Abstract: Networks of Style: Aesthetics as Manifesto in the Business of Elitist and Radical Culture

Janet Rose


Contemporary business culture is an image-focused, aesthetics-driven culture invested in orchestrating and capitalizing on consumer desire for particular kinds of style. Considering business enterprises such as those that market and legislate aesthetic and taste cultures offer insight into the intersections of culture and business. For scholars interested in how businesses begin and grow, it is important to consider the implications of style as the surface and structure of enterprise. This paper offers a perspective on how style networks create and direct business and cultural formations. It looks at the growing tendency within contemporary business practices to take shape, market, and identify as enterprises of style. From the elitist culture of art galleries to the radical style of body modification, style matters in ways that ask new questions of traditional models of business analysis. This paper considers the implications of style as organizing principle within specific business and consumer cultures.