What is the role of the symbolic production in the field of fashion media?
Having introduced the field of fashion media in Chapter One, here, I will engage with the symbolic production of fashion journalists within the field of fashion media. With an emphasis on the fashion journalist as a key agent and expert in his field, I am going to explore how symbolic value is created for the fashion industry and how “fashion is portrayed in such a way that it is desirable and highly valued in society.” I will first engage with the work of Bourdieu as seen in Understanding Bourdieu, followed by Rocamora and Kawamura, to define symbolic production of fashion journalists through writing and their contribution to the fashion system. With Bourdieu, I will draw on the key terms heteronomous pole and autonomous pole to analyze how this connects to the role of the fashion journalist in the field of fashion media. I will then continue to contemplate the importance of fashion writing through Barthes who studied the connection between words and images, followed by Bradford’s work outlining the ground rules to recognize good fashion writing in the digital media.
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.”