Pierre Bourdieu

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Pierre Bourdieu
Western sociology
20th-century sociology

Bourdieu on the cover of the book: Pierre Bourdieu: a critical introduction by Jeremy F. Lane
Full name Pierre Bourdieu
School/tradition Genetic structuralism
Main interests Power · Symbolic violence
Academia · Historical structures
Subjective agents
Notable ideas Cultural capital · "Field" · Habitus
Illusio · Reflexivity · Social capital
Symbolic capital · Symbolic violence

Pierre Bourdieu (August 1, 1930January 23, 2002) was an acclaimed French sociologist and writer known for his outspoken political views and public engagement. One of the principal players in French intellectual life, Bourdieu became the "intellectual reference" for movements opposed to neo-liberalism and globalisation that developed in France and elsewhere during the 1990s.[1]

He used methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines: from philosophy and literary theory to sociology and anthropology. He is best known for his book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, in which he argues that judgments of taste are related to social position. More generally, he combined both theory and verifiable facts in an attempt to reconcile difficulties such as how to understand the subject within objective structures. In the process, he tried to reconcile the influences of both the social background and "free choice" on the individual (see structure and agency).

Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location, and symbolic violence to reveal the dynamics of power relations in social life. His work emphasized the role of practice and embodiment or forms in social dynamics and worldview construction, often in opposition to universalized Western philosophical traditions. He built upon the theories of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, Georges Canguilhem, Karl Marx, Gaston Bachelard, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Norbert Elias. A notable influence on Bourdieu was Blaise Pascal after whom Bourdieu titled the book Pascalian Meditations.


[edit] Biography

He was born Pierre Felix Bourdieu in Denguin (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), in the south of France on August 1, 1930, to a postal worker and his wife. He married Marie-Claire Brizard in 1962 and had three sons. He died of cancer at the age of 71.[1]

He was educated at the lycée in Pau, before moving to the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, from which he gained entrance to the Ecole Normale Supérieure. Bourdieu studied philosophy with Louis Althusser in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure. After getting his agrégation he worked as a lycée teacher at Moulins from 1955 to 1958 when he then took a post as lecturer in Algiers.[1] During the Algerian War in 1958-1962, he undertook ethnographic research into the clash through a study of the Kabyle peoples, of the Berbers laying the groundwork for his anthropological reputation. The result was his first book, Sociologie de L'Algerie (The Algerians), which was an immediate success in France and published in America in 1962.

In 1960 he returned to the University of Paris to teach until 1964. From 1964 on Bourdieu held the position of Director of Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (the future École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales), in the VIe section, and from 1981, the Chair of Sociology at the Collège de France , in the VIe section (held before him by Raymond Aron, Maurice Halbwachs, and Marcel Mauss). In 1968, he took over the Centre de Sociologie Européenne, the research center that Aron had founded, which he directed until his death.

In 1975, with Luc Boltanski, he launched the interdisciplinary journal Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, with which he sought to transform the accepted canons of sociological production while buttressing the scientific rigor of sociology. In 1993 he was honored with the "Médaille d'or du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique" (CNRS). In 1996, he received the Goffman Prize from the University of California, Berkeley and in 2002 the Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

[edit] Influences

Bourdieu's work is influenced by much of traditional anthropology and sociology which he undertook to synthesize into his own theory. From Max Weber he retained the importance of domination and symbolic systems in social life, as well as the idea of social orders which would ultimately be transformed by Bourdieu into a theory of fields.

From Karl Marx, among other insights he gained an understanding of 'society' as the sum of social relationships: "what exist in the social world are relations – not interactions between agents or intersubjective ties between individuals, but objective relations which exist 'independently of individual consciousness and will'."[2] (grounded in the mode and conditions of economic production), and of the need to dialectically develop social theory from social practice.[3]

From Emile Durkheim, finally, he inherited a certain deterministic and, through Marcel Mauss and Claude Lévi-Strauss, structuralist style that emphasized the tendency of social structures to reproduce themselves. However, Bourdieu critically diverged from these Durkheimian analyses in emphasizing the role of the social agent in enacting, through the embodiment of social structures, symbolic orders. He furthermore emphasized that the reproduction of social structures does not operate according to a functionalist logic.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty and, through him, the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl played an essential part in the formulation of Bourdieu's focus on the body, action, and practical dispositions (which found their primary manifestation in Bourdieu's theory of habitus).

