elitism and elitist

   The belief that certain persons deserve favored treatment by virtue of their superior artistic or intellectual accomplishments, or because of some other real or perceived status. People and things reach various levels of achievement, of success, and for better or worse, people judge the qualities of other people and things. But elitism is a tendency to codify levels of artistic sophistication into a hierarchical system that some would call pretentiously exclusionary, and others realistic. Elitism is the sense of entitlement that follows from this attitude, and the control or dominance by a group of elitists — the people who take this view of their position. Elitism always elicits aesthetic questions about defining art, who is an authority about it, and what that means for people who aren't.

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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