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The Status Costs of Subordinate Cultural Capital: At-Home Fathers’ Collective Pursuit of Cultural Legitimacy through Capitalizing Consumption Practices

Gokcen Coskuner-Balli and Craig J. Thompson
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 1 (June 2013), pp. 19-41
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/668640
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668640
Page Count: 23
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The Status Costs of Subordinate Cultural Capital: At-Home Fathers’ Collective Pursuit of Cultural Legitimacy through Capitalizing Consumption Practices
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Abstract

Consumer researchers have primarily conceptualized cultural capital either as an endowed stock of resources that tend to reproduce socioeconomic hierarchies among consumer collectivities or as constellations of knowledge and skill that consumers acquire by making identity investments in a given consumption field. These studies, however, have given scant attention to the theoretical distinction between dominant and subordinate forms of cultural capital, with the latter affording comparatively lower conversion rates for economic, social, and symbolic capital. To redress this oversight, this article presents a multimethod investigation of middle-class men who are performing the emergent gender role of at-home fatherhood. Our analysis profiles and theoretically elaborates upon a set of capitalizing consumption practices through which at-home fathers seek to enhance the conversion rates of their acquisitions of domesticated (and subordinate) cultural capital and to build greater cultural legitimacy for their marginalized gender identity.

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