Lavie, Noa. “Israeli Drama: Constructing the Israeli ‘Quality’ Television Series as an Art Form.” Media, Culture, & Society 37.1 (2015): 19-34.
The current study focuses on the social construction of definitions of quality in the field of the television drama series in Israel. By doing that, this work challenges Pierre Bourdieu’s claim that since artifacts of ‘popular culture’ industries are not regarded as ‘autonomous’, according to the autonomy-of-art ideology, they cannot be consecrated as works of art. Bourdieu’s thesis was challenged before, but the television field has not yet been extensively studied from this point of view. My study of the broad empirical corpus, including television reviews and interviews with acclaimed Israeli television creators, reveals that artistic quality and commercial appeal show less tension than Bourdieu had suggested. Furthermore, my findings indicate that the autonomy-of-art ideology can be reconfigured to accommodate commercial (e.g. capitalist) considerations. Within this reconfiguration, the ‘quality’ television series can be redefined to include elements of ‘autonomous’ art, such as authenticity, innovation and the input of ‘genius’ creators, alongside such capitalist requirements as profitability.