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Title: Artistic allegiances : the Tate Gallery and its members
Author: Kennedy Harper, Camilla
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 0389
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis presents a qualitative investigation of the influence of the art institution on the disposition and artistic allegiances of its audiences through an in-depth study of the Tate Gallery and its members. In the The Love of Art Bourdieu and Darbel (1991) emphasise the homology between the dominant social position and disposition of the committed art lover, and the presentation of the art institution. There is no audience, they said, more 'devoted' to the institution than the Society of Friends. How far this devotion translates into the shaping of practices and taste among this audience, and to what extent it is complicated by other factors, particularly social background, social trajectory, occupation and education, is a key question this thesis addresses. This research shows that change in the social composition and artistic allegiances of the membership audience can be seen as indicative of change within the institution and its position in the field. It adopts a field analytical approach and uses a combination of an institutional analysis of the Tate Gallery and semi structured interviews with the members and the staff of the Tate Gallery to investigate their relationship. This thesis updates understanding of this important but often neglected audience. The members are not a homogenous social group, but have changed within the context of aneo-liberal agenda that dominated the development of cultural policy in the UK after 1997. Evidence from this research suggests that over the last 10 years the Tate Gallery has acted as a vehicle for the distinction strategies of cultural intermediaries, adding to the debate around the ability of the art field to constantly create new forms of distinction that work to assert and preserve power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available