Bourdieu also claimed to be influenced by Wittgenstein's work on rule-following, stating that "Wittgenstein is probably the philosopher who has helped me most at moments of difficulty. He's a kind of saviour for times of great intellectual distress". [4]

Bourdieu's work is built upon the attempt to transcend a series of oppositions which characterized the social sciences (subjectivism/objectivism, micro/macro, freedom/determinism). In particular he did this through conceptual innovations. The concepts of habitus, capital, and field were conceived, indeed, with the intention to abolish such oppositions.

[edit] Bourdieu as public intellectual

Bourdieu moved away from academic anthropology and sociology to become involved in political debate, so filling the gap left by Michel Foucault in France as the public face of intellectual sociology. Bourdieu was critical of the "total intellectual" role played by Sartre, and he dismissed Sartre's attempts within the political sphere of France as "irresponsible" and "opportunistic." [5] Bourdieu saw sociology not as a form of "intellectual entertainment" but as a serious discipline of a scientific nature. The paradox between Bourdieu's earlier writings against using sociology for political activism and his later launch into the role of a public intellectual involved some highly "visible political statements"[5] asking whether the role of the academic, in this case the sociologist, is preparation for life as a public intellectual, especially when considering the political implications of Bourdieu's work in the public domain. Although much of his early work stressed the importance of sociology as a serious discipline, his later working life saw him in the spotlight of political debate in France, raising the issue of whether the sociologist has political responsibilities extending to the public domain.

In 2004 Marxist sociologist Michael Burawoy's presidential address to The American Sociological Association called for a public sociology.[6] Burawoy considers the point that sociology has a role to play in the public domain and suggests that the academic sociologist should be more involved in public debate.[6] However, whereas Burawoy suggests that there are shared values amongst sociologists, it also limits the discipline.[7] Burawoy argued that the early work of sociologists to change and interpret the world changed to a role of conserving it, as evidenced in Bourdieu's life.

Analysis of Bourdieu's political activism suggests that although he earlier faulted public intellectuals such as Sartre, he always had political aspirations with political ideology influencing his sociology from the beginning. On the other hand, between his earlier writings of the 1960s and his later work the world had changed considerably, and his main concern was the effect of globalisation and for those who benefited least from it. In that light, Bourdieu's role as public intellectual was born from an "urgency to speak out against neo-liberal discourse that had become so dominant within political debate."[5] His role as critical sociologist prepared him for the public role, fulfilling his "constructionist view of social life" as it relied upon the idea of social actors making change through collective struggles. His relationship with the media was improved through his very public action of organizing strikes and rallies that raised huge media interest in him and his many books became more popular through this new notoriety. One of the main differences between the role of the critical sociologist and public intellectual is the ability to have a relationship with popular media resources outside the academic realm.[8] Research is needed on what conditions transform particular intellectuals into public intellectuals.[5] Bourdieu did not set out to be a public intellectual but his sociological work and the prevailing political climate propelled him into this position.

[edit] Work

Bourdieu routinely sought to connect his theoretical ideas with empirical research, grounded in everyday life, and his work can be seen as cultural anthropology or, as he labelled it, a "Theory of Practice". His contributions to sociology were both evidential and theoretical (that is, calculated through both systems). His key terms were habitus, field, and symbolic violence. He extended the idea of capital to categories such as social capital, cultural capital, and symbolic capital. For Bourdieu each individual occupies a position in a multidimensional social space; he or she is not defined by social class membership, but by the amounts of each kind of capital he or she possesses. That capital includes the value of social networks, which Bourdieu showed could be used to produce or reproduce inequality.

Bourdieu felt uncomfortable in the role of detached social scientist and intellectual. Although he had no partisan affiliation, he was known for being politically engaged and active. He supported workers against the influences of political elites and neoliberal capitalism. Because of his independence, he was even considered an enemy of the French Left; the French Socialist party used to talk disparagingly of "la gauche bourdieusienne" (Bourdieusian Left).

