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Media in France Week 9


The reading for this week is Pierre Bourdieu, Sur la télévision, pp. 44-78 (i.e. Part 2, ‘La structure invisible et ses effets’). Please try to answer the following questions:


1. Why does PB argue that, if we are to understand how the media operate, we should not focus on individual channels and newspapers, but on the journalistic ‘field’ as a whole?


2. How has the rise of television effected the structure of the journalistic field?


3. How has the rise of television and the ensuing transformation of the journalistic field effected other ‘fields’ in French society (the intellectual field, the judicial field, the political field...).




4. What is the sense of the following words in the following contexts?


liberté (p. 63, para 2)

sens commun (p. 65, para 2- [the phrase is split between p. 65 and p. 66])


collaboration (pp. 69-75) and autonome (pp. 69-75)

[once you think you know what autonome means here, see if you can work out what PB means by hétéronome - you may want to consider how the word has been constructed from its etymological building blocks]


droit d’entrée and devoir de sortie (pp. 75-8)

[once you think you’ve worked out what the last two terms mean, see if you can work out what PB means by la nécessité d’exotériser l’ésotérique (top of p. 77). Etymology will help again]




5. Why does PB suggest that it may appear ‘paradoxical’ to many people for him to argue that professional thinkers must resist the logic of the audimat precisely in the name of democracy?

To listen to this week's lecture again, use this link:


For my representations of journalistic 'fields' as used in lecture, see HERE (PDF Document).

Bear in mind that these are simply schematic diagrams for illustrative purposes.

For the one-page lecture handout, please click here (PDF Document).

For lecture on fields, see below: