Comparison of high cultural capital and low cultural capital pictorial household artwork consumers in the upper middle class in Ankara

Demircioğlu, Deniz
The purpose of this research is to understand the differences of the meanings inferred through pictorial household artwork consumption between high cultural capital and low cultural capital consumers in the upper middle class in Ankara/Turkey. I utilized Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of distinction to explain the social status of the consumers depending on their tastes in pictorial household artworks. I tried to understand whether, in the postmodern era, the high arts as objectified cultural capital has lost its significance as status-markers in the upper middle class artwork consumers in Ankara/Turkey. I utilized qualitative research methods of non-participant observation, in-depth interviewing, auto-driving and secondary data collection. The findings reveal that the aesthetic judgments of the participants differ based on their cultural capital. Hence, for artwork consumers with high cultural capital, high arts still signify objectified cultural capital. While low cultural capital artwork consumers value beauty, visual content and their emotional response to the artwork, high cultural capital artwork consumers focus on the artistic and qualities of the artworks and intellectual inquiry provided by the artworks. The aesthetic vision of low cultural capital artwork consumers parallels the popular aesthetic vision which does not require cultural v capital. Whereas high cultural capital artwork consumers develop both modernist and postmodernist aesthetic approaches to high arts. Contrary to popular aesthetic visions, the development of the modernist and the postmodernist aesthetic approaches necessitate cultural capital.


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Citation Formats
D. Demircioğlu, “Comparison of high cultural capital and low cultural capital pictorial household artwork consumers in the upper middle class in Ankara,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2020.