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Markets and mediators: politics and primary art markets in Montréal

Hanspal, Vrajesh (2012) Markets and mediators: politics and primary art markets in Montréal. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Markets and mediators: Politics and primary art markets in Montréal is an ethnographic study of Montrealʼs primary art market and explains how history, government policy and calculative agency operate together to frame the practice of cultural mediators in the visual arts field. Actors operate within a complex financial and symbolic economy that must respond to changing modes of governance and international trends that increasingly concern metropolitan rather than national development. These forms of agency are situated within overlapping discourses concerning cultural policy at a provincial and municipal level that organize the artistic field in the city, the ʻrule and rolesʼ and ʻweak tiesʼ that format legitimate action in the primary market and the processes that are used to incorporate new trends and innovation in the field. The thesis argues that mediators in the primary art market play a generative role in the creation of a multicultural and cosmopolitan cultural capital while addressing the conflicting demands of Quebecʼs nationalist politics. The thesis uses Bourdieuʼs field and cultural theory, Callonʼs theory of markets and contemporary work on cities and multicultures to understand this competition over scarce resources by actors in an art world dominated by state support and institutions. The function of art worlds and their mediation by urban elites reiterates the political importance of aesthetic canonization and labor market practice in a city held to bear a specific responsibility for maintaining a sense of culture and identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Vrajesh Hanspal
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Sets: Departments > Sociology

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