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A field theory perspective on journalist-source relations: A study of 'new entrants' and 'authorised knowers' among Scottish Muslims

Munnik, Michael B. ORCID: 2018. A field theory perspective on journalist-source relations: A study of 'new entrants' and 'authorised knowers' among Scottish Muslims. Sociology 52 (6) , pp. 1169-1184. 10.1177/0038038517696220

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In this article, I apply Bourdieu’s field theory to research on the trajectories, strategies, and relations of sources and journalists. I argue that the relational emphasis of field theory, modified by the concept of media meta-capital, can be a fruitful way of examining the social context in which representations of Muslims are produced. This advances scholarship that relies too heavily on content analysis to support judgements about news representations of Muslims. I use examples from original fieldwork in Glasgow to discuss the capital, autonomy, and heteronomy of Muslim sources who are ‘authorised knowers’ and ‘new entrants’ in their source communities. These various positions are evident in their relative success in managing journalist-source relations, which encompass ‘legacy’ media platforms and emerging communication tools such as Twitter. The field theory perspective exposes relations that contribute to the work of representation but are invisible to other forms of analysis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bourdieu, field theory, journalism, journalist–source relations, media meta-capital, Muslims, representation, Scotland, sources, Twitter
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0038-0385
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 26 January 2017
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 17:49

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