film critic
film criticism
cultural capital
academic capital
Korean film

How to Cite

WON, E. (2021). SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF FILM CRITICS IN SOUTH KOREA FROM 2000 TO 2020. International Journal of Korean Humanities and Social Sciences, 7, 83–99.


This paper empirically analyzes the social status of film critics in the Korean film industry. Film critics contribute to the creation of films as producers of specific values in film art by producing cinematographic discourse. Then how does one become a film critic? How does the film critic space operate – which can be understood as structured based on the development of the market for film magazines in the 1990s? The result of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the social recruitment of film critics from 2000 to 2020 shows that those who attained the legitimate status of film critic by winning awards in contests possess a high level of academic capital. It was also found that the location of higher education among these laureates was mainly concentrated in Seoul. Although film critics are not fully institutionalized and have an artistic mission to some extent, to access the profession of film criticism, they need to be controlled by established film critics who share similar cultural and symbolic capital each other. This suggests that symbolic power exists in the world of film criticism and that the structure can be reproduced through gatekeeping by the owners of symbolic power.


Abbott, Andrew. 1988. The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. DOI:

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1971. Le marché des biens symboliques. L’Année sociologique, vol. 22: 49–126.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1996 [1994]. Raisons pratiques. Sur la théorie de l’action. Paris: Seuil.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1998. La Domination Masculine. Paris: Seuil.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2013. Manet. Une révolution symbolique. Paris: Seuil.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2015 [1992]. Les règles de l’art. Paris: Seuil.

Busan-ilbo (부산일보).

Cine 21 (씨네 21).

Denord, Francois. 2020. Relation(s) objective(s). Dictionnaire International Bourdieu, ed. Gisèle Sapiro, 731-732. Paris: CNRS Editions.

Donga-ilbo (동아일보).

Duval, Julien. 2016. Le cinéma au XXe siècle. Entre loi du marché et règles de l’art. Paris: CNRS Éditions.

Freidson, Eliot. 1986. Les professions artistiques comme défi à l’analyse sociologique. Revue française de sociologie, 27(3): 431–443. DOI:

Kim, Jong-won (김종원). 2010. 한국 영화비평의 역사와 영평상 30주년의 회고와 반성 (Hangug Yeonghwa Bipyeong-ui yeogsa-wa Yeonpyeongsang 30 junyeon-ui hwigo-wa banseong; A retrospection on the history of Korean film criticism and on the 30th anniversary of the FCA Awards). 한국영화평론가협회 (Hangug yeonghwa pyeongron-ga hyeobhui; Film Critic Association in Korea). (accessed November 30, 2021).

Mauger, Gérard, eds. 2006. Droits d’entrée. Modalités et conditions d’accès aux univers artistique. Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme.

Moulin, Raymonde. 1983. De l’artisan au professionnel : l’artiste. Sociologie du travail, 25(4): 388–403. DOI:

Sapiro, Gisele. 2007. « Je n’ai jamais appris à écrire ». Les conditions de formation de la vocation d'écrivain, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 168: 12–33. DOI: