet, not until the odious inequalities of power and wealth have been eliminated and all have the privilege of free, sociable activity. Thus Bourdieu’s theory, with some support from Adorno’s, implies two imperatives for the construction of a critical culture with the potential to transform society. The producers of culture must be both autonomous and diverse. Bourdieu’s against-the-grain call for more, not less, public funding for cultural fields addresses both imperatives. Without state funding for works outside the market, artists and intellectuals will be chained to the demand to make money by pleasing consumers. And without public funding for the education of cultural producers, only members of those classes controlling private funds will be able to enter autonomous fields to begin with. But the recognition of these imperatives for a critical culture leaves one 70 Theor Soc (2012) 41:41–72 problem unsolved. How can one argue successfully for more public funds to create a critical culture in a society dominated by neoliberal ideas and policies? We cannot change culture without first changing society, i.e., increasing public funding for culture. But changing society in this way requires a changed culture that recognizes the need for social changes. 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Intergenerational Continuity of Taste: Parental and Adolescent Music Preferences Author(s): Tom F.M. ter Bogt, Marc J.M.H. Delsing, Maarten van Zalk, Peter G. Christenson and Wim H.J. Meeus Source: Social Forces , September 2011 , Vol. 90, No. 1 (September 2011), pp. 297-319 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41682642 REFERENCES Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41682642?seq=1&cid=pdf- reference#references_tab_contents You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms Oxford University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Social Forces This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerational Continuity of Taste: Parental and Adolescent Music Preferences Tom F.M. ter Bogt, Utrecht University Marc J.M.H. Delsing, Radboud University Maarten van Zalk, Ůrebro University Peter G. Christenson, Lewis & Clark College Wim H.J. Meeus, Utrecht University In this article, the continuity in music taste from parents to their children is discussed via a multi-actor design. In our models music preferences of 325 adolescents and both their parents were linked, with parental and adolescent educational level as covariates. Parents’ preferences for different types of music that had been popular when they were young were subsumed under the general labels of Pop, Rock and Highbrow. Current adolescent music preferences resolved into Pop, Rock, Highbrow and Dance. Among partners in a couple, tastes were similar; for both generations, education was linked to taste; and parental prefer- ences predicted adolescent music choices. More specifically, the preference of fathers and mothers for Pop was associated with adolescent preferences for Pop and Dance. Parents’ preferences for Rock seemed to indicate their daughters would also like Rock music, but not their sons. Parental passion for Highbrow music was associated with Highbrow prefer- ences among their children. It is concluded that preferences for cultural artifacts such as (popularyf P X V L F V K R Z F R Q W L Q X L W I U R P J H Q H U D W L R Q W R J H Q H U D W L R Q . Introduction Research on taste has tended to focus on the influence of socio-economic differences in preference for cultural commodities. Georg Simmel (1957 [1904]yf D Q G 0 D [ : H E H r (1947[ 1920- 1921]yf S R L Q W H G R X W W K H D V V R F L D W L R Q E H W Z H H Q F X O W X U D O W D V W H D Q G V R F L D O E D F N – ground. Similarly, in his seminal study La Distinction (1 984[1979]yf 3 L H U U H % R X U G L H u sought to demonstrate that individual tastes can be classified as a function of economic wealth, educational level and social network. Herbert Gans s Popular Culture and High Culture (1974yf D Q G 5 L F K D U G 3 H W H U V R Q D Q G K L V F R O O H D J X H V f have shown that audiences can be divided into distinct “taste cultures” that relate, predictably, to social background variables. Peterson also discriminated between higher status “cultural omnivores,” with differentiated tastes incorporating elements of both high and popular culture, and lower status “univores,” with more circumscribed patterns of preference. This distinction has been corroborated by a host of other studies (e.g., Lopez-Sintas and Katz-Gerro 2005; Neuhoff 2001; van Eijck and Knulst 2005yf 7 D V W H V R F L R O R J K R O G s that cultural distinctions solidify group boundaries and legitimize social inequality; therefore, studying taste is essential to understanding social differentiation (Dimaggio 1994; Lamont and Fournier, 1992yf . Direct correspondence to Tom ter Bogt, Department of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Heidelberglaan 2, De