Outline of a Theory of Practice

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107268111
Release Date: 1977-06-02
Genre: Social Science

Outline of a Theory of Practice is recognized as a major theoretical text on the foundations of anthropology and sociology. Pierre Bourdieu, a distinguished French anthropologist, develops a theory of practice which is simultaneously a critique of the methods and postures of social science and a general account of how human action should be understood. With his central concept of the habitus, the principle which negotiates between objective structures and practices, Bourdieu is able to transcend the dichotomies which have shaped theoretical thinking about the social world. The author draws on his fieldwork in Kabylia (Algeria) to illustrate his theoretical propositions. With detailed study of matrimonial strategies and the role of rite and myth, he analyses the dialectical process of the 'incorporation of structures' and the objectification of habitus, whereby social formations tend to reproduce themselves. A rigorous consistent materialist approach lays the foundations for a theory of symbolic capital and, through analysis of the different modes of domination, a theory of symbolic power.

The Social Structures of the Economy

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780745681658
Release Date: 2014-03-10
Genre: Social Science

Much orthodox economic theory is based on assumptions which are treated as self-evident: supply and demand are regarded as independent entities, the individual is assumed to be a rational agent who knows his interests and how to make decisions corresponding to them, and so on. But one has only to examine an economic transaction closely, as Pierre Bourdieu does here for the buying and selling of houses, to see that these abstract assumptions cannot explain what happens in reality. As Bourdieu shows, the market is constructed by the state, which can decide, for example, whether to promote private housing or collective provision. And the individuals involved in the transaction are immersed in symbolic constructions which constitute, in a strong sense, the value of houses, neighbourhoods and towns. The abstract and illusory nature of the assumptions of orthodox economic theory has been criticised by some economists, but Bourdieu argues that we must go further. Supply, demand, the market and even the buyer and seller are products of a process of social construction, and so-called 'economic' processes can be adequately described only by calling on sociological methods. Instead of seeing the two disciplines in antagonistic terms, it is time to recognize that sociology and economics are in fact part of a single discipline, the object of which is the analysis of social facts, of which economic transactions are in the end merely one aspect. This brilliant study by the most original sociologist of post-war France will be essential reading for students and scholars of sociology, economics, anthropology and related disciplines.

The Logic of Practice

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804720118
Release Date: 1990
Genre: Social Science

Our usual representations of the opposition between the "civilized" and the "primitive" derive from willfully ignoring the relationship of distance our social science sets up between the observer and the observed. In fact, the author argues, the relationship between the anthropologist and his object of study is a particular instance of the relationship between knowing and doing, interpreting and using, symbolic mastery and practical mastery—or between logical logic, armed with all the accumulated instruments of objectification, and the universally pre-logical logic of practice. In this, his fullest statement of a theory of practice, Bourdieu both sets out what might be involved in incorporating one's own standpoint into an investigation and develops his understanding of the powers inherent in the second member of many oppositional pairs—that is, he explicates how the practical concerns of daily life condition the transmission and functioning of social or cultural forms. The first part of the book, "Critique of Theoretical Reason," covers more general questions, such as the objectivization of the generic relationship between social scientific observers and their objects of study, the need to overcome the gulf between subjectivism and objectivism, the interplay between structure and practice (a phenomenon Bourdieu describes via his concept of the habitus), the place of the body, the manipulation of time, varieties of symbolic capital, and modes of domination. The second part of the book, "Practical Logics," develops detailed case studies based on Bourdieu's ethnographic fieldwork in Algeria. These examples touch on kinship patterns, the social construction of domestic space, social categories of perception and classification, and ritualized actions and exchanges. This book develops in full detail the theoretical positions sketched in Bourdieu's Outline of a Theory of Practice. It will be especially useful to readers seeking to grasp the subtle concepts central to Bourdieu's theory, to theorists interested in his points of departure from structuralism (especially fom Lévi-Strauss), and to critics eager to understand what role his theory gives to human agency. It also reveals Bourdieu to be an anthropological theorist of considerable originality and power.