Some examples of his empirical results include showing that despite the apparent freedom of choice in the arts, people's artistic preferences (such as classical music, rock, traditional music) strongly tie in with their social position; and showing that subtleties of language such as accent, grammar, spelling and style – all part of cultural capital – are a major factor in social mobility (for example, getting a higher-paid, higher-status job).

Pierre Bourdieu's work emphasized how social classes, especially the ruling and intellectual classes, preserve their social privileges across generations despite the myth that contemporary post-industrial society boasts equality of opportunity and high social mobility, achieved through formal education.

Bourdieu was an extraordinarily prolific author, producing hundreds of articles and three dozen books, nearly all of which are now available in English. His style is particularly dense and has sometimes been faulted for being overly opaque.

[edit] Bourdieu's theory of class distinction


Pierre Bourdieu developed theories of social stratification based on aesthetic taste in his 1984 work Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (in French, La Distinction) published by Harvard University Press. Bourdieu claims that how one chooses to present one’s social space to the world -- one’s aesthetic dispositions -- depicts one’s status and distances oneself from lower groups. Specifically, Bourdieu hypothesizes that these dispositions are internalized at an early age and guide the young towards their appropriate social positions, towards the behaviors that are suitable for them, and an aversion towards other behaviors.


Pierre Bourdieu theorizes that class fractions teach aesthetic preferences to their young. Class fractions are determined by a combination of the varying degrees of social, economic, and cultural capital. Society incorporates “symbolic goods, especially those regarded as the attributes of excellence, […as] the ideal weapon in strategies of distinction”[9] Those attributes deemed excellent are shaped by the interests of the dominating class. He emphasizes the dominance of cultural capital early on by stating that “differences in cultural capital mark the differences between the classes”[10].

Aesthetic dispositions are the result of social origin rather than accumulated capital and experience over time. The acquisition of cultural capital depends heavily on “total, early, imperceptible learning, performed within the family from the earliest days of life”[9]. Bourdieu hypothetically guarantees that the opinions of the young are those that they are born into, the accepted “definitions that their elders offer them”[11].

He asserts the primacy of social origin and culture capital by claiming that social capital and economic capital, though acquired cumulatively over time, depend upon it. Bourdieu claims that “one has to take account of all the characteristics of social condition which are (statistically) associated from earliest childhood with possession of high or low income and which tend to shape tastes adjusted to these conditions”[12].

According to Bourdieu, tastes in food, culture and presentation are indicators of class because trends in their consumption seemingly correlate with an individual’s fit in society[13]. Each fraction of the dominant class develops its own aesthetic criteria. A multitude of consumer interests based on differing social positions necessitates that each fraction “has its own artists and philosophers, newspapers and critics, just as it has its hairdresser, interior decorator, or tailor.”[14]

However, Bourdieu does not disregard the importance of social capital and economic capital in the formation of cultural capital. In fact, the production of art and the ability to play an instrument “presuppose not only dispositions associated with long establishment in the world of art and culture but also economic means…and spare time”[15]. However, regardless of one’s ability to act upon one’s preferences, Bourdieu specifies that “respondents are only required to express a status-induced familiarity with legitimate…culture.”[16]

“[Taste] functions as a sort of social orientation, a ‘sense of one’s place,’ guiding the occupants of a given…social space towards the social positions adjusted to their properties, and towards the practices or goods which befit the occupants of that position.” [17] Thus, different modes of acquisition yield differences in the nature of preferences. [18]

These “cognitive structures…are internalized, ‘embodied’ social structures,” becoming a natural entity to the individual (Bourdieu 468). Different tastes are thus seen as unnatural and rejected, resulting in “disgust provoked by horror or visceral intolerance (‘feeling sick’) of the tastes of others.” [19]

Bourdieu himself believes class distinction and preferences are “most marked in the ordinary choices of everyday existence, such as furniture, clothing, or cooking, which are particularly revealing of deep-rooted and long-standing dispositions because, lying outside the scope of the educational system, they have to be confronted, as it were, by naked taste.” [20] Indeed, Bordieu believes that “the strongest and most indelible mark of infant learning” would probably be in the tastes of food. [21] Bourdieu thinks that meals served on special occasions are “an interesting indicator of the mode of self-presentation adopted in ‘showing off’ a life-style (in which furniture also plays a part). ”[21] The idea is that their likes and dislikes should mirror those of their associated class fractions.