Uithof, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: [email protected] ® 2011 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the University of North Carolina Social Forces 90(1yf 6 H S W H P E H U 1 at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected] This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 298 • Socia/ Forces yb @ f Turning to popular music, and the focus of this study, it is well established that variables such as race, class, gender and school achievement affect music tastes, and music preference can play a crucial role in the presentation of self, selection of friends and the expression of group identity (Rentfrow and Gosling 2006; Selfhout et al. 2009; Tarrant, North and Hargreaves 2001yf , Q W H U H V W L Q J O K R Z H Y H U V F D Q W D W W H Q W L R Q K D V E H H n paid to the process of intergenerational transmission of taste; that is, the influence of parents in the process of acquiring music taste (van Eijck 2001yf 7 R E H V X U H S D U H Q W V ‘ socialization of their children has been proposed as an important mechanism for the transfer of taste patterns (van Wei 1994; Rosengren 1999yf D Q G U H V H D U F K K D V V K R Z n the family to be an important context in the acquisition of cultural behavior in various areas (Nagel and Ganzeboom 2002; Kraaykamp 2001; Mohr and DiMaggio 1995yf . However, to our knowledge, the current study is the first to directly address the con- nection between parents’ music tastes and those of their adolescent children using data on the preferences of both generations. The Structure of Music Preferences The sociology of taste is sensitive to the variable, contextual use of music. For example, when studying the uses of music in everyday life, Tia deNora (2000yf R E V H U Y H G W K D t women listened to different types of music for a variety of personal and social reasons: to manage emotional states, sustain images of self and project identity. In addition, authors such as Lizardo (2006yf K D Y H V K R Z Q W K D W L Q G L I I H U H Q W V R F L D O V H W W L Q J V S H R S O e use their cultural taste selectively to promote connections to some people and dissuade contacts with to others. However, even though personal and social uses of music may vary and different types of music may be used by the same person across situations, the range of music that is put to work is probably restricted. People draw from a limited reservoir of music that is not only specific to them, but also socially relevant to their status position (Bryson 1996yf , Q D G G L W L R Q W R W K H T X D O L W D W L Y H V W X G L H V R I P X V L F W D V W e that address listening situations in detail, another tradition in the sociology and social psychology of music taste focuses on music preferences as rather stable characteristics of an individual. Moreover, several studies have shown that, although popular music is divided into a tremendous variety of genres, underneath this profusion lies a structure that has proved quite stable over the past few decades (Christenson and Roberts 1998yf . In the United States, Rentfrow and Gosling (2003yf G L V W L Q J X L V K H G E H W Z H H Q U H V S R Q – dents’ preferences for “reflective and complex” music, including classical, jazz, blues and folk music; “intense and rebellious” styles, defined by rock, alternative and heavy metal music; “upbeat and conventional” types, including country, sound track, reli- gious and pop music; and “energetic and rhythmic” music encompassing rap/hip-hop, soul/funk and electronic dance music. Similar factor analytic studies of musical preferences have been conducted in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden (Delsing et al. 2008; Roe 1992; Stevens and Elchardus 2001; ter Bogt et al. 2003yf 7 K H V H V W X G L H V K D Y H J H Q H U D O O F R Q I L U P H G D I R X U – or five-factor structure of styles, including a popular, “mainstream pop” style; a “rock” This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerational Continuity of Music Taste • 299 style; “Afro-American” or “urban” music; “dance” music; and an “elitist” or “highbrow” style, consisting of classic music and jazz. Both urban music, such as hip-hop and R&B, and dance genres such as trance have become quite popular since the 90s and early years of the new century. In some studies the five-factor structure collapses into four, with either urban or dance merging with mainstream pop. More evidence that certain genres cluster together comes from a recent large-scale project among more than 18,000 15-year-olds in 10 European countries in which preferences for 10 well-known genres of music were subsumed in a cross-culturally identical factor structure with pop, urban, rock, dance and high-brow music as metagenres (ter Bogt et al. forthcomingyf . The existence of these four or five music streams intuitively ties in to the history of pop music. Mainstream pop music emerged and took on a more contemporary form in the 1950s with the advent of