The Forms of Value: Problems of Convertibility in Field Theory

  • Göran Bolin Södertörn University
Keywords: Value, Field Theory, Capital, Media Production, Bourdieu


Media production in late capitalism is often measured in terms of economic value. If value is defined as the worth of a thing, a standard or measure, being the result of social praxis and negotiation between producers and consumers in various combinations, it follows that this worth can be of other kinds than the mere economic. This is, for example, the reasoning behind field theory (Bourdieu), where the generation of field-specific capital (value) is deeply dependent on the belief shared by the competing agents within the field. The full extent of the consequences of such a theory of convertibility between fields of cultural production, centred on different forms of value, is, however yet to be explored. This is the task of this article. It especially focuses on how value is constructed differently depending on the relations of the valuing subject to the production process, something that becomes highly relevant in digital media environments, where users are increasingly drawn into the production process.

Author Biography

Göran Bolin, Södertörn University
is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Bolin's current research interests are focussed on cultural production and consumption in contemporary culture industries, and the effects of on the relationship between these provoked by digitization and marketization processes. His most recent work is summarised in Value and the Media: Cultural Production and Consumption in Digital Markets (Ashgate, 2011). An edited volume on Cultural Technologies. The Shaping of Culture in Media and Society (Routledge) will appear in 2012. He is an editor of Young (Sage), and on the editorial board of several other international peer review journals.
"Critical Theory and Political Economy of the Internet @ Nordmedia 2011" (ed. Christian Fuchs, Göran Bolin)