Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of culture: critical investigations

Fowler, Bridget (1995) Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of culture: critical investigations. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The first part of this thesis is concerned with the exegesis of
Bourdieu's theory and the second part with critical investigations of his
cultural analysis. In the interpretative analysis, I shall show that it is only
through an understanding of his work as a whole that it is possible to grasp
his now famous work on cultural reception. In our societies, the certified
knowledge of professors and the consecrated representations of Tate Gallery
artists serve to underpin the world through convincing the dominated of the
intellectual poverty of their challenges. Moreover, I shall show that there is a
stimulating and rich tension in Bourdieu's sociology, particularly in his
explorations of how economic interests are culturally legitimated. Bourdieu is
a classic historical materialist, yet one who denies some of the abstractions of
sate orthodoxies. This means that - in the interests of truth - his theory
forces the squabbling protagonists of different traditions to live together.Bourdieu has an impressive reassessment of the logic of a minortty
elite culture in which art is hijacked to fit purposes often remote from the
internal meanings of the texts themselves. In the second part of the thesis, it
is argued that Bourdieu's sociology of culture has not entirely extricated
itself from these same ideological tentacles. Firstly, in the case of
Impressionism he overemphasises its character as a rupture in techniques
and has not been sufficiently attuned to its dependence on popular subjects
and popular sources. Secondly in the case of middlebrow and popular
literature, it is suggested that he has failed to describe adequately the nature
of the popular cultural field and has also neglected the character of the
cultural marginalisation of women. Finally, a study of literary consumption
in Scotland challenges Bourdieu's conclusions at some points. By considering
these specific substantive areas, I hope to stimulate a Bourdieusian approach.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1995
Depositing User: Ms Dawn Pike
Unique ID: glathesis:1995-5022
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 10:14
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 10:14
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5022

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