In Mass Culture and Class Society: The Taste for Alterity (Culture de masse et société de classes: Le goût de l’altérité), Philippe Coulangeon studies the cultural dimension of inequality. Societies of mass culture and mass education remain, in effect, class societies, riven by inequalities. These inequalities bring into play the distribution of the resources of cultural diversity and alterity rather than those of a culture of learning. Particular attention is paid to the French case, starting with the observation that a certain attenuation of the expression of class cleavage, in life styles and cultural attitudes, pertains more to a recomposition than to a disappearance of these cleavages and their symbolic expression.
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Philippe Coulangeon is a director of research at CNRS, and a member of the Observatoire Sociologique du Changement (the Sociological Observatory of Change) at Sciences Po. He specializes in the…