Taste: A bloodless revolution

Joanne Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The public debates about taste arrived in the public domain during the eighteenth century although the practice of creating social divisions through the discipline of rules of etiquette has had many precedents. The consumer age is distinguished by a trade in taste: conspicuous consumption becomes a new social mode. Individuals consumed goods and services in order to demonstrate their capacity to consume. Consumption was not limited by need but became an expression of taste that in turn reflected social mobility and wealth. The training of taste was a new commodity with the democratization of consumption and with the publication of books on household protocols and the rules of conduct at social events. The churning of distinctions through the 'trickle down' and the 'springing up' of changes in style becomes intertwined with social mobility and industrial modernity which, in turn, produces a divorce between fashion and taste. A further consequence is that being fashionable is increasingly a sign of the lack of taste, although it was not always so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalHospitality and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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