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Durkheim Through the Eyes of Bourdieu

Derek Robbins

The title rightly suggests that I shall be attempting to give a view of Bourdieu’s perception of Durkheim. I shall not try to judge whether Bourdieu’s perception of Durkheim was correct, nor shall I seek to compare the validity of the positions adopted by Durkheim and Bourdieu. Instead, I shall concentrate on the general context of Bourdieu’s view of Durkheim and focus on Bourdieu’s references to Durkheim in two important texts – the first is an article entitled ‘Sociology and Philosophy in France since 1945: death and resurrection of a philosophy without subject’, published in Social Research in 1967, and the second a book published in 1968 with the title: Le métier de sociologue. It should also be noted that the article was written in collaboration with Jean-Claude Passeron and the book was written in collaboration with Jean-Claude Chamboredon as well as Jean-Claude Passeron (referred to throughout as Bourdieu et al.). I focus on Bourdieu’s view of Durkheim’s work, but one of the points which will become clear is that Bourdieu found it difficult to dissociate his judgement of Durkheim’s intellectual endeavour from his view of Durkheim’s social significance and from his view of the adverse influence of the Durkheimians. I shall make two asides which will suggest ways in which it is clear that the development of Bourdieu’s thinking and career was affected by the consequences of Durkheim’s influence rather more than by the substance of his writing.

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The Role of the Reflexive Self in Mailer's Protests

Jon Dean

In The Armies of the Night (1968) and Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968/2008) Norman Mailer details the exploits of the anti-Vietnam war protestors and his role in the protests. With an ethnographer’s eye for detail and a novelist’s eye for imagery, he constructs a picture of youthful fear and exuberance, a totalitarian reaction to protest, and documents an America which he realises is slowing eating itself. In these nonfi ction novels, he places himself at the centre of events, interpreting the data through his own frazzled, drink-fuelled, mischievous self. This article utilises Pierre Bourdieu’s methodological framework of refl exive sociology to both critically analyse Mailer as an ethnographer and qualitative researcher and ask whether inquiry into social protest can be adequately conducted through the autobiographical gaze of a novelist. It is argued that by using such literary resources and techniques, we can, in the spirit of C. Wright Mills, move to a more public sociology where literary techniques are valued, rather than dismissed as unscientific.

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From Solidarity to Social Inclusion

The Political Transformations of Durkheimianism

Derek Robbins

The article begins with Pierre Rosanvallon's account of the mutations of 'Jacobin ideology' and the function of sociology in criticising this in France at the end of the nineteenth century. I suggest it was not Durkheim's intention simply to criticise a 'Jacobin' form of political ideology. Rather, it was to construct an affinity between sociological explanation and social facts, such that sociological discourse would appropriate the sphere of the political and take part, by so doing, in the constitution of a participative social democracy. I then touch on the post-mortem academicisation of Durkheim's work in France between the wars, to ask if the emergent Durkheimianism neutralised Durkheim's original socio-political intentions. This leads to a discussion of the resurgent domination of the discourse of politics in the 1960s, as manifested in Aron's critiques of Durkheim and in his defence of constitutional law at the beginning of the Fifth Republic, but also to an examination of Bourdieu's attempt to retrieve Durkheim's original orientation and to revive the political dynamism of social movements. I comment on the analysis, made in the 1970s by Bourdieu (and Boltanski), of the construction of the dominant postwar ideology in French politics, which includes their critique of 'planification' and of the work, amongst others, of Jacques Delors. They saw the language used by the newly dominant political managers as exploiting the sociological discourse of 'solidarity' and 'social exclusion', not to realize its intentions, but to reinforce their own control. I briefly consider the argument's implications for an analysis of European Commission social policy initiatives during the presidency of Delors, comment on the British Conservative government's objections in the 1980s and 1990s to the very use of this language, and ask if the Labour government's adoption of the discourse of 'social inclusion' in 1997 was indicative of either a political or a social agenda. Finally, I return to Rosanvallon and situate his work politically within the ideological debate of 1995 between him and Bourdieu. It is to conclude with the suggestion that Rosanvallon's apparent disinclination to recognize the importance of Durkheim's work is indicative of his present position-taking, which necessarily entails a suppression of Durkheim's real intentions.

