Cultural orientations of an economic elite in the making

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In line with recent calls to investigate the way cultural consumption is practiced and appreciated, this paper explores the cultural logics of young business professionals in North-Western Europe. Considering the ample literature on the changing constitution of legitimate cultural capital, this study attempts to qualify the largely quantitative arguments and investigates discursive practices. Using in-depth interviews, conducted with young business professionals or ‘high potentials’ as they are often called, professional motivations and leisure consumption practices are explored with a focus on music taste and choice of apparel. The interviews therefore add to our knowledge on the relevance of taste for the social networking and the lifestyle of this distinct group. The group under study is particularly interesting as they are in the course of establishing themselves in the business world and ‘working their way up’ in multinational firms, which requires a large commitment to the field and its logics. Growing into the managerial elite, they have to perform well in their tasks, build social networks and prove themselves to leaders in the field. While research has shown omnivorousness to be beneficial for business professionals, the literature on the cultural habits of economic elites remains thin. The importance of cultural capital in this crucial life phase remains largely under-explored. This study contributes to our understanding of the underlying logic of taste preferences, how they are embedded in identity performance, and relate to social networking.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2014
EventESA Consumption Research Network Midterm Conference - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 4 Sept 2014 → …


ConferenceESA Consumption Research Network Midterm Conference
CityPorto, Portugal
Period4/09/14 → …

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