What are the heteronomous and autonomous poles in publishing?
For Bourdieu, the heteronomous pole is impacted by “economic values and business imperatives.” Individuals being positioned close to this pole produce and circulate ideas for a commercialized market. The majority of prestige fashion magazines are considered to be positioned closer to the heteronomous pole and are often referred to as mass-media publications. Content production, therefore, is centered around the demands of the reader, commercial success takes center stage, and they are “inextricably linked with generating economic capital.”
In contrast, the autonomous pole enjoys “imagination, truth, and freedom from social and economic influence” and is not attached to a commercialized world. Autonomous publications are recognized as celebrators of elite fashion and fashion as high art. Instead of focusing on the fashion scene, as one knows from established fashion magazines, autonomous publications see “the designer as director [and as] the author of the fashion representation.”
Furthermore, for Rocamora the “field of fashion is articulated around different beliefs: the belief in fashion as popular culture and the belief in fashion as high culture”. In her work she construes the field of fashion as distinct, exemplified through the publications above and their attachment to the autonomous and heteronomous poles. For Le Monde, she argues that the focus is on fashion as an art and the designer’s creative production rather than that of commerciality and that “ fashion-artists and their creations belong to an autonomous world of pure art, not to a world led by commercial interest”. With Le Monde as a publication “ appreciate and understand the artistry”, she refers to The Guardian as being “similar to a football match” a publication that prefers to represent the front row as a main spectacle than the actual fashion show.