Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


6.4 ART, Art history

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


The bases of artistic reputation have been widely debated within the sociology of art and art history. Remarkably, however, little has been said of the role discourse might play in the construction of artistic reputation. An obstacle to addressing this research gap is that discourse analytic approaches have been developed to analyse evaluation and the construction of legitimacy but not the construction of reputation. Attending first to this research gap in discourse analysis, the thesis combines Field Theory and Discourse Analysis to develop a Discursive Field Approach that can analyse the discursive construction of reputation in a cultural field. Using this approach, the thesis attends to the research gap in the literature on artistic reputation by addressing the research question: How is reputation constructed through discourse in the field of online contemporary art magazines? This breaks down into the following sub questions: How do OCAMs acquire the capacity to discursively construct reputation? How is the discursive construction of reputation by OCAMs regulated? How is reputation linguistically constructed by OCAMs? How do OCAMs propose the value of different symbolic resources within the artworld? And, how do internal and external structures in the field of OCAMs affect OCAMs’ construction of reputation? This thesis proposes that online contemporary art magazines acquire the capacity to construct reputation through the possession of key symbolic resources and their use of communication technologies, that their construction of reputation is regulated by field-specific norms, that they linguistically construct reputation through performative statements and supporting linguistic devices, and that the opposition between cultural and commercial discursive practices in the field of online contemporary art magazines comes to bear on the value of different symbolic resources in the artworld and the artworld’s relationships to legitimating fields.