The Rope of Moka

Author: Andrew Strathern
Publisher: CUP Archive
ISBN: 052107987X
Release Date: 1971-07-02
Genre: Social Science

In the Mount Hagen area of central New Guinea, warfare has been replaced since the arrival of the Europeans by a vigorous development of moka, a competitive ceremonial exchange of wealth objects. The exchanges of pigs, shells and other valuables are interpreted as acting as a bond between groups, and as a means whereby individuals, notably the big-men, can maximize their status. Professor Strathern analyses the ways in which competition between big-men actually takes place, and the effects of this competition on the overall political system.

The Field of Cultural Production

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231082878
Release Date: 1993-01
Genre: Art

During the last two decades, sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has become a dominant force in cultural activity ranging from taste in music and art to choices in food and lifestyles. The Field of Cultural Production brings together Bourdieu's major essays on art and literature and provides the first introduction to Bourdieu's writings and theory of a cultural field that situates artistic works within the social conditions of their production, circulation, and consumption. Bourdieu develops a highly original approach to the study of literary and artistic works, addressing many of the key issues that have preoccupied literary art and cultural criticism in the last twentieth century: aesthetic value and canonicity, intertextuality, the institutional frameworks of cultural practice, the social role of intellectuals and artists, and structures of literary and artistic authority. Bourdieu elaborates a theory of the cultural field which situates artistic works within the social conditions of their production, circulation, and consumption. He examines the individuals and institutions involved in making cultural products what they are: not only the writers and artists, but also the publishers, critics, dealers, galleries, and academies. He analyzes the structure of the cultural field itself as well as its position within the broader social structures of power. The essays in his volume examine such diverse topics as Flaubert's point of view, Manet's aesthetic revolution, the historical creation of the pure gaze, and the relationship between art and power. The Field of Cultural Porduction will be of interest to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines: sociology and social theory, literature, art, and cultural studies.

An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226067416
Release Date: 1992-07-15
Genre: Social Science

Over the last three decades, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has produced one of the most imaginative and subtle bodies of social theory and research of the post war era. Yet, despite the influence of his work, no single introduction to his wide-ranging oeuvre is available. This book, intended for an English-speaking audience, offers a systematic and accessible overview, providing interpretive keys to the internal logic of Bourdieu's work by explicating thematic and methodological principles underlying his work. The structure of Bourdieu's theory of knowledge, practice, and society is first dissected by Loic Wacquant; he then collaborates with Bourdieu in a dialogue in which they discuss central concepts of Bourdieu's work, confront the main objections and criticisms his work has met, and outline Bourdieu's views of the relation of sociology to philosophy, economics, history, and politics. The final section captures Bourdieu in action in the seminar room as he addresses the topic of how to practice the craft of reflexive sociology. Throughout, they stress Bourdieu's emphasis on reflexivity—his inclusion of a theory of intellectual practice as an integral component of a theory of society—and on method—particularly his manner of posing problems that permits a transfer of knowledge from one area of inquiry into another. Amplified by notes and an extensive bibliography, this synthetic view is essential reading for both students and advanced scholars.

Reproduction in Education Society and Culture

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 0803983204
Release Date: 1990-10-01
Genre: Social Science

The way in which the ruling ideas of a social system are related to structures of class, production and power, and how these are legitimated and perpetuated, is fundamental to the sociological project. In this second edition of this classic text, which includes a new introduction by Pierre Bourdieu, the authors develop an analysis of education (in its broadest sense, encompassing more than the process of formal education). They show how education carries an essentially arbitrary cultural scheme which is actually, though not in appearance, based on power. More widely, the reproduction of culture through education is shown to play a key part in the reproduction of the whole social system. The analysis is carried through not only in theoretica

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465093564
Release Date: 2017-08-15
Genre: Social Science

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Social Theory in the Twentieth Century

Author: Patrick Baert
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814713396
Release Date: 1998-08-01
Genre: Political Science

