Photography: A Middle-Brow Art

Photography: A Middle-Brow Art

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by Pierre Bourdieu et al.
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0804726892

ISBN-13: 9780804726894

Pub. Date: 03/28/1996

Publisher: Stanford University Press

The everyday practice of photography by millions of amateur photographers may seem to be a spontaneous and highly personal activity. But France's leading sociologist and cultural theorist Pierre Bourdieu and his research associates show that few cultural activities are more structural and systematic than photography.

This perceptive and wide-ranging analysis of

Overview

The everyday practice of photography by millions of amateur photographers may seem to be a spontaneous and highly personal activity. But France's leading sociologist and cultural theorist Pierre Bourdieu and his research associates show that few cultural activities are more structural and systematic than photography.

This perceptive and wide-ranging analysis of the practice of photography reveals the logic implicit in this cultural field. For some social groups, photography is primarily a means of preserving the present and reproducing moments of collective celebration, whereas for other groups it is the occasion of an aesthetic judgment in which photographs are endowed with the dignity of works of art. Bourdieu and his associates examine the socially differentiated forms of photographic practice by drawing on the results of surveys and interviews and by analyzing the attitudes and characteristics of both amateur and professional photographers.

First published n 1965, Photography provides an excellent opportunity to observe key parts of Bourdieu's theories at a formative stage. Ideas that will become central to his thought—the habitus, the structuring of taste by class position, people's use of taste to distinguish themselves from the classes to which they are adjacent, and the internalization of objective probabilities—make an early appearance here. It is the first study to integrate survey research and anthropological observation in the manner for which Bourdieu has become justly renowned.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804726894
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Edition description:
1
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
994,280
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Preface.
Introduction.
Part I: .
1. The Cult of Unity and Cultivated Differences (Pierre Bourdieu).
2. The Social Definition of Photography (Pierre Bourdieu).
Part II: .
3. Aesthetic Ambitions and Social Aspirations: The Camera Club as a Secondary Group (Robert Castel and Dominique Schnapper).
4. Mechanical Art, Natural Art: Photographic Artists (Jean-Claude Chamboredon).
5. Professional Men or Men of Quality: Professional Photographers (Luc Boltanski and Jean-Claude Chamboredon).
Notes.
Index.

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Photography: A Middle-Brow Art 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Unfocused More than 1 year ago
This is a book about photographers, but not about photography. In the 1960s, Prof. Bourdieu and his colleagues undertook a study of photography as a social activity. A half century later, the book remains important for those who are interested in the serious study of photography as well as those interested in sociology. Bourdieu explores the social functions that photography fulfills, such as recording key passages in life (birthdays, marriages, graduations, etc.) and then moves on to examine the attitudes of both professional and amateur photographers. This is not an easy read and will appeal only to serious students of photography or sociology. Nonetheless, the study remains relevant today and provides an important perspective in this age of digital camera phones.