22/04/2019 – 26/04/2019




Antoine Hennion (2007) stated: “Taste is not an attribute, it is not a property (of a thing or of a person), it is an activity”. This is interesting as we often associate objects with standards like wine and smart clothes, however you liking those things does not mean you have good taste. To have good taste is to know what you are talking about and understand where the things you like – or think you like – come from. Thus, taste comes from a broad education. Would you drink a famous champagne that you do not like just to fit into society’s standards? The answer should always be no.




If you have only tried Moët and claim it is the best champagne, then you do not know what qualifies a good champagne (I am not downgrading Moët simply using it as an example). I believe you can only judge if something is excellent if you tested other varieties. Good taste means to understand who you are and what you like. Bourdieu states that the rich felt entitled to be the judges of taste because of their wealth. If you are the precursor to a trend then you hold societal power. Most think climbing the social ladder would improve their taste. Sadly, copying whatever the rich do, often ends up as cheap imitation. Though taste in society is still focused on names and status, we are in a new era. Today there is not much that is exclusive to the upper classes, if you earn enough you can get almost anything you want. How does society respond to this, by mixing the social classes up. E.g. Major fashion houses making fishing vests chic. Essentially, ‘taste’ is a power struggle between peers. Since ‘taste’ is status, whoever attends the most sold-out shows and visits the best restaurants builds a portfolio of status. In today’s world, our smartphones are the proof of all the ‘cool’ things we do. What makes taste good is that it is authentic and in a society that is so desperate to find authenticity, we are actually driving it away. At the end of the day, the true amateurs and connoisseurs are those who practice daily, like Hennion said: “it is an activity”. Most importantly, it is practiced discreetly. Taste is humility, you do not recognize your own but you are aware of it and maintain it to your standards while staying true to yourself. Those who seek to elevate their status will run from trend to trend hoping to get there before the rest. I think Sting’s 1988 lyric: “a gentleman will walk but never run” suits this topic perfectly. If you are running after camo pants to Gucci loafers, you will never get to know yourself. You are too busy copying everyone else’s style that you forget your own, ergo you have no taste.




Grief, M. (2010) The Hipster in the Mirror. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/books/review/Greif-t.html(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Hennion, A. (2007) Those Things That Hold Us Together: Taste and Sociology. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1749975507073923 (Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Wade, L. (2010) Bourdieu, Hipsters and the Authenticity of Taste. Available at: https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/12/20/bourdieu-the-“hipster”-and-the-authenticity-of-taste/(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Available at: https://genius.com/Sting-englishman-in-new-york-lyrics(Accessed: 30 May 2019)



Bottleshop (2019) Moet Chandon. Available at: https://www.bottleshop.co.za/moet-chandon-magnum/(Accessed: 4 June 2019)

Editions Métalié (2019) Antoine Hennion. Available at: https://editions-metailie.com/auteur/antoine-hennion/ (Accessed 5 June 2019)

Kirsch, L. (2019) Camo pants. Available at: https://leahkirsch.com/products/orange-camo-pants?variant=1824629129240(Accessed: 4 June 2019)

Designer Kidswear (2019) Gucci silders. Available at: https://www.designerkidswear.ca/junior-pursuit-slides.html(Accessed: 4 June 2019)


Published by Marco-Antonio Grubben

IVM 2018-2022

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