Craft fields and the temporal structures of quilting

Sara Hosking, Michael Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops a Bourdieusian-inspired structuralist model of how craft and commerce intersect. Through interpretative engagement with targeted interviews (n = 17) of ‘serious leisure’ quilters drawn from a larger quantitative survey (n = 440), we find that attitudes to pattern sharing suspends the field between commercial and communitarian poles. Unlike fine art and popular culture fields, where the usurpation of dominant styles leads to a succession temporality, quilting evinces a stasis: communitarian and circular temporalities of reciprocity and inclusion counterpose commoditization, notions of just (market) rewards, and their linear temporality. Developing from this chiastic – crosswise – structure, we argue craft's temporal organization of materials and actors differentiates quilting from art and other cultural forms; what is new is old; what is old is new. Generalizing this analysis, we suggest craft fields can appear unchanging due to the co-constituting, yet unresolvable, symbolic oppositions between commercial and communitarian temporalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-723
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Bourdieu
  • chiasm
  • craft
  • field
  • structuralism
  • time


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