Putting a Glitch in the Field: Bourdieu, Actor Network Theory and Contemporary Music

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Abstract

Bourdieu's cultural sociology has become increasingly attractive to sociologists of music looking to account for the complex interrelations between industry, institution and practice. There remains, however, a tendency in such work to reduce the complexity and scope of Bourdieu's ideas. This paper attempts to apply Bourdieu's field theory to music, but does so with a critical orientation. The focus of the paper is the fin de millénaire music style called glitch, a style characterized by sonic fragments of technological error. While we learn a lot about the social trajectories of glitch from greater sensitization to its position in a structured setting of socio-economic relations, it becomes difficult to account for the centrality of technological mediators to this contemporary style of music using Bourdieu's categories alone. The paper pursues the possibility of supplementing or combining a Bourdieusian approach with actor network theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-319
Number of pages19
JournalCultural Sociology
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • actor network theory Bourdieu
  • field
  • glitch
  • Latour
  • sociology of music
  • sociology of technology

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