Methodological Principles and Practice
Re-presenting the Social World: Bourdieu and Graphic Illustrations of Field
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Re-presenting the Social World:Bourdieu and Graphic Illustrations of Field
This chapter discusses the methods and procedures that may be gone through in order to undertake a practical analysis of a field context within a social space. It offers a particular empirical analysis of an artistic field to illustrate how the different models and methods can be applied. I broadly follow the type of methodology set out in Part I of this book; thus, with a consideration of the way the research object is constructed, levels of focus for mapping and studying fields and issues around participant objectivation. My approach is ‘qualitative’, in that I am working descriptively, without large scale statistics and with descriptive data collected on my chosen topic. That topic is the artistic field of St Ives, Cornwall, UK. Much has been written about this artistic movement (for example, Bird 2009) which, at one time in the 1940s, might be considered to be the ‘epi-centre of the art world’. It is a useful example since it is relatively small, bounded, and includes a series of generational shifts (simply recognizable). The data I am working with is initially biographical. However, information about a number of institutional, contextual, and social details is also needed if the field is to be studied in terms of its relations, and thus the field structures, and symbolic values (capital) that constitute this field. It is these details which are analysed for correspondences...