Thursday, August 30, 2007

The social usage of photography

Research was undertaken by order of Kodak - Pathé. Bourdieu starts with 109 pages, which are the introduction and the first two chapters of the book. His elaboration about sociological theory and habitus precede Bourdieu´s statement on the model of motivations to practice photographs. He writes, that taking photos would be satisfactory in five ways: 1 Protection against time, 2 communication, 3 emotional expression, 4 self-realisation, under the aspect of social prestige and 5 escape from reality.

This implies functions of photography, namely 1 to lower fear relating to perishability and limited existence, 2 to ease communication with others and reconstruct togetherness or proof of interest and affection, 3 to provide a photographer´s media to self-realisation by magic appropriation or fascinating creation of the pictured object, and to experience power in expressing one´s feelings more intense, with an artistic intention or to manifest one´s techniqual mastership; 4 to meet demands of prestige by demonstrating consumption or recorded personal efforts; 5 to escape or dispel conditions of reality playfully. Bourdieu names motivations and settings of photographic practice by referring to the Habitus of social strata, then.

His analysis refers to Durkheim´s thesis on the function of festivities, and indicates the ritual characteristics behind photography. The photograph itself stands for the reproduction of the group and its integration. Photography therefore is expression and a medium for integration.

Here are the contents: 



Piérre, Bourdieu: Einleitung

Teil I

Piérre, Bourdieu: Kult der Einheit und kultivierte Unterschiede

Piérre, Bourdieu: Die gesellschaftliche Definition der Photographie

Teil II

Robert Castel/Dominique Schnapper: Aesthetische Ambition und gesellschaftliche Ansprueche

Luc Boltanski: Die Rhetorik des Bildes

Gérard Lagneau: Optische Tricks und Gaukelspiel

Jean-Claude Chambordeon: Mechanische, unkultivierte Kunst

Luc Boltanski/Jean-Claude Chamboredon: Fachwissen oder Begabung?

Teil III

Robert Castel: Bilder und Phantasiebilder




Bourdieu, Piérre / Boltanski, Luc / Castel, Robert / Chamboredon, Jean - Claude / Lagneau, Gérard / Schnapper, Dominique (2006) Eine illegitime Kunst. Die sozialen Gebrauchsweisen der Photographie. Hamburg: Europaeische Verlagsanstalt.

Quote of the Day:
To cease smoking is the easiest thing. I ought to know. I've done it a thousand times. - Mark Twain

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