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Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory
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Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory
Critical Investigations



January 1997 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This is the first comprehensive description of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of culture and habitus. Within the wider intellectual context of Bourdieu's work, this book provides a systematic reading of his assessment of the role of `cultural capital' in the production and consumption of symbolic goods.

Bridget Fowler outlines the key critical debates that inform Bourdieu's work. She introduces his recent treatment of the rules of art, explains the importance of his concept of capital - economic and social, symbolic and cultural - and defines such key terms as habitus, practice and strategy, legitimate culture, popular art and distinction.

The book focuses particularly on Bourdieu's account of the nature of capitalist modernity, on the emergence of bohemia and, with the growth of the market, the invention of the artist as the main historical response to the changed place of art.

 
PART ONE: INTERPRETATIVE STUDIES
 
Situating Bourdieu
Cultural Theory and Sociological Perspectives

 
 
Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
 
Bourdieu, Postmodernism, Modernity
 
The Historical Genesis of Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
 
PART TWO: CRITICAL INVESTIGATIONS
 
Bourdieu and Modern Art
The Case of Impressionism

 
 
The Popular and the Middlebrow
 
Bourdieu, the Popular and the Periphery
 
Conclusion

`This book acknowledges the relative lack of interest in, or the fairly selective reception of, the work of Bourdieu in the Anglo-American world, especially with regard to his sociology of culture. The book is therefore an attempt to introduce Bourdieu's analysis of cultural phenomena (in particular of literature and painting), as well as an invitation to remedy the virtual absence of any critical debate regarding

some of his more antagonistic claims. The author portrays Bourdieu's theory as comprehensive and sophisticated, less idealistic in its reserved attitude towards French post structuralism than it is truly

synthetic in its formulation of classical social theory in the wake of late capitalism. The monograph's inclusion in the series Theory, Culture & Society reflects this concern with the resurgence of interest in

cultural theory within the contemporary domains of social science and of the humanities in general' - Pragmatics

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