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Emily E. West

Distinction

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Full-Text Articles in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

A Taste For Greeting Cards: Distinction Within A Denigrated Cultural Form, Emily West Jan 2010

A Taste For Greeting Cards: Distinction Within A Denigrated Cultural Form, Emily West

Emily E. West

Greeting cards are a denigrated product category in the United States, and yet consumers use them at high rates across taste formations. Consumers with relatively high cultural capital place a premium on originality in their self-expression, hence greeting cards present a consumption problem because they are a mode of expressing the self through mass-produced means. Based on interviews with 51 people, I show that consumers with higher cultural capital are more likely to prioritize card design over sentiment; select smaller, simpler designs and sentiments; prefer cards that are handmade, look handmade, or remind them of fine art; and are more ...