File:Bourdieu Pierre Photography A Middle-brow (file size: MB, MIME. PHOTOGRAPHY: A MIDDLE-BROW ART accompany most art historical studies of photography. be Bourdieu’s intention in this work to question the very . 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.

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Photogrxphy — Photography by Pierre Bourdieu. The tourist or outsider can cause astonishment by photographing everyday objects or local people at their habitual occupations.

The illustration of the second type, a photograph taken during a stay by B. An art which imitates art Thus it is commonly agreed that photography can be seen midle the model of veracity and objectivity: It was the hereditary name, together with all the memories it recalled, the family house, the ancestral field, the traditional situation and reputation, etc.

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. I’ve got “The Angelus”. The real issue is clearly that of unquestioned and unconditional attachment to the system of the arbitrary rules that define the behaviour of the true peasant. But does this not amount to doing away with the sociolo- gical problem by providing as an explanation what sociology should be explaining?

It is considered indecent or ostentatious to show pictures of members of the family to just anyone. Do you know any masters who passed away standing?

It’s the same with cars. Return to Book Page. 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.

They even take photographs in church, when they’re passing the ring. What he found was that it was much more likely that you would take photographs if you were a clerk than if you were a senior executive.

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On my chest-of-drawers, little frames with photo- graphs arranged so that you can see them. In fact, photographic practice is distinguished both from practices which are expensive but require no intellectual training such as tourism and practices which are economically accessible but only to those who have had the necessary training such photogaphy going to museums.

Photography: A Middle-Brow Art

So, all else being equal, subjects who do not take photographs much more often have an aesthetic attitude towards photography. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The task of this sociology is to construct the system of relationships which will encompass both the objective meaning of organized actions according to measur- able regularities and the particular relationships that subjects have to the objective conditions of their existence and to the objective meaning of their behaviour, the meaning which possesses them because they are dispossessed of it.

In photography, this attitude can be expressed by the adoption of the most prestigious media, colour photography and home movies, which seem to occur more frequently among clerical workers than among manual workers. The first communion provides many mothers with an opportunity to have their children photographed. Among manual workers, who are generally inclined towards an occasional and non-intensive practice, the group of devotees is particularly small; both in spite of and because of the tendency.

The Portrait Gallery has, been democratized and each family has, photorgaphy the person of the head of the family, its appointed qrt. The least of their acts is commented upon, the slightest infringement of customs is perceived as an act of preten- sion and bouedieu Doubtless a concern that focuses only on the technical quality of the image may lead one to acquire quality instruments, but it develops on a different level from the refinement of the aesthetic quality of the image, with the result that, as we have seen, the most sophisticated cameras may be placed at the service of the most traditional functions.

Page 41 The chosen and deliberate refusal of photography reaches a peak among the most senior executives and professionals, as well as among craftsmen and shopkeepers, while, on the other hand, the intention to take photographs is particularly strong among manual workers, junior executives and, especially, clerical workers.


The practice of the working classes, which remains directly and entirely subject to traditional functions, owes most of Its characteristics, in particular its relative bojrdieu, to the influence of economic obstacles which affect clerical and manual workers to almost the same extent.

Notes Index Preface to the English Language liclition Bfow translation is based on a book which originally appeared in French in under the title Un art moyen: R JQ txj; P.

Photography: A Middle-Brow Art | Pierre Bourdieu and associates Translated by Shaun Whiteside

Its precision and fidelity cannot be questioned. If my feelings towards the child that I am photographing or towards the photograph of the child are not the same as those which I have towards the portrait of a child either because it is my child or because it is my photographI cannot demand that anyone else look at this photograph as they would look at a portrait of a child, and I cannot forbid them, if they happen to look at it in this way, to find it devoid of interest.

We send them to everybody, it’s really stupid, and it’s expensive, but some of them would get angry otherwise.

If those manual workers who are keenest on photography often stress the simplicity of their equipment with a certain pride, presenting as an informed choice something that is also the effect of economic constraints, it is because, in the refinement of technical manipulations, they find a means of reconciling their interest in the most sophisticated and therefore the most expensive objects and their concern to avoid the impossible purchase of those objects: The photograph must only supply a representation that is true and precise enough to permit recognition.