Pierre Bourdieu and Food

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Wealth and power are matters of pure obsession to individuals in society, however with this obsession comes the clear and unfortunate reality that power is divided amongst classes and in particular the upper, ruling class. Pierre Bourdieu formulated the theory of social and cultural capital, where social capital refers to the complex relationships that exist between people of a particular society which ultimately enables that society to function efficiently. Cultural capital, on the other hand, refers to the cultural knowledge gathered by individuals across time, by parents or adult influences, which assists in gaining power and status. Bourdieu’s theory of social and cultural capital is furthermore cemented by his argument that food, especially one’s choice in delicacies, most often determines the social class that an individual belongs to. Therefore, this script aims to draw particular attention to social class and the distinct characteristics one must attain to gain access into a higher class and social status. It is crucial to note that one’s social position in society is a valuable mechanism used to determine one’s ability to engage in economic growth and class maturation. This statement is reinforced by the saying; “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” (Gauntlett, 2011). Social capital, therefore is seen as a device used by the elite to ensure that wealth, power and status is transferred only with other members of the elite. For example, if an individual’s aim is to be in affiliation with members of hierarchy such as Ministers and Presidents, it is of paramount importance to associate one’s self with individuals or entities that are in close connection with the above stated members of hierarchy. Thus by exploiting their relationships with other individuals of social status, the upper and upper-middle classes are able to secure and assert their
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