Liking as taste making: Social media practices as generators of aesthetic valuation and distinction

Johannes Paßmann*, Cornelius Schubert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Much research has been conducted on how social media platforms are used as outlets of taste expression, displaying cultural preferences acquired outside the platforms. This research largely builds on the cultural sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and his analysis of taste as a medium of social distinction. We propose to shift the emphasis from the study of taste expression to an analysis of taste making on social media. This shift is occasioned by broader cultural transformations since the 1990s as well as developments on social media since the late 2000s. We see that rather than merely performing a taste learned elsewhere, users cooperatively develop sensitivities on social media platforms, constituting practices of joint observation, evaluation, and distinction. We call this the triangle of taste in which subjects, objects, and media mutually co-produce each other.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Distinction
  • memes
  • praxeology
  • Reddit
  • social media
  • symbolic interactionism
  • taste
  • Twitter
  • valuation

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