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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.
In the last decade of his career, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu became involved in a series of high-profile political interventions, defending the cause of striking students and workers, speaking out in the name of illegal immigrants, the homeless and the unemployed, challenging the incursion of the market into the field of artistic and intellectual production. The first sustained analysis of Bourdieu's politics, this study seeks to assess the validity of his claims as to the distinctiveness and superiority of his own field theory as a tool of political analysis.
This book explores the implications of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of cultural production for the study of translation as a socio-cultural activity. Bourdieu’s work has continued to inspire research on translation in the last few years, though without a detailed, large-scale investigation that tests the viability of his conceptual tools and methodological assumptions. With focus on the Arabic translations of Shakespeare’s tragedies in Egypt, this book offers a detailed analysis of the theory of ‘fields of cultural production’ with the purpose of providing a fresh perspective on the genesis and development of drama translation in Arabic. The different cases of the Arabic translations of Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Othello lend themselves to sociological analysis, due to the complex socio-cultural dynamics that conditioned the translation decisions made by translators, theatre directors, actors/actresses and publishers. In challenging the mainstream history of Shakespeare translation into Arabic, which is mainly premised on the linguistic proximity between source and target texts, this book attempts a ‘social history’ of the ‘Arabic Shakespeare’ which takes as its foundational assumption the fact that translation is a socially-situated phenomenon that is only fully appreciated in its socio-cultural milieu. Through a detailed discussion of the production, dissemination and consumption of the Arabic translations of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Bourdieu in Translation Studies marks a significant contribution to both sociology of translation and the cultural history of modern Egypt.
Pierre Bourdieu has been an extraordinarily influential figure in the sociology of music. For over four decades, his concepts have helped to generate both empirical and theoretical interventions in the field of musical study. His impact on the sociology of music taste, in particular, has been profound, his ideas directly informing our understandings of how musical preferences reflect and reproduce inequalities between social classes, ethnic groups, and men and women. Bourdieu and the Sociology of Music Education draws together a group of international researchers, academics and artist-practitioners who offer a critical introduction and exploration of Pierre Bourdieu’s rich generative conceptual tools for advancing sociological views of music education. By employing perspectives from Bourdieu’s work on distinction and judgement and his conceptualisation of fields, habitus and capitals in relation to music education, contributing authors explore the ways in which Bourdieu’s work can be applied to music education as a means of linking school (institutional habitus) and learning, and curriculum and family (class habitus). The volume includes research perspectives and studies of how Bourdieu’s tools have been applied in industry and educational contexts, including the primary, secondary and higher music education sectors. The volume begins with an introduction to Bourdieu’s contribution to theory and methodology and then goes on to deal in detail with illustrative substantive studies. The concluding chapter is an extended essay that reflects on, and critiques, the application of Bourdieu’s work and examines the ways in which the studies contained in the volume advance understanding. The book contributes new perspectives to our understanding of Bourdieu’s tools across diverse settings and practices of music education.
Due to globalization processes, foreign language skills, knowledge about other countries and intercultural competences have increasingly become important for societies and people’s social positions. Previous research on social inequality, however, has dominantly focused on the reproduction of class structures within the boundaries of a particular nation-state without considering the importance of these specific skills and competences. Within Social Class and Transnational Human Capital authors Gerhards, Hans and Carlson refer to these skills as ‘transnational human capital’ and ask to what extent access to this increasingly sought-after resource depends on social class. Based on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of class, they investigate this question via both quantitative and qualitative empirical analyses. In doing so the authors focus, among other examples, on the so-called school year abroad, i.e. students spending up to a year abroad while attending school – a practice which is rather popular in Germany, but also quite common in many other countries. Thus, this insightful volume explores how inequalities in the acquisition of transnational human capital and new forms of social distinction are produced within families, depending on their class position and the educational strategies parents pursue when trying to prepare their children for a globalizing world. An enlightening title, this book will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as sociology, social inequality research, globalization studies and educational studies.
Bourdieusian Prospects considers the ongoing relevance of Bourdieu's social theory for contemporary social science. Breaking with the tendency to reflect on Bourdieu's legacies, it brings established and emergent scholars together to debate the futures of a specifically Bourdieusian sociology. Driven by a central leitmotif in Bourdieu’s oeuvre, namely, that his work not be blindly appropriated but actively interpreted, contributors to this volume set out to map the potentials of Bourdieusian inflected social science. While for many social scientists the empirical and theoretical developments of the twenty-first century mark a limit point of Bourdieusian social theory, this collection charts both how and why a Bourdieusian sociology has a future, which is crucial for the ongoing development and roll out of an engaged, relevant and critical social science.
These critical essays bring together prominent scholars in the social sciences to consider the diverse nature of the legacy of Pierre Bourdieu in contemporary social theory. In offering a range of perspectives on the continuing relevance of Bourdieu’s sociology, the essays of this volume examine Bourdieu’s relationship to both classical and contemporary social theory. This collection constructs an intellectual bridge between French-speaking and English-speaking accounts of Bourdieu’s work.

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