‘Definitely plan to read them’: cultural goodwill as habitus of a middle class-in-the-making in Czech Republic

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Ondřej Špaček Charles University, Czech Republic

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Cultural hierarchies enable an understanding of how consumption takes part in the reproduction of social inequalities in current societies. The changing nature of these hierarchies reveals a tension between established and emerging forms of cultural capital. This article explores this tension in the context of an understudied European cultural semi-periphery country. It focuses on young university students in a social milieu where new trends, established legitimate culture and cosmopolitan cultural flows intersect. The article uses a mixed-method approach and analyses cultural space both through survey data and follow-up in-depth interviews. Detailed exploration of cultural repertoires shows that while survey analysis shows both established and emerging forms of legitimate culture, there is widespread deference among the students towards the former. While cultural goods associated with emerging cultural capital are widely consumed, they are not related to repertoires of legitimisation. This points to the continuing importance of national institutions and their pedagogical practices in delineating what is understood as legitimate culture.

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Ondřej Špaček Charles University, Czech Republic

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