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Brienza, Casey E. "Producing comics culture: A sociological approach to the study of comics." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 1. (2010): 105–19. 
Added by: joachim (2/7/11, 11:03 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (1/14/16, 10:42 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2010.528638
BibTeX citation key: Brienza2010
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Categories: General
Keywords: Bourdieu. Pierre, Comic book industry, Japan, Manga, Production, Reception, Sociology, USA
Creators: Brienza
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
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This paper introduces a sociological approach to the study of art and literature and demonstrates its value as a methodological intervention in the field of comics studies. Known as the ‘production of culture’ perspective, this approach argues that all artistic work – including comics – is the product of collective, often routinized, human activity. Therefore, it is not sufficient merely to study the text and/or the artist to whom the work is directly attributed. Rather, to fully understand any artistic work, one must also study the larger social and organizational context of its production and dissemination. In the first part of the paper, I will provide an overview of the production of culture approach, discussing some of its foundational theorists and their respective intellectual contributions. Sociologists covered will include Howard Becker, Pierre Bourdieu, and Richard A. Peterson. In the second part of the paper, I will present an example of how this approach may be applied in scholarly practice. Using the transnational comics publishing industry in Japan and the United States as a case study, I will show how the conditions and mode of production help to determine the particular sorts of texts that are actually created. Finally, I will conclude with a discussion of the limitations of the production of culture approach and possible directions for future research.
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