rock n roll and has remained the most popular blend of different types of catchy, easy-on-the-ears, literally “popular” music (Gillet 1970yf . Genres such as soul, hip-hop and R&B, later referred to as “urban,” surfaced in the 60s and 70s, and rock in the late 60s and early 70s. Both strands of predominantly “black” and “white” music show a lengthy and enduring presence in the history of pop music (e.g., Campbell 2005; Garofalo 1996yf ( O H F W U R Q L F G D Q F H P X V L F E H F D P H S R S X O D U L n the late ’80s, building on dance-oriented ’70s musical formats such as funk and disco (Reynolds 1999yf 7 K H H [ L V W H Q F H R I K L J K E U R Z W D V W H F R Q V L V W L Q J R I D I X V L R Q R I K L J K D U t classical music and newer forms of jazz, is a phenomenon that has also been observed over the years. Although music continues to evolve and newer generations modify the formats provided by older musicians (Dowd 1992yf D V P D O O Q X P E H U R I V W U H D P V F D Q E e discerned, and these broad music styles are recognized by music listeners across a wide range of cultural settings (ter Bogt et al. forthcomingyf . Music Preference as a Stable Person Characteristic Adolescence and young adulthood are generally viewed as formative phases for the de- velopment of music preferences. Research has established that the music people listen to during late adolescence and early adulthood is not only best remembered in later life (Janssen, Chessa and Murre 2007yf E X W D O V R U H P D L Q V E H W W H U O L N H G F R P S D U H G W R P X V L c listened to at an earlier or later age (Smith 1994; Holbrook and Schindler 1989yf ) X U W K H r support for the relative stability of taste is found in several longitudinal studies. Delsing and his colleagues (2008yf I R O O R Z H G W Z R J U R X S V R I W R H D U R O G D G R O H V F H Q W V G X U L Q g a three-year period and found preferences for four broad music styles (pop, urban, rock and highbrowyf W R E H K L J K O V W D E O H D F U R V V R Q H W Z R D Q G W K U H H H D U L Q W H U Y D O V , Q I D F W W K H V e music preferences were as stable as the “Big Five” personality characteristics, indicating that, far from being casual and fickle, music taste can be compared to deep-seated person- ality traits. Mulder and her colleagues (2010yf D V V H V V H G D Z L G H U D J H U D Q J H R I U H V S R Q G H Q W s (12-29yf G X U L Q J D P R Q W K S H U L R G D Q G I R X Q G W K D W Z K L O H W K H U H Z D V D U H O D W L Y H O K L J K W X U Q – over in the preference for individual artists and bands, preference for music genres and broader metagenres of music were already quite firm in early adolescence and became further entrenched during later adolescence and young adulthood. This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 300 • Social Forces 90(1yf Music Preference as a Function of Gender and Class/Education Gender is an important factor in the development of taste. In the early ’80s Frith (1981yf F R Q F O X G H G W K D W L Q J H Q H U D O J L U O V D U H P R U H G U D Z Q W R P H O R G L F U R P D Q W L F S R p music, while for boys adoring raucous, rebellious rock music is part of solidifying male gender identity. Classical music is also more popular among girls than boys, while louder forms of electronic dance music are more appreciated by boys (Stevens and Elchardus 2001; Schwartz and Fouts 2003; ter Bogt et al. forthcomingyf . Adolescent music preferences are also related to social class and education. Frith (1981yf R E V H U Y H G W K D W P D O H Z R U N L Q J F O D V V R X W K W H Q G H G W R O L N H U R F N Q U R O O D Q G L W s “heavier” derivatives, while middle-class youth were more oriented to progressive rock or “hippie music.” In other studies, heavy metal for boys (Arnett 1991a; Bryson 1996yf and soul and disco for girls (Arnett 1991a; Roe 1992, 1998yf K D Y H E H H Q F K D U D F W H U L ] H G D s genres with a disproportionately working class fan base. Roe (1992yf R E V H U Y H G D P R Q g Swedish youngsters with low educational level or problems with school, heavy metal was the preferred music and that higher school achievement predicted a preference for mainstream pop. For adolescents and adults alike, liking “highbrow music” (e.g., classical, jazzyf D Q G D Q R P Q L Y R U R X V D I I L Q L W I R U D Z L G H Y D U L H W R I P X V L F J H Q U H V W H Q G W o be associated with higher social status and educational level (Bryson 1996; Peterson and Kern 1996; Roe 1992; van Eijck 2001yf 7 K X V J H Q G H U D Q G V R F L D O F R Q W H [ W H L W K H U L n the form of class position or educational level, relate to the formation of music tastes. The Processes of Music Socialization Culture is consumed, produced and reproduced in the family context. Parents’ social- ization of their children has been identified as the key mechanism for the transfer of class-specific taste patterns (de Graaf and Kalmijn 2001; Katz-Gerro 2006; Kraaykamp 2001; Mohr and DiMaggio 