My taste and Bourdieu's habitus and capital




My Taste and Bourdieu's Habitus and Capital Name Institution

My Taste and Bourdieu's Habitus and Capital

In South Korea (my country), golf is considered as a luxurious sport played by people in the upper economic class of the society. The rich play golf mostly to socialize, network and create business connections. Evidently, golf is the preferred sport for rich people in South Korea; the major reason as to why the middle income brackets of South Korean society always strive to mimic the lifestyle of the rich. Most South Koreans like to associate with the rich (myself included). I come from a middle class family, I was provided with a fairly comfortable life as a child, and attended one of the best private schools in my locality. In many occasions, we ate locally cooked food as my mother always cooked her own food for us, in rare occasions however (especially when we were in family outing), we would eat local delicacies in a restaurant; my mother always insisted on local cuisine citing quality. My parents usually insisted on buying for me the best quality of all the things I needed. While in middle school, my parents convinced me to join a golf club so that I could learn to play golf. I agreed, although I preferred soccer to golf.

As an adult however, I have a distinctive taste for commodities of high quality. I mostly buy the apparels that make me look expensive and socially dominant to my peers. Furthermore, golf has become my best sporting activity. In college I had a chance to go for lunch at a restaurant in a poor suburb around campus with my collage mates; in fact it was an idea from my friends from humble backgrounds. I observed that the delicacies served at the restaurant were more in quantity with average quality, although the management of the restaurant didnt mind the discrepancy. I never considered the restaurant environment appealing, and complained in most cases, although my friends never minded the environment.

The above history of my life has revealed to a certain extent where and how I was brought up. It demonstrates how my upbringing affected the choices I make today, how I view things in life and my perception in general. In relation, Bourdieuss research, the scholastic culture can never compare in depth the ease the cultural capital acquired by constant exposure at home. Consequently, my love for golf, expensive clothing and decorum are all indicators of how I was trained to live as a child and a young adult. My parents being the middle class envied the lifestyle of the capitalized. They enrolled me in golf club to change my perception of a cultural society to that of capitalized society which appeared more appealing. This showed a symbol of power, distinction and class.

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My parents wanted me to be successful and competitive in life, and that is why they enrolled me in golf to improve my social relations with the reach who have capital at their disposal in the hope that I may learn their ways of life and interactions. It is interesting to observe how Bourdieus study on class taste and distinction has similarities with my own life. There are similarities on how my family, a modern working class in South Korea kept tradition of Korean common people. My mother cooking Korean cuisine at home without regret, my familys taste and pleasure were simple and sensual, that is we visited cool restaurant where presentation, quality of food and service was core.

The lifestyle I was introduced to earlier in life by my parents was not the life they lived. It was the lifestyle of the upper ruling class or bourgeoisie as Bourdieu would call it. It was a lifestyle based on knowledge of etiquette and its members (of which I belong) are sovereign in nobility and good mannerisms. Evidently, in our golf club, all the sensual and corporate aspects of eating were concealed through behind the strict formality of table manner (Fischler, 1990). Pleasure was always anticipated and I was always in a constraint rather than satisfied with the food. I dined with the top rich who longed for rules and guidance in etiquette. Gastronomic guide books were always available at the club for a read in order to live to a modest and classical life.

It was easy to guess my social origin as my conducts were mostly insecure and I often followed the etiquette too strictly. The problem, however, is that I was not rich, but rather my parents pressured me to think like the rich. At the golf club, it took me more to be a gentleman they expected (Bell, 1992). I agree with Rousseau that social competition creates something artificial in people. In my case, the question was so much of corruption of my original taste and perception of life. Social competition and need to belong to a better social class has created beauty which is not real beauty, manners which are not decent and taste which are not good taste at all (Bourdiue, 1984).

Previously, I highlighted an incident at lower suburb restaurant where I was not pleased with the services. It is now that I realize that the services were not bad at all, the pattern of social emulation that leads to a process of continuous refinement in taste rather than quality and meaning that gave me an illusive perception that the services were poor. It cannot be denied that the lifestyle and upbringing I was accorded as a child and as a young adult has created a personality in me that embraces modernity and rational taste, it is also worth to note that this social class has changed me to be unpredictable, instant, and expectant of impossible perfections.

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