Fields of Practice: Theorising Partnership

  • Nicola Sim
Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)


Using the principles of multi-sited ethnography and Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical writings, this chapter describes a methodological approach for researching and analysing spaces of partnership between galleries and youth organisations. The advantages and drawbacks of using multi-sited ethnography in geographically dispersed partnership programmes are outlined and discussed. The chapter also provides a step-by-step guide to utilising Bourdieu’s theory of fields and linked concepts of capitals and habitus to assess how professional worlds embed certain traditions, dispositions and practices. This framework is designed to highlight the different forces at play on the sectors, on organisations and individuals, which all have a bearing on partnership working. The chapter also looks to expand the limits of Bourdieu’s theoretical toolkit in order to interrogate programmes that bring fields together.


Multi-sited ethnography Bourdieu Fields Capitals Doxa Symbolic violence Habitus Partnership 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Sim
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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