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Henry Care: Journalism and numeracy before the Field

Harrison, S (2022) Henry Care: Journalism and numeracy before the Field. Journalism History, 48. ISSN 0094-7679

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The concept of the journalistic field as developed by Pierre Bourdieu and his collaborators has proved fruitful for media theorists. The present paper arose out of considerations linking field theory - and its associated concepts of habitus and symbolic capital - to the low regard in which journalists often appear to hold numeracy. Its focus is Henry Care, a writer and polemicist active in the UK in the 1670s and '80s whose works included a popular self-help guide to numeracy and basic arithmetic. Because he was writing prior to the establishment of the journalistic field, Care gives us an insight into how journalism could have developed along a different path, one in which the profession valued numeracy as highly as it does literary ability. Care’s background as a news writer and pamphleteer was no bar to the popularity of his guide, and it is argued that the low value which journalism places on numeracy today is historically contingent rather than inevitable. Previously overlooked internal evidence provides fresh insight into the composition of Care’s self-help guide.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: journalism; numeracy; quantitative literacy; Henry Care; Pierre Bourdieu; journalistic field; symbolic capital; habitus; 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing; 2001 Communication and Media Studies; 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions: Screen School
Publisher: Taylor Francis
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 09:50
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 10:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/00947679.2022.2046436
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16870
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