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The Role of Intellectuals Today

Pierre Bourdieu

In my book, The Rules of Art,2 I demonstrated that the intellectual world is an autonomous world within the social world, a microcosm which constituted itself progressively through a series of struggles. In the history of the West, the first to acquire their autonomy with regard to power were the jurists, who in twelfth century Bologna succeeded in asserting their collective independence in relation to the Prince, and, simultaneously, their rivalry amongst themselves. As soon as a field is constituted and asserts its existence, it asserts itself into the internal struggle. It is one of the properties of “fields” that the question of belongingness to this universe is at stake in the very midst of these universes. Suppose that, like a French historian by the name of Viala, one makes a study of the French writers of the seventeenth century: one uncovers lists of writers, one compiles these lists and one undertakes to describe the social characteristics of the writers. In terms of a good positivist method, it is beyond reproach; in fact, I believe that it is a serious error.

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Three steps to a historical anthropology of actually existing neoliberalism

Loïc Wacquant

The anthropology of neoliberalism has become polarised between a hegemonic economic model anchored by variants of and an insurgent approach fuelled by derivations of the Foucaultian notion of . Both conceptions obscure what is ‘neo’ about neoliberalism: the reengineering and redeployment of the state as the core agency that sets the rules and fabricates the subjectivities, social relations and collective representations suited to realising markets. Drawing on two decades of field‐based inquiries into the structure, experience and political treatment of urban marginality in advanced society, I propose a between these two approaches that construes neoliberalism as an that harnesses the first to impose the stamp of the second onto the third. Bourdieu's concept of bureaucratic field offers a powerful tool for dissecting the revamping of the state as stratification and classification machine driving the neoliberal revolution from above and serves to put forth three theses: (1) neoliberalism is not an economic regime but a political project of state‐crafting that puts disciplinary ‘workfare’, neutralising ‘prisonfare’ and the trope of individual responsibility at the service of commodification; (2) neoliberalism entails a rightward tilting of the space of bureaucratic agencies that define and distribute public goods and spawns a Centaur‐state that practises liberalism at the top of the class structure and punitive paternalism at the bottom; (3) the growth and glorification of the penal wing of the state is an integral component of the neoliberal Leviathan, such that the police, courts and prison need to be brought into the political anthropology of neoliberal rule.

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Bourdieu in Translation Studies: The Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Shakespeare Translation in Egypt

Nahrain al-Mousawi

Bourdieu in Translation Studies: The Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Shakespeare Translation in Egypt , by Sameh Hanna ( New York : Routledge , 2016 ) 232 pages. Inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s theories on the sociology of cultural production

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Honor and the Military Formation of French Noblemen, 1870-1920

Elizabeth C. Macknight

Gender and class informed the attitudes of French noblemen toward military training and an army career in the France of the early Third Republic. Honor for the male aristocracy was considered to be “in the blood” and still very closely bound to ancient military virtues of duty, bravery, and sacrifice. Boys raised in noble families were conditioned to value martial honor—and to seek to embody it—well before entering prestigious military academies in adolescence. Ancestral tradition created pressure on noblemen to serve with distinction in the army and, by doing so, to conform to an ideal of military manhood. This strained some noblemen's relationships with male relatives and the cross-generational imperative to uphold the warrior ethos led many to their death on the battlefield.

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Crisis, Conversion, and Conflict

Evangelical Christianity, Rapid Change, and the Eastern Khanty

Andrew Wiget and Olga Balalaeva

This article discusses preliminary findings from our research into the activity of evangelical missionaries among the Khanty of Surgut region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Our aim is to begin to define the nature and the scale of recent developments in the religious life among the eastern Khanty; to understand why evangelical missionary activity among the Khanty has met with some success; to discover how the conflicts it precipitates make visible the hidden, implicit divisions in communities; and to lay out lines of further inquiry that may help integrate the work of those ethnographers exploring similar phenomena in Siberian communities. This article argues that rapid change, brought about by intensive petroleum development coupled with the collapse of Soviet structures, provided openings for these new ideologies by altering objective conditions of Khanty life.

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Bourdieu and the journalistic field edited by Benson, Rodney, and Erik Neveu

ANNA HOROLETS

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Fleshing Out an Ecological Habitus: Field and Capitals of Radical Environmental Movements

Jeff Kirby

. Throughout I will make continual reference to the concept of ecological habitus , which is a term used by a number of academics to conceptualize and describe these distinct lifeworlds. To begin I need to comment on Pierre Bourdieu’s classic understanding of