Outline for a social ethics of film reviewing - after Pierre Bourdieu

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Drawing on the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this paper outlines a social ethics of reviewing. The primary focus is the film review, although observations drawn from Bourdieu’s work can be applied to reviewing more generally. Bourdieu’s work has been influ- ential across many forms of social and cultural analysis, especially his much discussed work on fields, cultural capital, taste and distinction. However, despite a growing literature around film reviewing and criticism, his work has only occasionally been referenced in this area. This paper outlines a social ethics of reviewing, building on Bourdieu’s view of consumption as a stage in the process of communication. In doing so it discusses many of Bourdieu’s key concepts with a view to reconsidering the role of the reviewer as a cultural intermediary who occupies a unique position in the ‘game’ of cultural consumption and competence and in regards to recognising and representing social space and symbolic struggle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalEthical Space: the international journal of communication ethics
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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