Horsham and distinction

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This research examines the degree to which social class derived cultural distinctions and taste patterns persist in contemporary British society. Central to the research is an application of Pierre Bourdieu's work on social space, social class, legitimate culture and distinction, which provides the theoretical framework. My case study, a critical analysis of cultural practices in the Horsham area of West Sussex, England, demonstrates the continuing relevance of Bourdieu's work on taste as a marker of social class. My analysis of local literature, cultural practices and demographics provides examples of various ways in which ideologically laced notions of the 'historical' and the 'rural' provide means by which social class-derived distinctions are maintained in the Horsham area. This is especially evident when the sense of distinction is used in relation to the non-prestigious. For example, Crawley, a nearby town, is widely portrayed as a 'contagion' encroaching upon Horsham's 'historical' and 'rural' boundaries. The conclusions I reach provide some evidence to suggest that the cultural dimensions of social class still have considerable impact on cultural practices and beliefs. Therefore, my research challenges work by Nicholas Garnham who suggests that cultural categories based on social class have broken down significantly (Garnham 1993).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2006
EventCRESC International Workshop: Rethinking Affluence: Socio-cultural Change in Britain - University of Manchester
Duration: 20 Sept 2006 → …


ConferenceCRESC International Workshop: Rethinking Affluence: Socio-cultural Change in Britain
CityUniversity of Manchester
Period20/09/06 → …


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