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Cultural elitism

Cultural elitism's closest relative is cultural pessimism, the main argument of which is that the "culture of our times is declining". [May 2006]

Related: academia - classical music - connoisseur - "high" culture - high - high society - snob

The masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator. [Jun 2006]

Cultural elitists: Theodor Adorno - Matthew Arnold - Harold Bloom - José Ortega y Gasset - T. S. Eliot - Clement Greenberg - F. R. Leavis

Elite (sociology)

In sociology as in general usage, the elite (the "elect"; sometimes the French form "élite" is used) refers to a relatively small dominant group within a larger society, which enjoys privileged status and, almost invariantly, exploits individuals of lower social status. When applied to an individual, as in the phrase "many elites come to this restaurant," the usage quite economically both refers to an individual within that class and establishes the speaker as non-elite. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism#Elite [Apr 2005]


Elitism is a belief or attitude that an elite— a selected group of persons whose personal abilities, specialized training or other attributes place them at the top of any field (experience, intelligence, creativity, good taste)— are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously, or who are alone fit to govern. Thus elitism sees an elite as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, set apart from the majority of people who do not match up with their abilities or attributes. Thus this selected elite is treated with favoritism. Members of an inherited elite are aristocrats. -- adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism [Apr 2005]


Aristocracy is a position vis-à-vis culture (as well as vis-à-vis power), and the history of Camp taste is part of the history of snob taste. But since no authentic aristocrats in the old sense exist today to sponsor special tastes, who is the bearer of this taste? Answer: an improvised self-elected class, mainly homosexuals, who constitute themselves as aristocrats of taste. --Susan Sontag, Notes on Camp

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