Pierre Bourdieu, Social Transformation and 1960s British Drama

Theory, Culture and Society 29 (3):3-24 (2012)
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This article makes the controversial argument that Bourdieu’s theory of practice offers both a model of transformation and social reproduction. However, it also claims that his account of cultural production is marred by two blind-spots. First, it contends that Bourdieu has neglected key forms of material support, notably, that offered, post-war, from the ‘left hand of the state’. The subsequent New Wave of 1950s and 1960s British drama had authors who possessed neither economic capital nor certified cultural capital. Secondly, it interrogates Bourdieu’s conclusion that popular culture can never be source of canonized art. Adopting the view that Bourdieu focused too exclusively on legitimate culture, it seeks to contrast his theories on this point with the approach developed by Raymond Williams. The last section sketches a Bourdieusian analysis of Bourdieu. It reads his writings in the light of the different origins of the British and French fields of cultural studies.



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The social space and the genesis of groups.Pierre Bourdieu - 1985 - Theory and Society 14 (6):723-744.
Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art.Casey Haskins - 1992 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 50 (4):329-331.
The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes.Jonathan Rose - 2003 - Science and Society 67 (2):264-266.
Marxism and Literature.Stephen Zelnick - 1978 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (2):233-235.

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