1995; Rosengren 1999; van Eijck 1999; van Wei 1994yf . Recently, van Eijck (1997yf D Q G 1 D J H O f made the case that parental influence in the cultural domain exceeds that of education. As such, socialization is a process with two different faces, and parents can affect their children in a more conscious or unconscious way. Parents may actively impart their tastes to their children in much the same way as they teach their children other attitudes, behaviors and habits (Grusec and Davidov 2007yf ) R U H [ D P S O H L I F O D V V L F D O P X V L F L V G H H P H G L P S R U W D Q W S D U H Q W V P D y take their children to concerts or teach or have them taught to play an instrument or to sing. Similarly, parents may be fans of specific types of pop music, (e.g., blues, soul, rockyf D Q G D F W L Y H O H Q J D J H W K H L U F K L O G U H Q Z L W K W K H L U P X V L F R I F K R L F H L Q V L G H D Q d outside of the home, having them sing and play along, and take them to concerts. However, music socialization may also be a far less conscious process that blends into the everyday routine as parents often control the resources available to their children and manage their environments. Simply as a function of living in the same home, children are inevitably exposed to the cultural repertoire preferred by their parents. By playing their favorite music in the home, parents expose their children to their music and, hence, may model music taste. This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerational Continuity of Music Taste • 301 Mohr and Dimaggio (1995yf V W D W H G W K D W W K H L Q W H U J H Q H U D W L R Q D O W U D Q V P L V V L R Q R I F X O – tural capital is a gendered phenomenon. In a 1960 sample of 1 1th graders, they not only found that cultural capital was more important to girls, but also that mothers’ partici- pation in artistic and school activities predicted girls’ higher interest and participation in high-culture arts and literature. Research on more recent samples has provided additional evidence for the unique role of mothers in transferring cultural practices and preferences (Nagel and Ganzeboom 2002; Nagel 2004yf 9 D Q : H L D Q G K L V F R O O H D J X H s (2006yf D U J X H G W K D W J L U O V P D E H P R U H V H Q V L W L Y H W R W K H W D V W H R I W K H L U P R W K H U V D Q G E R s to the preferences of their fathers. Caution is in order when generalizing results from studies on cultural capital to studies that more specifically address music. Both genders, and both adolescents and adults, enjoy listening to music, implying that both mothers and fathers may pass on their tastes to their children. Nevertheless, the studies suggest that mothers, overall, may be more influential than fathers, and that girls and boys have a special sensitivity to the tastes of their mothers and fathers, respectively. Through their music choices, adolescents can and do rebel against parental author- ity, and by adoring brash, “deviant” music young people gain a sense of independence from their parents. As individualization is an important developmental task in this phase of life, adolescents may want to listen to music that, in their parents’ eyes, is too loud, vulgar, violent, overly sexually charged or repulsive. Music that is not liked by adults, then, is a sine qua non for its popularity among youth (Grossberg 1984; Lull 1987yf ) R U P R V W R I W K H W K F H Q W X U L Q W K H Z R U G V R I R Q H R I W K H I R X Q G L Q J I D W K H U s of adolescent research, G. Stanley Hall, adolescence was characterized as a period of “storm and stress,” and, hence, strained relations between adolescents and their parents. However, in recent years, a new consensus has arisen stressing the continuity in the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship. Not conflict and rebellion, but a warm, supportive parent-adolescent relationship is the ideal provision for a relatively smooth transition into young adulthood. Paradoxically, good bonds foster indepen- dence (Grotevant and Cooper 1985yf , Q O L Q H Z L W K W K L V D U J X P H Q W Z H F R Q F O X G H W K D t there is little support for the idea that parental and adolescent tastes divide radically, although some music may indeed be used by more rebellious adolescents to fend off and challenge parents and other authorities. Obviously, there are differences between the array of the artists and styles preferred by parents, whose preferences, as we have noted, tend to be grounded in their own youth, and the music popular during the child-rearing years. With this said, parents may pass on patterns of affinity for broadly defined styles of music. Thus, while their children are unlikely to adopt precisely the music, artists or bands their parents prefer, they may nonetheless acquire a taste for music within the same general style. Smith (1994yf W U D F H d generational differences in music taste throughout the 20th century and found cohort effects in music taste. For