Preview of version: 4 (current)
PIERRE BOURDIEU QUESTIONS FOR ENGLISH 492 THEORY, CSU FULLERTON
PIERRE BOURDIEU, DISTINCTION AND THE RULES OF ART ....
Assigned: Bourdieu, Pierre. From Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste: "Introduction" (1664-70) and from The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field: Part I, from Chapter 2 and Part III, from Chapter 1 (1664-80 in Leitch, Vincent B. and William E. Cain. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd edition. Norton, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0393932928).
Introduction to Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
1. On 1664 (lower middle) of the Introduction to Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Pierre Bourdieu asserts that "cultural needs are the product of upbringing and education." On 1665-66 of the Introduction, how does he explore the implications of this assertion in the context of aesthetic education? In responding, attend to Bourdieu's remarks about the privileged class's ideal way of coming by a proper appreciation of and attitude towards art as opposed to merely scholarly ("intellectualist") interpretation of it. Why is the latter devalued and the former exalted?
2. On 1666-68 of the Introduction to Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Pierre Bourdieu discusses what happens when artists begin to claim a high degree of autonomy as producers of aesthetic objects. What changes in doctrines of artistic representation and value consequently take place, and what demands are made upon the aesthetic sensibilities and perceptual abilities of those who come into contact with the works that are produced? In responding, be sure to include some comment on the opposition Bourdieu explores between "intellectuals" and "the people" as well as his remarks about Kantian aesthetics (both on 1668).
3. On 1669-70 of the Introduction to Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Pierre Bourdieu remarks upon the significance of his project, which he connects with "The science of taste and of cultural consumption" (1669 middle). What does he suggest must be done to advance this science, and why does it matter? Why, based upon what you can infer from the Introduction and these pages in particular, does Bourdieu believe that we need to historicize the definition, production and consumption of works of art -- what practical value would any insights thereby gained hold for us?
4. On 1670-73 of The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, Pierre Bourdieu analyzes "the progress of the literary field towards autonomy" (1670 middle). How does he assess the distinguishing features of this increasing autonomy (that is, independence or self-sufficiency) and the relative standing of poetry, drama and long fiction (i.e. the novel) within the literary field? Furthermore, how are we to understand the "specific hierarchy established among works and authors within each genre" (1672 middle)?
5. On 1675 top of The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, Pierre Bourdieu writes that "Questions of the meaning and value of the work of art . . . can only find solutions in a social history of the field." How do his comments about "the eye of the nineteenth-century art-lover" from 1673-75 gesture towards the social history he is calling for? In responding, consider what Bourdieu says about the relationship between individual perceptions and collective institutions like museums and schools.
6. On 1675-80 of The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, Pierre Bourdieu writes that if we want to answer questions like "what makes a work of art a work of art . . .?" (1675 upper middle), we will need a "genetic sociology" of the aesthetic field. What are the key elements and objects of this kind of history-conscious sociology, as Bourdieu identifies them?
7. On 1678 of The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, Pierre Bourdieu mentions how important museums are to the bestowal of the "status of the sacred" upon the works of art that reside within them. So here is a general question: how do you think the situating of works of art or cultural artifacts in the museums to which you have been has influenced your own feelings and perceptions while you beheld them? What kind of feeling does being in a museum -- say, the Getty Center or the Getty Malibu, or the Huntington Library in Pasadena, to name a few -- give you?