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Career paths and hierarchies in the pure pole of the literary field : The case of contemporary poetry

Abstract : The present article uses contemporary Francophone poetry to see how positions are distributed at the pure pole of the literary field. We first draw the space of positions in poetry, before offering powerful methodological methods to analyze artistic careers—that is, sequence analysis that we combine with logit models. We show that, in contrast to the intuition of Bourdieu (1996) in The Rules of Art, poetry is not characterized by anarchy but, instead, is a very structured social space wherein recognition is consensual, as well as hierarchized. We then show that careers at the pure pole are long, progressively cumulative and irregular. These results refine previous studies where slow accumulation of reputation corresponded to linear, if not regular, careers (e.g., Giuffre, 1999). We also discusses cumulative advantage theory (e.g., Menger, 2009), as well as status-based models of hierarchies (e.g., Podolny, 2005), so as to offer a usable model of objectivizing artists’ positions in their field. We thus build on Bourdieu and his followers, who have offered insights but little systemic investigation of the organization of the pure pole, whereas it plays a key conceptual role in the sociology of literature and, indeed, in the Bourdieusian framework
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Sebastien Dubois, Pierre Francois. Career paths and hierarchies in the pure pole of the literary field : The case of contemporary poetry. Poetics, Elsevier, 2013, Vol. 41 (Numéro 5), pp 501-523. ⟨10.1016/j.poetic.2013.07.004⟩. ⟨hal-01159113⟩



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