Children from the lower end of the social hierarchy are predicted to choose “heavy, fatty fattening foods, which are also cheap” in their dinner layouts, opting for “plentiful and good” meals as opposed to foods that are “original and exotic.” [22] These potential outcomes would reinforce Bourdieu’s “ethic of sobriety for the sake of slimness, which is most recognized at the highest levels of the social hierarchy,” that contrasts the “convivial indulgence” characteristic of the lower classes.[23] Demonstrations of the tastes of luxury (or freedom) and the tastes of necessity reveal a distinction among the social classes.

The degree to which social origin affects these preferences surpasses both educational and economic capital. Demonstrably, at equivalent levels of educational capital, social origin remains an influential factor in determining these dispositions. [16] How one describes one’s social environment relates closely to social origin because the instinctive narrative springs from early stages of development. [24] Also, across the divisions of labor “economic constraints tend to relax without any fundamental change in the pattern of spending,” [25] This observation reinforces the idea that social origin, more than economic capital, produces aesthetic preferences because regardless of economic capability, consumption patterns remain stable.

[edit] Bourdieu’s theory of power and practice

At the center of Bourdieu's sociological work is a logic of practice that emphasizes the importance of the body and practices within the social world. Against the intellectualist tradition, Bourdieu stressed that mechanisms of social domination and reproduction were primarily focused on bodily know-how and competent practices in the social world. Bourdieu fiercely opposed Rational Choice Theory as grounded in a misunderstanding of how social agents operate. Social agents do not, according to Bourdieu, continuously calculate according to explicit rational and economic criteria. Rather, social agents operate according to an implicit practical logic—a practical sense—and bodily dispositions. Social agents act according to their "feel for the game" (the "feel" being, roughly, habitus, and the "game" being the field).

Bourdieu’s anthropological work was dominated by an analysis of the mechanisms of reproduction of social hierarchies. In opposition to Marxist analyses, Bourdieu criticized the primacy given to the economic factors, and stressed that the capacity of social actors to actively impose and engage their cultural productions and symbolic systems plays an essential role in the reproduction of social structures of domination. What Bourdieu called symbolic violence is the self-interested capacity to ensure that the arbitrariness of the social order is either ignored, or posited as natural, thereby justifying the legitimacy of existing social structures. This concept plays an essential part in his sociological analysis.

For Bourdieu, the modern social world is divided into what he calls fields. For him, the differentiation of social activities led to the constitution of various, relatively autonomous, social spaces in which competition centers around particular species of capital. These fields are treated on a hierarchical basis wherein the dynamics of fields arises out of the struggle of social actors trying to occupy the dominant positions within the field. Although Bourdieu embraces prime elements of conflict theory like Marx, he diverges from analyses that situate social struggle only within the fundamental economic antagonisms between social classes. The conflicts which take place in each social field have specific characteristics arising from those fields and that involve many social relationships which are not economic.[26]

Pierre Bourdieu developed a theory of the action, around the concept of habitus, which exerted a considerable influence in the social sciences. This theory seeks to show that social agents develop strategies which are adapted to the needs of the social worlds that they inhabit. These strategies are unconscious and act on the level of a bodily logic.

[edit] Field and Habitus

[edit] Field

Bourdieu shared Weber's view that society cannot be analyzed simply in terms of economic classes and ideologies. Much of his work concerns the independent role of educational and cultural factors. Instead of analyzing societies in terms of classes, Bourdieu uses the concept of field: a social arena in which people maneuver and struggle in pursuit of desirable resources.

