Taste (sociology)

personal and cultural pattern of choice and preference

Taste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic and anthropological concept refers to a cultural patterns of choice and preference. While taste is often understood as a biological concept, it can also be reasonably studied as a social or cultural phenomenon. Taste is about drawing distinctions between things such as styles, manners, consumer goods and works of art. Social inquiry of taste is about the human ability to judge what is beautiful, good and proper.


  • What's one man's poison, signior,
    Is another's meat or drink.
  • It is only a dying cause which can attain to perfect taste.
    • John Buchan, A Lodge in the Wilderness (1906), Chapter III, p. 83.
  • Taste is the enemy of creativeness.
  • In Poets as true Genius is but rare,
True Taste as seldom is the Critic’s share.
  • Taste has no system and no proofs.
    • Susan Sontag, "Notes on Camp", Against Interpretation (1961).
  • De gustibus non disputandum.
    • There is no disputing about taste.
    • Quoted by Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1767); also used by Jeremy Taylor, Reflections upon Ridicule (1707), p. 122.

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