Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Game recognize game

"The petit bourgeois do not know how to play the game of culture as a game. They take culture too seriously to go in for bluff or imposture or even for the distance and casualness which show true familiarity; too seriously to escape permanent fear of ignorance or blunders, or to sidestep tests by responding with the indifference of those who are not competing or the serene detachment of those who feel entitled to confess or even flaunt their lacunae. Identifying culture with knowledge, they think that the cultivated man is one who possesses an immense fund of knowledge and refuse to believe him when he professes … that, brought down to its simplest and most sublime expression, it amounts to a relation to culture ('Culture is what remains when you've forgotten everything'). Making culture a matter of life and death, truth and falsehood, they cannot suspect the irresponsible self-assurance, the insolent off-handedness and even the hidden dishonesty presupposed by the merest page of an inspired essay on philosophy, art or literature. Self-made men, they cannot have the familiar relation to culture which authorizes the liberties and audacities of those who are linked to it by birth, that is, by nature and essence."

— Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice, 330-331