[edit] Habitus

Bourdieu re-elaborated the concept of habitus from Marcel Mauss--although it is also present in the works of Aristotle, Norbert Elias, Max Weber, and Edmund Husserl--and used it, in a more or less systematic way, in an attempt to resolve a prominent antinomy of the human sciences: objectivism and subjectivism. Habitus can be defined as a system of dispositions (lasting, acquired schemes of perception, thought and action). The individual agent develops these dispositions in response to the objective conditions it encounters. In this way Bourdieu theorizes the inculcation of objective social structures into the subjective, mental experience of agents. For the objective social field places requirements on its participants for membership, so to speak, within the field. Having thereby absorbed objective social structure into a personal set of cognitive and somatic dispositions, and the subjective structures of action of the agent then being commensurate with the objective structures and extant exigencies of the social field, a doxic relationship emerges.

[edit] Habitus and Doxa

Doxa are the learned, fundamental, deep-founded, unconscious beliefs, and values, taken as self-evident universals, that inform an agent's actions and thoughts within a particular field. Doxa tends to favor the particular social arrangement of the field, thus privileging the dominant and taking their position of dominance as self-evident and universally favorable. Therefore, the categories of understanding and perception that constitute a habitus, being congruous with the objective organization of the field, tend to reproduce the very structures of the field.

Bourdieu thus sees habitus as the key to social reproduction because it is central to generating and regulating the practices that make up social life. Individuals learn to want what conditions make possible for them, and not to aspire to what is not available to them. The conditions in which the individual lives generate dispositions compatible with these conditions (including tastes in art, literature, food, and music), and in a sense pre-adapted to their demands. The most improbable practices are therefore excluded, as unthinkable, by a kind of immediate submission to order that inclines agents to make a virtue of necessity, that is, to refuse what is categorically denied and to will the inevitable. [27]

[edit] Reconciling the Objective (Field) and the Subjective (Habitus)

As mentioned above, Bourdieu utilized the methodological and theoretical concepts of habitus and field in order to make an epistemological break with the prominent objective-subjective antinomy of the social sciences. He wanted to effectively unite social phenomenology and structuralism. Habitus and field are proposed to do so for they can only exist in relation to each other. Although a field is constituted by the various social agents participating in it (and thus their habitus), a habitus, in effect, represents the transposition of objective structures of the field into the subjective structures of action and thought of the agent.

The relationship between habitus and field is a two-way relationship. The field exists only insofar as social agents possess the dispositions and set of perceptual schemata that are necessary to constitute that field and imbue it with meaning. Concommitantly, by participating in the field agents incorporate into their habitus the proper know-how that will allow them to constitute the field. Habitus manifests the structures of the field, and the field mediates between habitus and practice.

Bourdieu attempts to use the concepts of habitus and field to remove the division between the subjective and the objective. Whether or not he successfully does so is open to debate. Bourdieu asserts that any research must be composed of two "minutes." The first an objective stage of research--where one looks at the relations of the social space and the structures of the field. The second stage must be a subjective analysis of social agents' dispositions to act and their categories of perception and understanding that result from their inhabiting the field. Proper research, he says, cannot do without these two together.

[edit] Symbolic capital and symbolic violence

For Marx, "capital is not a simple relation, but a process, in whose various movements it is always capital".[28]

Bourdieu sees symbolic capital (e.g., prestige, honour, attention) as a crucial source of power. Symbolic capital is any species of capital that is perceived through socially inculcated classificatory schemes. When a holder of symbolic capital uses the power this confers against an agent who holds less, and seeks thereby to alter their actions, they exercise symbolic violence. We might see this when a daughter brings home a boyfriend considered unsuitable by her parents. She is met with disapproving looks and gestures, symbols which serve to convey the message that she will not be permitted to continue this relationship, but which never make this coercive fact explicit. People come to experience symbolic power and systems of meaning (culture) as legitimate. Hence, the daughter will often feel a duty to obey her parents' unspoken demand, regardless of her suitor's actual merits. She has been made to misunderstand or misrecognize his nature. Moreover, by perceiving her parents' symbolic violence as legitimate, she is complicit in her own subordination - her sense of duty has coerced her more effectively than explicit reprimands could have done.

