Wenchao Lu


Pierre Bourdieu's literary field and Howard S. Becker's art world are influential in the sociological study of art. Some claims that both the literary field and the art world are essentially consistent and some claims that Bourdieu focuses on conflict while Becker on cooperation. This paper, however, argues that neither claim has grasped the essential difference between them. To compare the two concepts, this paper uses the metaphor "game" as a framework and concludes that Bourdieu's literary field is a zero sum game while Becker's art world is a game. The participants in the literary field are a caricature role, and the relationship between them is struggle. The field is historical, macroscopic and abstract, which is linked to the structuralism. The participants in the art world are living people, and the relationship between them is interaction. The art world is formalistic, microscopic and concrete, which belongs to the interactionism. Either of them has its advantage and disadvantage, and they should be interconnected in the study of literature and art.

First Page


Last Page