Popular calls to transform our current welfare system and supplant it with effective and inexpensive faith-based providers are gaining political support and engendering heated debate about the separation of church and state. Yet we lack concrete information from which to anticipate how such initiatives might actually work if adopted. Despite the assumption that congregations can help many needy people in our society, it remains to be seen how extensive they wish their involvement to be, or if they have the necessary tools to become significant providers in the social service arena. Moreover, how will such practices, which will move faith-based organizations towards professionalization, ultimately affect the spirit of volunteerism now prevalent in America's religious institutions? We lack sufficient knowledge about congregational life and its ability to play a key role in social service provision. The Invisible Caring Hand attempts to fill that void. Based on in-depth interviews with clergy and lay leaders in 251 congregations nationwide, it reveals the many ways in which congregations are already working, beneath the radar, to care for people in need. This ground-breaking volume will provide much-sought empirical data to social scientists, religious studies scholars, and those involved in the debates over the role of faith-based organizations in faith-based services, as well as to clergy and congregation members themselves.

Rethinking Context

Author: Alessandro Duranti
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521422884
Release Date: 1992-05-21
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

The past decade has seen a fundamental rethinking of the concept of context. Rather than functioning solely as a constraint on linguistic performance, context is now analyzed as a product of language use. Language and context are seen as interactively defined phenomena. The essays in this collection, written by many of the leading figures in the social sciences, critically reexamine the concept of context from a variety of different angles and propose new ways of thinking about it with reference to specific human activities such as face-to-face interaction, radio talk, medical diagnosis, political encounters and socialization practices. The editors have provided introductions to each essay as well as a general overview of the issues under debate.

Culture and Practical Reason

Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226161792
Release Date: 2013-11-22
Genre: Social Science

"The main thrust of this book is to deliver a major critique of materialist and rationalist explanations of social and cultural forms, but the in the process Sahlins has given us a much stronger statement of the centrality of symbols in human affairs than have many of our 'practicing' symbolic anthropologists. He demonstrates that symbols enter all phases of social life: those which we tend to regard as strictly pragmatic, or based on concerns with material need or advantage, as well as those which we tend to view as purely symbolic, such as ideology, ritual, myth, moral codes, and the like. . . ."—Robert McKinley, Reviews in Anthropology

Bourdieu s Theory of Social Fields

Author: Mathieu Hilgers
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317678595
Release Date: 2014-11-13
Genre: Social Science

Bourdieu’s theory of social fields is one of his key contributions to social sciences and humanities. However, it has never been subjected to genuine critical examination. This book fills that gap and offers a clear and wide-ranging introduction to the theory. It includes a critical discussion of its methodology and relevance in different subject areas in the social sciences and humanities. Part I "theoretical investigations" offers a theoretical account of the theory, while also identifying some of its limitations and discussing several strategies to overcome them. Part II "Education, culture and organization" presents the theory at work and highlights its advantages and disadvantages. The focus in Part III devoted to "The State" is on the formation and evolution of the State and public policy in different contexts. The chapters show the usefulness of field theory in describing, explaining and understanding the functioning of the State at different stages in its historical trajectory including its recent redefinition with the advent of the neoliberal age. A last chapter outlines a postcolonial use of the theory of fields.

Culture and Power

Author: David Swartz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226161655
Release Date: 2012-07-05
Genre: Social Science

Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.

Making Gender

Author: Sherry B. Ortner
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807046337
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Social Science

A major reconsideration of culture and gender by a founder of feminist anthropology. "[An] engaging book. . . . A fine example of the way anthropology helps us to think about ourselves." —Tanya Luhrmann, The New York Times "To have [Ortner's] brilliant writings gathered together in one volume, along with an introduction that is sure to move even further our understanding of gender, is a gift to all of us." —Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering

Local Knowledge

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786723750
Release Date: 2008-08-04
Genre: Social Science

In essays covering everything from art and common sense to charisma and constructions of the self, the eminent cultural anthropologist and author of The Interpretation of Cultures deepens our understanding of human societies through the intimacies of "local knowledge." A companion volume to The Interpretation of Cultures, this book continues Geertz’s exploration of the meaning of culture and the importance of shared cultural symbolism. With a new introduction by the author.