Field theory is a theoretical approach that analyzes how social inequalities shape the production and consumption of culture. Drawing on the work of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, field scholars have studied the impact of social divisions (particularly class) on media production and consumption, and the ways in which knowledge and prestige—what Bourdieu calls cultural and symbolic capital—shape such practices. While being an established approach in the sociology of culture, field theory has been adopted only recently in media studies. However, since the early 1990s, it has been used to study a variety of media industries, such as journalism, film, television, and popular music. This entry provides an introduction to the concept of field as used by Bourdieu in his work on cultural production and consumption. It ...

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