Cultural Capital: New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a city with a unique and diverse spectrum of cultural capital. This is apparent when analyzing it through the lens of the iceberg concept of cultural capital. Surface level cultural capital, as well as embodied and objectified state cultural capital as outlined by Bordieu’s theory, is abundant in the form of unique traditions that are exclusive to New Orleans. For instance, there are many city-wide events and festivals in which citizens come together to celebrate the rich heritage of New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (which I’ve attended several times), for example, is a huge three day gathering that includes performances from famous and local musicians, a marketplace for local art, and hundreds of food vendors serving traditional New Orleans food. The festival is owned by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage foundation, which uses the proceeds from the festival for year-round community development programs in the areas of education, economic development, and culture. These events also attract thousands of visitors, as statistics from the New Orleans Mayor’s office show, in 2015 the second weekend of Mardi Gras saw 97% hotel occupancy.

Me at the Maroon 5 performance at Jazz Fest

Me at the Maroon 5 performance at Jazz Fest

Traditional New Orleans Creole style food in particular is something that characterizes the city and its fame. The blending of many different cultures including French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Cajun, Chinese, and Cuban, have resulted in the unique and easily recognizable Louisiana flavor that is known around the world. Some of the specialties of New Orleans include beignets, which are square shaped fried pastries covered in powdered sugar, Po-boys, which are typically fried seafood on a baguette-style bread, and broiled crawfish, which they usually serve in large buckets.

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Broiled Crawfish at Jazz Fest

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Crawfish PoBoy at Jazz Fest

 

Cuisine of New Orleans. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_New_Orleans

History – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from http://www.nojazzfest.com/info/history/

Heather Nolan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. (2015). Mardi Gras 2015 was busiest ever for New Orleans EMS; a ‘resounding success,’ mayor says. Retrieved November 02, 2016, from http://www.nola.com/mardigras/index.ssf/2015/02/mardi_gras_2015_was_busiest_ev.html