Symbolic violence is fundamentally the imposition of categories of thought and perception upon dominated social agents who then take the social order to be just. It is the incorporation of unconscious structures that tend to perpetuate the structures of action of the dominant. The dominated then take their position to be "right." Symbolic violence is in some senses much more powerful than physical violence in that it is embedded in the very modes of action and structures of cognition of individuals, and imposes the specter of legitimacy of the social order.

In his theoretical writings, Bourdieu employs some terminology of economics to analyze the processes of social and cultural reproduction, of how the various forms of capital tend to transfer from one generation to the next. For Bourdieu, formal education represents the key example of this process. Educational success, according to Bourdieu, entails a whole range of cultural behaviour, extending to ostensibly non-academic features like gait, dress, or accent. Privileged children have learned this behaviour, as have their teachers. Children of unprivileged backgrounds have not. The children of privilege therefore fit the pattern of their teachers' expectations with apparent 'ease'; they are 'docile'. The unprivileged are found to be 'difficult', to present 'challenges'. Yet both behave as their upbringing dictates. Bourdieu regards this 'ease', or 'natural' ability--distinction--as in fact the product of a great social labour, largely on the part of the parents. It equips their children with the dispositions of manner as well as thought which ensure they are able to succeed within the educational system and can then reproduce their parents' class position in the wider social system.

Cultural capital (e.g., competencies, skills, qualifications) can also be a source of misrecognition and symbolic violence. Therefore working class children can come to see the educational success of their middle-class peers as always legitimate, seeing what is often class-based inequality as instead the result of hard work or even 'natural' ability. A key part of this process is the transformation of people's symbolic or economic inheritance (e.g., accent or property) into cultural capital (e.g., university qualifications) - a process which the logic of the cultural fields impedes but cannot prevent.

[edit] Reflexivity

Bourdieu insists on the importance of a reflexive sociology in which sociologists must at all times conduct their research with conscious attention to the effects of their own position, their own set of internalized structures, and how these are likely to distort or prejudice their objectivity. The sociologist, according to Bourdieu, must engage in a "sociology of sociology" so as not to unwittingly attribute to the object of observation the characteristics of the subject. One must be cognizant of their own social positions within a field and recognize the conditions that both structure and make possible discourses, theories, and observations. A sociologist, therefore, must be aware of his or her own stakes and interests in the academic or sociological field and render explicit the conditions and structures of understanding that are implicitly imbued in his or her practices within those fields. Bourdieu's conception of reflexivity, however, is not singular or narcissistic, but must involve the contribution of the entire sociological field. Sociological reflexivity is a collective endeavor, spanning the entire field and its participants, aimed at exposing the socially conditioned unthought structures that underlay the formulation of theories and perceptions of the social world.

Bourdieu's sociology in general can be characterized as an investigation of the pre-reflexive conditions that generate certain beliefs and practices that are generated in capitalist systems.

[edit] Science and objectivity

Bourdieu contended there is transcendental objectivity, only there were certain historical conditions necessary for its emergence. Bourdieu's ideal scientific field is one that persistently designates upon its participants an interest or investment in objectivity. Transcendental objectivity, he argued, requires certain historical and social conditions for its production. The scientific field is precisely that field in which objectivity may be acquired. The structure of the scientific field is such that it becomes increasingly autonomous and its "entrance fee" becomes increasingly strict. Further, the scientific field entails rigorous intersubjective scrutinizing of theory and data. This makes it difficult for those within the field to bring in, for example, political influence.

[edit] Language

Bourdieu takes language to be not merely a method of communication, but also a mechanism of power. The language one uses is designated by one's relational position in a field or social space. Different uses of language tend to reiterate the respective positions of each participant. Linguistic interactions are manifestations of the participants' respective positions in social space and categories of understanding, and thus tend to reproduce the objective structures of the social field. This determines who has a right to be listened to, to interrupt, to ask questions, and to lecture, and to what degree.

[edit] Legacy

Bourdieu "was, for many, the leading intellectual of present-day France... a thinker in the same rank as Foucault, Barthes and Lacan".[1] His works have been translated into two dozen languages and have had an impact on the whole gamut of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. Several works of his are considered classics, not only in sociology, but also in anthropology, education, and cultural studies. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (La Distinction) was named as one of the 20th century's ten most important works of sociology by the International Sociological Association.[29] The Rules of Art has impacted sociology, history, literature and aesthetics.

