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  • FRANÇOIS Pierre (4)
  • DAVESNE Céline (1)
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  • Article (4)
  • Partie ou chapitre de livre (1)
  • Communication non publiée (1)
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Classifications play a key role in the evaluation of goods. This chapter sheds light on the process through which some classificatory tools emerge as shared institutions, that is, why actors decide to base their action on a certain name or trademark rather than another one. Drawing on the case of French contemporary poetry, the authors argue that understanding this process calls for examining actors’ uses, which are viewed through the concepts of substitutability and instability. The chapter shows that two kinds of classifications impose themselves as institutions. The first are those whose numerous uses cover wide meanings rooted in history and which appear as a “passage obligé” in a given context, while the second employ more specific definitions. The authors conclude by opening new paths for research on the birth of institutions.

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This article explores the organization of cultural markets through the case of French contemporary poetry, distinguishing the market for recognition and the wider market for renown. The market of poetry is made of large-scale and reputed publishers and a wide range of smaller firms, which serve as testing grounds for new authors and innovation. How can the movement of an a priori narrow-appeal literary genre from small publishing houses to large-scale firms be explained? It is argued that if the status of firms is remarkably stable, artists may move from small publishers to large-scale ones. Statistical evidence is used to illustrate this passage, shedding a new light on the structure of cultural markets and the role of reputation in organizing commercial circuits. Future directions for research are offered.

Cet article étudie les transformations des grandes école de management et des carrières des professeurs qui y travaillent à travers le cas des enseignants de langues et cultures. Ceux-ci ont en effet été les plus exposés à la nouvelle stratification professionnelle qui se met en place dans ces établissements (sous la pression notamment des accréditations et des classements). L’accent mis sur la recherche a profondément modifié les attentes des professeurs et la nature de leur travail. Nous montrons ici que tous les professeurs n’ont pas pu s’adapter à ces nouvelles règles du jeu, cette nouvelle stratification professionnelle reposant (aussi) sur des dispositions sociales trop peu souvent convoquées dans l’analyse des carrières.

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.