After Bourdieu: Influence, Critique, Elaboration by David L. Swartz, Vera L. Zolberg

By David L. Swartz, Vera L. Zolberg

critical reviews of his paintings, particularly papers by means of Rodney Benson, four Rogers Brubaker, Nick Crossley, and John Myles. certainly, it's the 1985 article through Rogers Brubaker which may really be acknowledged to have served as the most effective introductions to Bourdieu’s concept for the yankee social scienti?c public. it's therefore that we contain it within the current assortment. highbrow origins & orientations we commence via offering an outline of Bourdieu’s existence as a student and a public highbrow. the various obituaries and memorial tributes that experience seemed following Bourdieu’s premature loss of life have printed whatever of his lifestyles and profession, yet few have under pressure the intersection of his social origins, profession trajectory, and public highbrow lifestyles with the altering political and social context of France. this is often accurately what David Swartz’s “In memoriam” makes an attempt to complete. In it he emphasizes the twist of fate of Bourdieu’s younger and later maturity with the interval of decolonization, the could 1968 French collage hindrance, the hole up of France to privatization of many domain names formerly entrusted to the kingdom (l’état providence), and, most dangerous to post-World warfare II reforms, the emergence of globalization because the hegemonic constitution of the twenty first century. An orienting subject all through Bourdieu’s paintings warns opposed to the partial and fractured perspectives of social truth generated by means of the basic subject/object dichotomy that has plagued social technology from its very beginning.

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This reading suggested a set of questions about and criticisms of Bourdieu’s work, and sociological work more broadly, somewhat different from those I arrived at in the earlier article. I mention three of these here. First, the shared habitus or “collective practice of the same modus operandi”3 that is central to collaborative work and to schools of thought is epistemologically ambivalent. ”4 Yet this taken-for-grantedness has its intellectual costs as well. How can one best manage the tension between the productivity and cumulativity that are fostered by shared habitus and the uncritical stance that the automaticity of mutual understanding may produce among persons with similar intellectual dispositions?

42 Just as self-interested calculation extends, tacitly or explicitly, to symbolic as well as material goods, so power exists in the form of symbolic as well as economic capital. Even economic power has a crucial symbolic dimension. To understand, for example, the economic power exercised by a powerful family, one must consider not only their land and instruments of production but also their kin and their clientele . . , the network of alliances . . to be kept up and regularly maintained, representing a heritage of commitments and debts of honor, a capital of rights and duties built up in the course of successive generations and providing an additional source of strength which can be called upon when extra-ordinary situations break in upon the daily routine .

For in such cases dispositions, adapted to the social conditions under which they were formed, may be “out of phase” with the social conditions under which they must function. 52 Consider again the example of dispositions toward education. In consequence of the “explosion scolaire” – the rapid increase, in all social classes, in secondary and higher education – the labor-market value of diplomas has fallen, creating a “structural mismatch” between educational and occupational aspirations, generated in and oriented to an earlier state of affairs, and real opportunities.

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