The beholder’s intention

I was really interested by the following passage from Bourdieu’s Distinction: “But the apprehension and appreciation of the work also depend on the beholder’s intention, which is itself a function of the conventional norms governing the relation to the work of art in a certain historical and social situation and also of the beholder’s capacity to conform to those norms, i.e., his artistic training” (30). I was interested by Bourdieu’s choice to label the interpretation of the beholder as the “intention” of the beholder. This word seemed to me an odd choice, considering the subsequent explanation, which systematically deprives that intentioned beholder of his or her agency. Perhaps the intention of the beholder is simply an intention to successfully represent and to adhere to the ideologies collectively held within his own class. But how is this an intention at all, and what constitutes the agency of the reader of a cultural text?

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