example, while respondents born before 1920 liked Big Band/ Swing music, few born in the 70s loved this type of music. However, Smith also found that, for cohorts born in the 50s and 60s, a taste for mainstream pop and rock music emerged, and later generations similarly liked these music genres. Preferring classical This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 302 • Social Forces 90(1yf music also revealed high intergenerational stability. Hence, parents growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, acquired a music taste that is relevant to their offspring as well. Modeling Contextualized Parental and Adolescent Taste The review of findings from taste sociology and taste socialization theory revealed that music styles evolve; however, a number of grand streams of music have been discerned over the past four decades in (popularyf P X V L F P R V W L P S R U W D Q W O 3 R S 8 U E D Q 5 R F N , Dance and Highbrow. A range of preferences takes on a robust form in late adolescence and early adulthood. Additionally, people carry their appreciation for different types of music into adulthood and, as parents, may expose their children to the cultural formats they themselves prefer. Socialization theory does not conceptualize the transfer of cul- tural choices as merely a parent-to-child process; parents may themselves be influenced by the choices of their children. However, it is the parents who provide the first musical climate in their households, and this climate is the sum of the fathers’ and mothers’ tastes. Parents may actively or unconsciously model the tastes of their children; hence, links may be present between parental preferences for particular music styles that were formed earlier in their lives and their children’s current preferences for similar types music, even though these musical styles have evolved. In this study, we operationalized continuity in taste as a connection between the preferences parents developed when they were younger and the current tastes of their children. Cultural taste development is further influenced by the wider social context in which the family operates. Social position and education are important forces in the development of the general cultural repertoire and music tastes of young people. Parental social position drives children’s social position and, therefore, parental social position may also play an indirect role. Based on the previous discussion, the following hypotheses were proposed: HI. Continuity exists between the music preferences that parents acquired when they were young and the current preferences of their adolescent children. H2. Educational level is associated with both parental and adolescent musical tastes. These hypotheses were tested in Figure 1 . Because transmission of cultural prefer- ences is presumed to be a gendered phenomenon, all analyses included a systematic assessment of differences between fathers’ and mothers’ effects on sons and daughters. Method Participants Participants for this study were recruited from a family sample of the CONAMORE 5-wave longitudinal study (CONflict And Management Of RElationships 2000-2005; This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerational Continuity of Music Taste • 303 Meeus et al. 2002yf 7 K H P D L Q V D P S O H R I & 2 1 $ 0 2 5 ( L Q F O X G H G H D U O D G R O H V F H Q W s (mean age 12.4 years, SD = .6, ages 10-15yf D Q G P L G G O H D G R O H V F H Q W V P H D Q D J H 7 years, SD = .8, ages 16-20yf I U R P K L J K V F K R R O V O R F D W H G L Q W K H S U R Y L Q F H R I 8 W U H F K W , the Netherlands, who annually completed a battery of questionnaires at school. At the first measurement, early adolescents received a letter that included an invitation to participate with both parents during an annual home visit; 491 families agreed. Due to our restriction of including only two-parent Dutch families, 90 one-parent families who agreed to participate were not able to take part in this additional research project. Of the remaining 401 families, 325 were randomly selected to participate from Wave 2 onward. In Wave 3, with data on parental and adolescent music preferences, the same families participated (attrition 0yb f. Of the adolescents who participated in this family sample, 148 were boys (48.6yb f. The mean age of the adolescents was 14.4 years (13-16 years, SD = .5yf W K H P H D Q D J H R I W K H I D W K H U V D Q G P R W K H U V Z D V U H V S H F W L Y H O 8 years (36-67, SD = 5.0yf D Q G H D U V H D U V 6 ‘ f, respectively. Most adolescents indicated Dutch as their main ethnic identity (99.3yb f and lived with both parents (98.6Adolescents were relatively highly educated with approximately 50 per- cent attending school and preparing for university. The educational level of the fathers and mothers were 27.3 percent and 32.0 percent low-middle and 72.7 percent and 68 percent high class, respectively. Analyses were performed to determine any differences between