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Borgarklassens diskreta stil: Smak och samhällsklass i heminredningstidskriften "Sköna Hem"
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The Discreet Style of the Bourgeouisie : Taste and Social Class in the Interior Design Magazine "Sköna Hem" (English)
Abstract [en]

Within media and communications studies, questions of taste have often been associated with the dichotomy of high versus popular culture. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has also used mass media products in his studies of class determined tastes and dispositions. In this paper the author uses the theoretical framwork of Bourdieu to examine aspects of social class and legitimate taste in the interior design magazine "Sköna Hem", a market leading magazine within it's genre of lifestyle magazines in Sweden. A specific type of feature article, where a real-life home is portrayed, is studied using the critical discourse analysis of Norman Fairclough. The homes portrayed are predominantly affluent and display elements of conspicuous consumtion as mediated through legitimate taste and cultural capital. Common traits are identified in writing style as well as the furnishings of the homes portrayed. Deviations from the norm are also discussed. The author also discusses text production with an emphasis on the impact of informal chriteria of quality on the selection of homes portrayed.

The results show that the aesthetic ideals represented in the magazine correlate well to the "aesthetic disposition" described by Bourdieu as closely tied to haute bourgeois habitus. Shared discoursive elements include an emphasis on form as a characteristic of quality, an attitude of detachment as a way of relating to the objects of culture and a distancing from questions of economic neccessity. These elements are projected rhetorically through modality markers of high affinity, leaving the impression of a general defintion of style and beauty. Given that these results are representative of lifestyle journalism as a whole, the author interprets this as a hegemonizing process wherein a subjective defintion of taste typical of the haute bourgeois comes to represent an absolute. She proposes that this contributes to a pathologizing of powerless groups in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Magazines, interior design, interior decoration, media and communications studies, middle class, upper class
Keyword [sv]
Tidskrifter, heminredning, medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap, medelklass, överklass
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57127OAI: diva2:540085
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-08-29 Created: 2012-07-06 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved

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