Social space, physical space, representation of space: spatiality and Bourdieu's theory of the literary field

Author: Šebek, Josef
Source document: Brünner Beiträge zur Germanistik und Nordistik. 2021, vol. 35, iss. 2, pp. 7-21
Extent
7-21
  • ISSN
    1803-7380 (print)
    2336-4408 (online)
Type
Article
Language
English
Abstract(s)
In this paper the author analyses the forms of space in Pierre Bourdieu's field theory, looking in particular at the way they relate to one another and at the spatial aspects of the literary field in his book The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. The first of these forms is what Bourdieu calls the "social space" and "social field", each of these referring to a structure of positions that exists objectively yet does not exist (primarily) in physical space or real (physical) interactions between social agents. In order to make this structure intelligible, Bourdieu creates various spatial schemata that range from simple diagrams to sophisticated visualisations based on multiple correspondence analysis. The relationship between this structure and physical/geographical space is a complicated matter, since relations in the social space or social fields will not necessarily coincide with actual spatial distances or proximities. Nevertheless, Bourdieu demonstrates – especially in the last period of his career – that it is necessary to study the relations among agents and the objectified forms of capital as they play out within physical/geographical space. The last part of the paper deals with the complicated relations of the three spatial aspects of Bourdieu's field theory as they are applied to the literary field. In this respect, the most interesting part of The Rules of Art is the "Prologue". In the rest of the book, spaces that are characteristically physical, such as salons and cafés, give way to non-spatial aspects of the literary field, above all literary texts, which Bourdieu conceives of as a privileged form of "position-taking" on the part of social agents.
Note
  • This work was supported by the European Regional Development Fund-Project 'Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World' (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000734).
Document
References:
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