Monday, February 20, 2017

Core Post 3: TV and Audience

While laying in a post-nap stupor this afternoon, I considered Bourdieu's stance on capital Seiter wrote about. The transference of capital types struck me as interesting, as I always like to consider what it means when a person in society has cultural capital. In this piece, Bourdieu is said to write about transferral of one capital into another, like cultural capital into social capital in the case of T.V. In an example of this, Seiter explains that  "Bourdieu is adamant about the necessity of a means of translating cultural capital into social capital for any material rewards to accrue to an individual. Clearly, only a small group of professionals (academic and media producers, usually backed by forms of middle-class eduation and credentials) can 'convert' the cultural capital of knowledge about television into social capital" (Seiter 472). It occurred to me that it could be argued that this transferral of capital in regards to T.V. happens from economic capital to cultural capital in the form of streaming options. These past few years I have been left out of the conversation of Transparent because I have not had access to Amazon Prime. The professor who had a phone-interview with me before I got accepted to USC asked if I watched it, my best friend from college asked me if I was watching , everyone wanted to talk about it. It was controversial, it was political, it was... not accessible to me because I couldn't afford Amazon Prime. I, of course, have been on the other side of things with HBO, asking those around me if they have seen West World or Girls or etc. To first access the cultural capital that can then be transferred into social capital, one must have the economic capital to even have the right taste.

So the argument that sociologists Michele Lamon and Annette Lareau posit that American culture is  'less related to knowledge of the Western humanist culture, is more technically oriented (with an emphasis on scientific or computer information) and more materialistic' (1988:66)  seems very fair to me. Since "They suggest that purchasable rather than culturally accquired- signals of legitimate culture may be more acceptable and may be granted more the United States than in France," (473) I would put forward that culturally acquired signals of culture in our society must first overcome the barrier of the economic capital required. Unless, of course, you have a friend who has access to Hulu, HBO, Netflix or Amazon Video. Then it's the transfer of social capital to cultural capital, which in turn can keep the social capital alive, given that you both have watched the two "Rick and Morty" seasons 5 times each and can therefore keep your friendship alive by talking about that. Not that...I would have any knowledge of that particular situation...

No comments:

Post a Comment