On Television
On Television
Translated by Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson
A surprising bestseller when it was first published in France, this little book by Pierre Bourdieu offers a brilliant critique of television and its consequences for social and political life. Rather than simply denouncing television as a misrepresentation or trivialization of the social world, Bourdieu shows that television journalists are part of a journalistic field that shapes their actions and imposes a particular vision on the public, a vision that is grounded in the very structure of the journalistic field and that, through a variety of mechanisms specific to this field, produces a general disenchantment with politics.
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From Wiley.com

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  • March 2011
  • 112 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
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Table of Contents


Journalism and Politics

On Television


Part One: In Front of the Camera and Behind the Scenes

Part Two

Invisible Structures and Their Effects

The Power of Journalism

Appendix: The Olympics—An Agenda for Analysis

Translator’s Note



About the Author
Pierre Bourdieu was Professor of Sociology at the Collège de France and Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
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"This unremitting assault on the impact and pretensions of television demolishes conventional arguments."
Times Literary Supplement

"Illuminating... Vivid and clearheaded."
New York Times

"Bourdieu not only presents a damning portrait of television as a domain of instant experts - les ‘fast thinkers’ - dedicated to the production of sensationalism and historical amnesia, he explains why this is so. Anyone who is seriously interested in journalism must read this book."
Katha Pollitt, The Nation

"As television became normal, so did its systematic corruption. This indispensable polemic, a little marvel of compression, is both a passionate call to resistance and a convincing account of its difficulties."
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University

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