The Genesis of the Hungarian Theatre Field in the 19th Century
By: Mr. Adam Kornél Havas
The Genesis of the Hungarian Theatre field in the 19th century
In providing an account on the historical process of autonomy of the fields of artistic production in the framework of a historical sociological approach, Bourdieu argues that the evolution of artistic fields in the broader Western context is governed by similar principles that might be interpreted on the basis of the field theory. By focusing on the evolution of the genesis and structure of the field of theatre in the 19th century Hungary, this paper considers issues at stake associated with Bourdieu’s account on the social principles of aesthetic hierarchization, as a result of ongoing struggles between competing agents, in order to conserve or transform the field. The analysis of the historical process of differentiation of institutions and genres manifested in them, makes possible the designation of the socially determined laws affecting the evolution of the autonomous field of theatre. By concentrating on the Hungarian case, it will be intended, first, to test the Bourdieusien theory in a different socio-cultural context, and, second, to provide a model concerning the interdependencies between the economic, political and theatre fields. In the framework of the presentation the aim is to provide an account on the methodology of such a historical sociological research i.e. how the historical sources are combined with the model building purposes of the sociological investigation laying on the premises of Bourdieu’s field theory in order to grasp the process of evolution of an artistic field: the theatre field in Hungary. Thus, by focusing on how the theoretical apparatus of the field theory functions on the Hungarian historical material some relevant consequences will be drawn with regards to the universal validity of the field theory.