Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-19, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2019.


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Auteur theory

core definition

Auteur theory is a term used in film studies to refer to the view that a single individual, usually the director, has the creative responsibility for the film.

explanatory context

Auteur theory thus presupposes that there is a primary Ďauthorí of a film. Auteur theory thus implies intentionality.


This notion is extended to imply that a director's intention is re-presented in a body of work in which she/he is involved. In this sense auteur theory resembles the idea in fine art of an artist's oeuvre

analytical review

Brianair (undated) reports:

The auteur theory is a way of reading and appraising films through the imprint of auteur (author), usually meant to be the director.

associated issues


related areas

See also


Brianair (undated) 'Auteur theory', available at, accessed 12 December 2016.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2019


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