Photography: A Middle-brow Art

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9780745617152: Photography: A Middle-brow Art

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 photos 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.

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From the Back Cover:

“It is one of only a few studies to apply the results of surveys and interviews to form an analysis from a social perspective. It is also important because it reveals aspects of Bourdieu’s theories at an early stage.”—Choice
“The significance of Bourdieu’s work for American studies lies in his powerful argument about the social definitions of popular aesthetics. His insistence that even the most trivial photographs serve social functions can be extended beyond photography and, thus, should be of interest to any student of popular culture.”—American Quarterly

About the Author:

Pierre Bourdieu is Professor of Sociology at the Collège de France and Director of the Center for European Sociology at the École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

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Pierre Bourdieu (editor)
Published by Polity Press, United Kingdom (1996)
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Book Description Polity Press, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The everyday practice of photography by millions of amateur photographers - the family snapshots, the holiday prints, the wedding portraits - may seem to be a spontaneous and highly personal activity. But Bourdieu and his associates show that few cultural activities are more structured and systematic than the social uses of this ordinary art. This perceptive and wide-ranging analysis of the practice of photography brings out the logic implicit in this cultural field. The norms which define the occasions and the objects of photography serve to display the socially differentiated functions of, and attitudes towards, the photographic image and act. For some social groups, photography is primarily a means of preserving the present and reproducing the euphoric moments of collective celebration, whereas for other groups it is the occasion of an aesthetic judgement, in which photos are endowed with the dignity of works of art. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780745617152

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Book Description Polity Press, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The everyday practice of photography by millions of amateur photographers - the family snapshots, the holiday prints, the wedding portraits - may seem to be a spontaneous and highly personal activity. But Bourdieu and his associates show that few cultural activities are more structured and systematic than the social uses of this ordinary art. This perceptive and wide-ranging analysis of the practice of photography brings out the logic implicit in this cultural field. The norms which define the occasions and the objects of photography serve to display the socially differentiated functions of, and attitudes towards, the photographic image and act. For some social groups, photography is primarily a means of preserving the present and reproducing the euphoric moments of collective celebration, whereas for other groups it is the occasion of an aesthetic judgement, in which photos are endowed with the dignity of works of art. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780745617152

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