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How cultural capital emerged in Gilded Age America: musical purification and cross-class inclusion at the New York Philharmonic

Accominotti, Fabien, Khan, Shamus R. and Storer, Adam (2018) How cultural capital emerged in Gilded Age America: musical purification and cross-class inclusion at the New York Philharmonic. American Journal of Sociology, 123 (6). pp. 1743-1783. ISSN 0002-9602

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Identification Number: 10.1086/696938

Abstract

This article uses a new database of subscribers to the New York Philharmonic to explore how high culture became a form of socially valuable capital in late-19th-century America. The authors find support for the classic account of high culture?s purification and exclusiveness, showing how over the long Gilded Age the social elite of New York attended the Philharmonic both increasingly and in more socially patterned ways. Yet they also find that the orchestra opened up to a new group of subscribers hailing from an emerging professional, managerial, and intellectual middle class. Importantly, the inclusion of this new audience was segregated: they did not mingle with elites in the concert hall. This segregated inclusion paved a specific way for the constitution of cultural capital. It meant that greater purity and greater inclusiveness happened together, enabling elite cultural participation to remain distinctive while elite tastes acquired broader social currency.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The University of Chicago
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 14:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2019 03:01
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100167

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