New Directions

  • Susan Melrose
Part of the New Directions in Theatre book series (NDT)


The positions adopted by both Barthes and Caroll, cited above, are located in a field of reflection largely passed over in silence (although present in fact) in the early agenda established by structural semiotics. Taste and judgement within cultural practice appeared on the one hand to be subjective, rather than social, and therefore an irrelevancy to projects more interested in specifying the enabling conditions for general practice. Or, on the other hand, it was socially-determined, a clear manifestation of class difference or distinction where ‘good taste’ is a matter of economically-determined access to a “symbolic capital” (Bourdieu, 1985) whose value was not innate but ratified by conservative tradition. Meanwhile practitioners experimented with the ‘ritual’ and ‘mythical’ potentialities of theatre, relegating the dramatic text, in some quarters, to the category of that oppressive, imposed ‘taste’ of the dominant class.


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© S. F. Melrose 1994

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  • Susan Melrose

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