In France, Bourdieu was not seen as an ivory tower academic or "cloistered don", but as a passionate activist for those he believed to be subordinated by society. In 2001, a documentary film about Pierre Bourdieu – Sociology is a Martial Art – "became an unexpected hit in Paris. Its very title stressed how much of a politically engaged intellectual Bourdieu was, taking on the mantle of Emile Zola and Jean-Paul Sartre in French public life, and slugging it out with politicians because he thought that was what people like him should do."[1]

For Bourdieu, sociology was a combative effort, exposing the un-thought structures beneath the physical (somatic) and thought practices of social agents. He saw sociology as a means of confronting symbolic violence and exposing those unseen areas where one could be free.

Bourdieu's work continues to be influential, and sociologists such as Loïc Wacquant persistently apply his theoretical and methodological principles to subjects such as boxing, employing what Bourdieu termed participant objectivization, or what his student Wacquant calls "carnal sociology".

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e The Guardian obituary, Douglas Johnson 28 January 2002
  2. ^ Bourdieu, P. and L.J.D. Wacquant. 1992. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago and London: Univ of Chicago Press. p. 97.
  3. ^ Bourdieu, P. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge Univ Press
  4. ^ [http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/perloff/witt_intro.html "Wittgenstein's Ladder Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary"]. Wittgenstein's Ladder Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary. http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/perloff/witt_intro.html. Retrieved on 2008-12-28. 
  5. ^ a b c d Swartz, D., Special Issue on the Sociology of Symbolic power: A Special Issue in Memory of Pierre Bourdieu, Theory and Society, Volume 32, Issue 5/6, 2003.
  6. ^ a b Burawoy, M., American Sociological Association Presidential Address: For Public Sociology, The British Journal of Sociology Volume 56, Issue 2, 2005.
  7. ^ Holmwood, J., Sociology as Public Discourse and Professional Practice: A Critique of Michael Burawoy, Sociological Theory, Volume 25, Issue 1, 2007.
  8. ^ Fuller, S., The Intellectual, Ikon Books, Cambridge, 2005.
  9. ^ a b Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 66
  10. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 69
  11. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 477
  12. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 177
  13. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 184
  14. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 pp 231-2
  15. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 75
  16. ^ a b Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 63
  17. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 466
  18. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 65
  19. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 56
  20. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 77
  21. ^ a b Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 79
  22. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 177, 79
  23. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 179
  24. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 78
  25. ^ Distinction, Bourdieu 1984 p 185
  26. ^ Bourdieu, P. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambrudge and New York: Cambridge Univ Press
  27. ^ Bourdieu, P. (1990) Structures, habits, practices. In P. Bourdieu, The logic of practice (pp. 52-79). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Bourdieu, 1990, p. 54.
  28. ^ Marx, K. 1973. Die Grundrisse. New York: Vintage. p. 258.
  29. ^ http://www.isa-sociology.org/books/books10.htm

[edit] Bibliography

Selected works:

