Week 7 LAB Projects 2018

Cultural Capitals: Museums, Identity Narratives and Connoisseurship

Participating Faculty: Trisha Craig

Project Duration: Thursday, 27 September to Saturday, 6 October


Course Summary:

This Week 7 examines the various meanings and importance of cultural capital.  First we examine why and how Singapore has set itself the task of becoming a global cultural capital of art. This allows us to see the role that art can play in an economic development strategy and to examine the changing cultural narrative of Singapore. We will look at how museums and heritage sites can contribute to the construction of national identity, how they may be used to project an image of cosmopolitanism on the world stage, what their economic function is and their relationship to the reproduction of class and social structures.

We will also look at cultural capital in the sense that many sociologists and social theorist use the term. As one of the types of resources, or capitals, individuals can possess, cultural capital involves the symbolic mastery of social systems and can be a mechanism of social inequality and stratification. We will look at the ways in which an appreciation of art can be considered a form of cultural capital and get a hands-on look at how that is transmitted. Finally, we will look at the relationship of connoisseurship and social capital, using a look into wine culture to consider the exclusionary function of cultural capital as well as the possibilities for its democratisation.

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