SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

This article provides an introduction to, and makes a case for, cultural intermediaries as an entry point for the study of media and cultural production. We offer a strategic parsing of the conceptual foundations provided by Bourdieu with regard to cultural intermediaries and the media, loosely organized in terms of where they are located (working in media); the means of accomplishing their role (working with media); and their economic role in promoting consumption (the work of mediation). We then follow the translation of the concept from Bourdieu to a cultural economy approach that is concerned with the material practices involved in the formation of value. A review and comparison of substantive findings from a range of cultural economic case studies of cultural intermediary occupations serves as an introduction to a three-fold approach that might guide future studies of occupations in cultural industries, in terms of: historicizing occupations, material practices, and assessments of impact. Finally, we conclude with a claim for the utility of ‘cultural intermediaries’ as a way to think about cultural production, and highlight areas in which work remains to be done.