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Title: The symbolic production of culture in discourses on fashion in Le Monde and The Guardian : a critical application of the work of Bourdieu
Author: Rocamora, Agnes
ISNI:       0000 0001 2422 7718
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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By way of a textual analysis of the reports on high fashion shows of the French newspaper Le Monde and the British newspaper The Guardian, this study is a reflection on Bourdieu's sociology of culture. Drawing on Bourdieu's notion of symbolic production, I comment on the construction of fashion as popular culture in The Guardian and as high culture in Le Monde. The investigation of the versions of culture constructed by the two newspapers allows me to reflect on the theoretical framework Bourdieu has developed in his discussion of the field of culture and the traditional opposition between the high and the popular which structures it. Bourdieu's sociology is a product of a specific field of production, the French: like many French researchers, he shows little interest in mass culture - his sociology of the field of fashion is a case in point -, and privileges culture as high culture. Popular culture - working class culture - is not acknowledged as a culture per se. Many of Bourdieu's concepts, such as 'cultural capital' or 'symbolic production' can usefully be applied to an analysis of the field of popular culture, but this is a step he does not take. If adequate to understand certain cultural experiences and discourses, Bourdieu's model is inadequate to understand others, but proves to be a rigid theoretical model which fails to account for the complexity and diversity of the field of popular culture, and ultimately fails to break with the cultural doxa. Finally, although Bourdieu insists that sociologists should pay attention to the discourses of symbolic production of culture, he himself fails to engage with them, focusing on their field production rather than on the meanings they convey. In contrast, this study is concerned with the meanings created in the process of symbolic production of fashion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Pierre Bourdieu