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Field analysis in cultural sociology

Savage, Mike and Silva, E. B. (2013) Field analysis in cultural sociology. Cultural Sociology, 7 (2). pp. 111-126. ISSN 1749-9755

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1749975512473992


The idea of field analysis has been championed as an alternative to 'variable based' accounts of social life, and offers the potential for cross-fertilization with complexity theory and forms of 'descriptive' research. Yet, the Bourdieusian roots of field analysis pose challenges as well as advantages, given the widespread critique of reductionist elements in Bourdieu's thinking. This introduction to the special issue lays out how Bourdieu conceives of field analysis and some of the ambivalences this might give rise to. The papers in this special issue explore through worked examples how field analysis might be radicalized and made more dynamic. We focus on three main issues: (1) understanding emerging field dynamics which challenge the influential model that Bourdieu uses in Distinction, (2) showing the potential for comparative analysis and (3) recognizing the role of materiality in cultural relations. The papers collected here allow for varied engagements with the theoretical underpinnings of the classical formulations of field theory, via empirical analyses of both 'established' and 'new' fields to explore the trajectories of possible developments in field analysis.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2013 The Author(s)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 15:53
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 15:53

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