  • Algeria 1960: The Disenchantment of the World: The Sense of Honour: The Kabyle House or the World Reversed: Essays, Cambridge Univ Press 1979.
  • Les héritiers: les étudiants et la culture (1964), Eng. The Inheritors: French Students and Their Relations to Culture, University of Chicago Press 1979.
  • Esquisse d'une théorie de la pratique, précédé de trois études d'ethnologie kabyle, (1972), Eng. Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge University Press 1977.
  • Homo Academicus, (French Edition) Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1984. (English Edition) Polity, 1990.
  • Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (Theory, Culture and Society Series), Sage, 1990, with Jean-Claude Passeron (in French: La Reproduction. Éléments pour une théorie du système d'enseignement, Minuit, 1970).
  • with Luc Boltanski e P. Maldidier, La défense du corps, in Social Science Information, Vol. 10, n° 4, pp.45-86, 1971.
  • with Luc Boltanski, Le titre et le poste : rapports entre système de production et système de reproduction, in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, Vol. 1, n° 2, pp. 95 – 107, 1975
  • with Luc Boltanski, Le fétichisme de la langue, in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, Vol. 1, n° 4, pp. 2– 32, 1975.
  • with Luc Boltanski, La production de l'idéologie dominante, in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, Vol. 2, n° 2-3, 1976, pp. 4-73, 1976-06.
  • Bourdieu, Pierre, Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice, 1984.Harvard University Press.
  • Choses dites, 1987 Eng. In Other Words: Essays toward a Reflective Sociology, Stanford, 1990.
  • " The Corporatism of the Universal: The Role of Intellectuals in the Modern World ". TELOS 81 (Fall 1989). New York: Telos Press
  • Language and Symbolic Power, Harvard University Press 1991.
  • The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger, Polity, 1991.
  • The Love of Art: European Art Museums and Their Public, Stanford University Press, 1991.
  • Language & Symbolic Power, Harvard University Press, 1991; paperback edition, Polity, 1992.[1]
  • An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology with Loïc Wacquant, University of Chicago Press and Polity, 1992.
  • with Hans Haacke, Free Exchange, Stanford University Press, 1995.
  • with Luc Boltanski and Robert Castel, Photography: A Middle-Brow Art, Stanford University Press, 1996.
  • Les régles de l'art, 1992; Eng. Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, Stanford University Press, 1996.
  • with Monique De Saint Martin, Jean-Claude Passeron, Academic Discourse: Linguistic Misunderstanding and Professorial Power, Polity 1996.
  • Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action, Stanford University Press, 1998.
  • State nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power, Polity, 1998.
  • Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society, Polity, 1999.
  • On Television, New Press, 1999.
  • Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market, New Press, 1999.
  • Pascalian Meditations, Polity, 2000.
  • La domination masculine, 1998; Eng. Male Domination, Polity, 2001.
  • Interventions politiques (1960-2000). Textes & contextes d’un mode d’intervention politique spécifique, 2002.
  • Contre-Feux, 1998; Eng. Counterfire: Against the Tyranny of the Market, Verso Books 2003.
  • Science de la science et réflexivité, 2002; Eng. Science of Science and Reflexivity, Polity 2004.
  • Interventions politiques (1960-2000). Textes & contextes d’un mode d’intervention politique spécifique, 2002.
  • The Social Structures of the Economy, Polity 2005.

[edit] References and further reading

  • Calhoun, C. et al. (1992) "Pierre Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives." University of Chicago Press.
  • Grenfell, M. (ed) (2008) "Pierre Bourdieu: Key concepts" London, Acumen Press.
  • Grenfell, M and Hardy, C (2007) "Art Rules: Pierre Bourdieu and the Visual Arts." Berg.
  • Grenfell, M (2007) "Pierre Bourdieu: Education and Training". Continuum
  • Grenfell, Michael (2004). Pierre Bourdieu: Agent Provocateur. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-6709-1. 
  • Lane, J.F. (2000) Pierre Bourdieu. A Critical Introduction. Pluto Press.
  • Wacquant, L. (2005) Pierre Bourdieu and Democratic Politics. Polity Press.
  • Fowler, Bridget, Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory: Critical Investigations (London, California and New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1997).
  • Jean-Philippe Cazier [edit.],Abécédaire de Pierre Bourdieu, Sils Maria Press, 2007.
  • Sallaz Jeffrey J. and ­Jane Zavisca (2007). Bourdieu in American Sociology, 1980–2004. Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 33, pp. 21–41. [2]
  • Luca Corchia, La prospettiva relazionale di Pierre Bourdieu (2). I concetti fondamentali, in «Il Trimestrale del Laboratorio. The Lab's Quarterly», Pisa, Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali, 4, 2006 ISSN 1724-451X

[edit] External links

Obituaries and biographical material

Other resources

NAME Bourdieu, Pierre
SHORT DESCRIPTION French anthropologist, sociologist and philosopher
DATE OF BIRTH August 1, 1930
PLACE OF BIRTH Denguin, France
DATE OF DEATH January 23, 2002
PLACE OF DEATH Paris, France
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