adolescents who participated in the family sample and those who did not. These tests showed no statistically significant differences on age, gender, educational level or music preferences (ř-tests, X-square tests; all p’s n.s.yf . Procedure Prior to the study, both adolescents and their parents received written information and, if the adolescent wished to participate, were required to provide written informed consent. Interviewers visited the schools and asked participating adolescents to gather in classrooms to complete a questionnaire. Interviewers also visited the families at home. During these home visits, adolescents completed an additional questionnaire, and both parents also completed an initial questionnaire independent of their children. Results were processed anonymously. Families received €27 per wave, and adolescents received an additional €10 for participating at school. Measures Educational Level The Netherlands is characterized by a highly differentiated secondary school system that closely reflects differences in social position. In prior research, education has been shown to be a better predictor of cultural preferences and practices than socio- economic status (Nagel 2004yf W K H U H I R U H L Q W K H F X U U H Q W V W X G H G X F D W L R Q Z D V D G R S W H d as a representation of social position. As such, education was operationalized as the achieved educational level of parents and current school level of adolescents. While the Dutch educational system has changed in the period between parents’ youth and This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 304 • Socia! Forces 90(1yf Table 1: Factor Analyses Parental Music Taste Pop Rock Highbrow Pop Rock Highbrow Top 40 .72 .07 -.28 .75 .01 -.35 Soul .78 .14 .15 .71 .33 .17 Disco .82 .04 -.12 .87 .00 .04 Rock .21 .86 -.08 .21 .78 -.24 Alternative rock .00 .88 .15 -.01 .88 .14 Classic -.24 -.05 .80 -.18 -.13 .83 Jazz Note: Principal Component Analysis, varimax rotation, explained variance 72.5yb P R W K H U V f, 71.7yb I D W K H U V f. their children’s adolescence, the same basic three-tier structure applies to both periods. The lowest level prepares children for blue collar jobs and simple administrative work, while the higher level of the system caters to students with the potential to continue at colleges and universities. In between is a middle level that bridges the lower and higher end of the educational system. Adolescents and parents indicated which type of school they attend(edyf D Q G W K H L U D Q V Z H U V Z H U H F R G H G R Q D W K U H H S R L Q W V F D O H . Music preferences were assessed via a short version of the Music Preference Questionnaire (ter Bogt et al 2003yf 7 K H 0 3 4 V K R U W F R Q V L V W V R I D O L V W R I W K H P R V t important types of popular and serious music. Parents were asked to indicate on a five-point Likert scale (1 = very bad , 5 = very goodyf W K H H [ W H Q W W R Z K L F K W K H O L N H G D V H t of seven music genres that were well-known and popular when they were adolescents themselves : Mainstream pop music, such as pop charts music, disco and soul; rock music, with a separate items on rock and alternative rock such as punk/new wave/ pro- gressive rock; and highbrow music, including classical and jazz. Adolescents responded to a list of the 10 most important current forms of popular and serious contemporary music. Some genres were the same for adolescents and parents including mainstream pop, rock, classical music and jazz. Other items on the adolescent questionnaire dif- fered from the parent list. Soul and disco were dropped because they were no longer among the most preferred genres for young people. However, two other forms of black American and dance music, built upon the foundations laid by soul and disco artists, gained immense popularity over the past two decades and were added: hip-hop and R&B. Across Europe, forms of electronic dance music such as house/ trance and club/ mellow also became highly popular in the 90s; therefore, items on these genres were added. With regard to the rock spectrum of popular music, parents were asked how much they had favored rock and alternative rock (punk/new wave/progressive rockyf , whereas adolescents responded to items on rock, heavy metal and punk/hardcore. In sum, adolescents responded to preference items on mainstream pop, hip-hop, R&B, rock, heavy metal, punk/hardcore, house/ trance, mellow/club, classical music and jazz. Missing scale item values were imputed using a relative means substitution approach This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerational Continuity of Music Taste • 305 developed by Raaijmakers (1999yf : L W K U H J D U G W R P X V L F Y D U L D E O H V P H D Q V R I L P S X W H d variables were never divided more than .02 from the original means. Preliminary Analysis Embedded major music styles were identified through exploratory factor analysis (Principal Components Analysis, varimax rotationyf ) R U P R W K H U V