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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.
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.
Over the last three decades, 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 his influence, no single introduction to his wide–ranging work is available. This book offers a systematic and accessible overview, providing interpretative keys to the internal logic of Bourdieu′s work by explicating thematic and methodological principles underlying his work. Firstly Loic Wacquant provides a clear and systematic account of the main themes of Bourdieu′s work, outlining his conception of knowledge, his theory of practice and his distinctive methods of analysis. In the second part of the book Wacquant collaborates with Bourdieu to discuss the central concepts of Bourdieu′s work, confront some criticisms and objections, and develop Bourdieu′s views on the relations between sociology, philosophy, history and politics. Finally Bourdieu displays his sociological approach in practice: beginning with the practical demands of research, he moves, step by step, to a formulation of the principles of sociological reason. Supplemented by an extensive and up–to–date bibliography, this book will be essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand Bourdieu′s unique and outstanding contribution to contemporary social thought.
Review: "This book is based on the last course of lectures that Pierre Bourdieu delivered at the College de France. In it he presents a highly illuminating 'Sketch for a self-analysis', applying his theories to himself to show how his social origins and educational capital influenced his academic trajectory and the course of his thinking. It is a book that will be of great interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities."--BOOK JACKET
Pierre Bourdieu is one of the most protean intellectual forces in comtemporary French thought. He holds the chair in sociology at the prestigious Collège de France, yet his influence extends far beyond the area of sociological research and theory. Bourdieu's work, presented in over twenty books, lies on the borders of philosophy, anthropology and ethnology, and cultural theory. The present volume consists of diverse individual texts, produced between 1980 and 1986, which take two forms: interviews in which Bourdieu confronts a series of probing and intelligent interviewers, and conference papers that clarify and extend specific areas of his current research. Now that Bourdieu's work has achieved wide diffusion and celebrity, this is an appropriate time for this volume, a pause for retrospection and resynthesis, for correction of misreadings and extension of previous insights, and for projection of the next stages of his work. For this English edition, Bourdieu's celebrated inaugural lecture at the Collège de France, Leçon sur la Leçon, has been added. Because of the verve and clarity of Bourdieu's arguments in this book, it is a very readable and concise introduction to his work.
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.
Pierre Bourdieu was a brilliant sociologist and social thinker; he was also an intensely political man whose work is of profound significance for rethinking democracy. This original volume presents and develops Bourdieu's distinctive contribution to the theory and practice of democratic politics. It explicates and illustrates his core concepts of political field and field of power, his historical model of the bureaucratic state, and his influential analyses of the practices and institutions involved in the paradoxical phenomenon of political representation - starting with the enigma of delegation, or what he called the "mystery of ministry." The fruitfulness of Bourdieu's approach is demonstrated in a series of integrated studies of voting, public opinion polls, party dynamics, class rule, and state-building, as well as by careful analyses of Bourdieu's own civic engagements and his theoretical treatment of the politics of reason and recognition in contemporary society. Charting the connections between Bourdieu's political views, the main nodes of his sociology of democratic representation, and the implications of this sociology for progressive civic thought and action, this book will be of interest to students and scholars across the gamut of disciplines as well as to citizens concerned with renewing struggles for social justice.

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