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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This makes a huge difference. This kind of photography comes in many styles and serves many purposes — but you could group them as commercial photography ads mostlyartistic photography though, admittedly, as someone said, advertisements are the art of capitalism — and since photography and capitalism grew up together this grow true on many levels and photography as midlde police photography, journalistic photography and so on.

I take them too, you have to please every- body.

Full text of “Photography A Middle-brow Art”

You have to have fine hands to work those machines. 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. Here, for example, is how one manual worker envisages the decoration of his apartment: Mostly they do this by having interests that are hard for other groups to imitate. Refresh and try again. The intensity of the practice is not solely attributable to the concern of making sure one uses a piece of equipment which has cost a relatively large amount of money.

What is interesting here is that the things that generally get used as a basis of social distinction are very often things with very long histories.

Contrary to what these words suggest, affected, once again, by the survey situationit is not the unusual or original ‘ideas’ that are missing, but the idea of having ideas, because that would presuppose the photographic act being in- teresting to the photographer in and for itself. While the positive influence of integration becomes apparent in positive signs such as possession of camerasthe determining factors of the -dedicated practice are never seen so clearly as when they come to an end: And anyway, as far as pictures are concerned, there are people who do it for a living and srt what they’re there for, phhotography least for big occasions.

The subjectivist intuitionism that seeks a meaning in the im- mediacy of lived experience would not be worth attending to for a moment if it did not serve as an excuse for objectivism, which limits itself to establishing regular relationships and testing their statistical significance without deciphering their meaning, and which remains an abstract and formal nominalism as far as it is not seen as a necessary but only a purely temporary moment of the scientific process.


To be photographed is to bear witness to one’s presence, the obligatory counterpart to the homage received in the invitation; it is the expression of one’s honour at having been invited, and of the fact that one is taking part in order to do an honour.

So, even if you have a really good sound system, a concert hall is going to be able to out-do it. Because the ethos inspires behaviour middke than it controls it, subjects are not consciously aware of the rules which it objectively imposes, even when they objectively refer to them in their conformist or deviant behaviour; various different values may be communicated and perpetuated within a group without any need for encouragement or for a call to order.

Page 98 While the profession recruits a large number of its members from lhotography of middle class origin, for whom it represents a profession more or less equal to that of their class of origin, it is especially characterised by the high proportion of subjects of upper class boursieu.

Pierre BourdieuShaun Whiteside. What is found absolutely reprehensible is the use of photography as a means of distancing The Cult of Unity and Cultivated Differences 51 oneself from the group and from one’s social condition as a peasant. Just as the peasant is expressing his relationship with urban life when he rejects the practice of photography, a relationship bourrieu and through which he senses bourdidu particularity of his condition, the meaning which petits bourgeois confer on photographic practice conveys or betrays the rela- tionship of the petite bourgeoisie to culture, that is, to puotography upper classes bourgeoisie who retain the privilege of cultural practices which are held to be superior, and to the working classes from whom they wish to distinguish themselves at all costs by manifest- ing, through the practices which mjddle accessible to them, their cultural goodwill.

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 photographs are endowed with the dignity of works of art.

The adoption of what we might call the touristic attitude means escaping one’s photobraphy familiarity with the everyday world, an undifferentiated background against which the forms momentarily separated from everyday preoccupations stand 36 Pan I out.

Once again, this reveals the fact that the meaning and the role of photography are a function of the social meaning of the feast: The thing is that photography is seen by almost everyone as being kind of easy.


He refutes the argument that engagement in photography is merely a consequence of economic endowment: In Nietzsche’s words, ‘The artist chooses his subjects. They say it’s expensive.

Photography: A Middle-Brow Art

The illustration of the second type, a photograph taken during a stay by B. In the collection of a small peasant from the hamlets, photographs of children make up half of the photographs taken afterwhile they were almost entirely absent from the collection prior to So, if you are upper class you can afford the time to become very interested in, say, classical music.

In fact, when the intention to take up photography can be expressed more freely, and without explicit reference to financial means and expenses, the differences are again much more bourdiieu.

Inheriting a tradition of poHtical philosophy and social action, must sociology abandon the anthropological project to other sciences and, taking as its exclusive object the study of the most general and abstract conditions of experience and action, can it reject as meaningless hrow of behaviour whose historical import- ance is not immediately apparent?

This perceptive and wide-ranging analysis of the practice of photography reveals the logic implicit in this cultural field.

They even invade that shrine of family values, the drawing-room mantelpiece, replacing the bourfieu, the honorific distinctions and academic certificates which were previously seen there, and which the young village wife has discreetly relegated, on the grounds that they are slightly ridiculous, to the darkest corner behind the door, so as not to offend ‘the old people’. The result of this is that there is no wedding without photographs.

Other editions – View all Photography: In his explanation of the different approaches classes take towards photographic practice, Bourdieu names a ‘barbarous taste’ that bases appreciation on informative, tangible or moral interest, most strongly rejecting images of the ‘meaningless’. The artistic attitude, the permanent and generalized disposition to promote any object to the status of phohography work of art, which, itself defining the principle behind its selections, is defined by the definition of its objects, is different in kind from a practice that does not contain within itself the principle of its own existence and definition.