D Q G I D W K H U V D K L J K O y similar three-factor structure was found (eigenvalues > 1yf V H H 7 D E O H f. The first fac- tor was labeled Pop. Pop, soul and disco, the most popular music genres of parents’ youth, loaded on this factor. A second factor, Rock , emerged from the items on rock and a> •= o “(/> 3 S •*-» e a> o .Sž o < > a> > (Ü c < 1- o •+* o co u_ N _a> JD ß ^Ti-ooocNif>oyf fmincM ^^■(Mooooooooco Q ■” I _Q _Q ^ Oyf ‘ (/yf ± >* o CD “o 0=COt-OCOC3yf & ; fOCMT-CM r • ^NNC’l(D(NONr-T- o – cooocoqqqcocNiCNiq ■ lj_ ■ r i’ “I” ^T-SOr-COTtCXyf f0^ ^^COT-T-oooooo^OO Q £ O ¿^ooor-or-oooooT- ” ” Oyf L L L L ” * in k_ b “o o – coqqcöoqoqqo^cNi (V i” i” i Q- oNcDT-cNico^-mmoyf o – LOOOOOOCNJOCNCNJ-«- T- LL. • ,■ p ■O co “co J>* CD c= < "c CD CI o Q_ E o o ~ãi o. "o £ ài o z alternative rock, and a third, Highbrow , drew from classical and jazz. Four factors surfaced from the adolescent data: Pop (pop, R&B, hip-hopyf 5 R F N U R F N S X Q N / hardcore, heavy metalyf + L J K E U R Z F O D V V L - cal, jazzyf D Q G ' D Q F H K R X V H W U D Q F H F O X E / mellowyf 7 D E O H f. For both parents and adolescents, the factors were identified by high factor loadings and no important cross-loadings appeared, with the poten- tial exception of Pop music items, which showed some cross loading for parents. Results were highly similar to those of other studies investigating the factor struc- ture of music tastes among adolescents (Rentfrow and Gosling 2003; Delsing et al. 2008; ter Bogt et al. forthcomingyf . Strategy for Analysis Intergenerational effects were analyzed in a Structural Equation Model. Figure 1 il- lustrates the assumption that a link existed between parental taste for 70s and 80s Pop and a taste for the same broad style of current Pop music among their children. In a similar way, parental tastes for older Rock and Highbrow were hypothesized to predict adolescent preferences for current Rock and Highbrow, respectively. Given that parental tastes for Pop implied a preference for the highly danceable black American soul music of the 60s and 70s and ultra-rhythmic disco music, parental This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 306 • Social Forces 90(1yf Figure 1. Structural Equation Model of Parental and Adolescent Education and Music Taste Pop preference was modeled as a predictor of adolescent taste for Dance. The error terms from the same type of music genres rated by mothers and fathers were allowed to covary. These models also specified links between the music tastes of parents, educational level of mothers and fathers, parental education and their tastes, and adolescents education and tastes. Obviously, parental education was expected to predict adolescent education. In addition to these paths, two sets of confounders were introduced in the models. In order to control for potential cross-style influences, other parental style preferences (indicated by the dotted latent constructs in Figure 1yf Z H U H D G G H G W R W K H P R G H O V R Q H E R Q H ' L U H F t effects between parental education and adolescent style preferences were also tested. Paths were only retained when they significantly improved the model fit. Next, these models were tested in a multi-group setup with parental and adolescent gender as defining variables. All paths and covariances were constrained to be equal across groups. To test whether mothers' preferences were closer to their children's tastes compared to fathers' preferences, the mother-child pair was allowed to differ from the father-child pair. To determine whether any other path(syf G L I I H U H Q W L D W H G D S D U W L F X O D U O L Q N R U V H W R I O L Q N V W K e parent-child links were set to be freely estimated successively. An increase in model fit (significant -AX2 at p < .05yf Z D V X V H G D V D F U L W H U L R Q I R U G L I I H U H Q W L D W L R Q . Results For both mothers and fathers, the most popular form of music from their youth was Pop (see Table 3yf 0 $ 1 2 9 $ V U H S H D W H G P H D V X U H P H Q W S f. Rock was less popular This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergeneratìonal Continuity of Music Taste • 307 Table 3: Popularity of Different Styles of Music among Parents and Their Children Mothers 3.9 ' 2.92 2.82 - Fathers 3.6 1 3.22 3.03 - Girls 3.81 2.32 2.4 2 2.32 Boys Note: Music Composite Scales consist of the following genres: Parents: Pop (top 40, soul, discoyf 5 R F N U R F N D O W H U Q D W L Y H f, Highbrow (classic music, jazzyf Adolescents: Pop (top 40, R&B, hip-hopyf 5 R F N U R F N K H D Y P H W D O S X Q N f, Highbrow (classic music, jazzyf ' D Q F H K R X V H W U D Q F H F O X E P H O O R Z f. Rows: different superscripts indicate differences in popularity of styles within groups, at p < .05 (GLM, repeated measurementsyf . Columns: italic typeface indicates differences between mothers and fathers, and girls and boys, respectively at p < .05 (t-testsyf , bold indicates differences between