Australian Culture, Inequalities and Social Divisions: Class, Politics and Taste

This event arises from the Australian Research Council-funded project Australian Cultural Fields: National and Transnational Dynamics based at Western Sydney University, focusing on a major new book, Fields, Capitals, Habitus: Australian Culture, Inequalities and Social Divisions (Routledge 2020). It addresses the pivotal significance of culture at the intersections of several social divisions and inequalities: between classes, age cohorts, ethnicities, genders, city and country, and the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Presenters consider selected elements of Australians’ preferences across six cultural fields (visual arts, literature, music, heritage, television and sport). They variously pay attention to ‘middlebrow’ cultures; Indigenous cultural capital, and the gendered, political, personal and community associations of cultural tastes across Australia’s Anglo-Celtic, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese and Indian populations. The event illuminates the formations of cultural capital in Australia as a multicultural settler colonial society in challenging common claims that culture is just a matter of personal taste.

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