generations, i.e., fathers/mothers vs. daughters/sons, at p < .05 (t-testsyf . and Highbrow music the least popular. Scores for Pop were well above the natural scale mean of 3 on the five-point scale. Rock was generally valued as neutral and Highbrow music was also not particularly liked or disliked. Mothers tended to like Pop more than fathers and like Rock somewhat less (paired ř-tests,/> < .05yf . Among adolescents, Pop was also the most popular style of music (MAN OVA, repeated measurement p < .05yf 5 R F N D Q G ' D Q F H Z H U H V L J Q L I L F D Q W O O H V V S R S X O D U D Q d Highbrow music was unpopular, particularly among boys. Pop and Highbrow music were more appreciated by girls; Dance was more popular among boys (ř-tests,/> < .05yf . Significant zero-order correlations were found between Pop and Rock (-.18yf D Q G 3 R p and Dance (.32yf Q R W L Q W D E O H f. Significant differences in the popularity of similar types of music emerged between generations, with both Rock and Highbrow being more popular among adults (paired ¿-tests,/? < .05yf . Correlations between parental and adolescent music preferences are presented in Table 4. Mothers preferences for Pop, Rock and Highbrow were significantly associated with their daughters' taste for the same types of music; their preferences for Pop marked less enthusiasm for classical music, and their preferences for Highbrow indicated lower scores on Pop. Furthermore, mothers' liking of Pop, Rock and Highbrow was linked to sons' preferences for Dance, Rock and Highbrow, respectively. Fathers' tastes were less often linked to their children's preferences; however, fathers' affinity for Rock and Highbrow related positively to the same preferences among daughters. Fathers' liking of Pop pre- dicted daughters' linking of Dance. Only one significant correlation between fathers and sons was found for Highbrow music. The most obvious difference in these connections was that for girls' Rock taste, preferences of both parents were relevant, whereas, for boys, neither mothers' nor fathers' preferences showed any link to their attitude toward Rock. This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 308 • Social Forces 90(1yf Table 4: Zero Order Correlations Parental and Adolescent Music Preferences Girls Pop .24** .03 -.16* .13 -.04 -.03 Rock .03 .27** .02 .01 .24** -.03 Highbrow -.22** .04 .19* -.05 -.10 .18* Dance .11 -.05 -.04 .17* .02 -.06 Boys Pop .08 .03 -.11 .02 .01 -.03 Rock -.03 .03 .08 -.11 -.02 .08 Highbrow -.08 .19* .23** -.07 -.13 .25** Dance .21** .10 -.08 .05 .06 -.15 Mothers Pop - .22** -.18** .28** .11* -.17** Rock - .08 .02 .24** -.02 Highbrow - -.05 -.18** .25** Fathers Pop .28** .02 -.05 - .25** -.09 Rock .11* .24** -.18** - -.07 Highbrow -.17** -.02 .25** Note: Pearson correlations It is furthermore interesting to notice that highly significant zero-order correlations (p < .01yf E H W Z H H Q S D U H Q W D O S U H I H U H Q F H V Z H U H D O V R I R X Q G 3 R S P R W K H U I D W K H U 5 R F k mother-father = .24, and Highbrow mother-father = .25, suggesting that either spouses influence each others tastes, or that shared music preferences at a much earlier stage of their relationship promoted affiliation and romance. Table 5 represents the most important paths for generational continuity in taste and educational effects on parental and adolescent taste. No direct effects were found between parental education and adolescent music styles and no significant cross-style influences were found; hence, these paths were removed from the models. In the Pop, Dance and Highbrow models, no significant differences in the parent-child paths were found; in the Rock model, parental connections to their daughters' and sons' tastes dif- fered. Therefore, the Pop, Dance and Highbrow results reflected single-group models and the Rock results pertained to the multi-group analyses. The Pop Model Table 5 and Figure 2 show that the educational level of both mothers and fathers was associated negatively with their taste for Pop music. However, adolescent education was not significandy associated with adolescent Pop preference. In addition, fathers' and mothers' preferences for Pop were positively linked to the popularity of Pop music among their children. With CFI = .98 and RMSEA = .029, the Pop model showed a good fit (Hu and Bender, 1998yf D O W K R X J K W K H H [ S O D L Q H G Y D U L D Q F H R I D G R O H V F H Q W V W D V W H s (squared multiple correlationyf Z D V O R Z byf . This content downloaded from 66.77.17.54 on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:39:23 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Intergenerationai Continuity of Music Taste • 309 a> > č O “> 3 S •*-* e Qyf O (/yf _a> o “O < "O c CO ¿Š e e co Q. C o *-» as o 3 "O LU (/yf O .Ü? S to Li. ■o c CO (/> e a> “o it o> o o -C as Q. T3 a> N as “O c co in a> .q £ “5-» C a> ® * * * o o * * * S ¡0^^ I I I I fe QÕ ■o < i & « -O ■£ I ■C (Q . 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