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The Sociologist and the Historian von Bourdieu, Pierre (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 04.06.2015
  • Verlag: Polity
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The Sociologist and the Historian

In 1988, the renowned sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and the leading historian Roger Chartier met for a series of lively discussions that were broadcast on French public radio. Published here for the first time, these conversations are an accessible and engaging introduction to the work of these two great thinkers, who discuss their work and explore the similarities and differences between their disciplines with the clarity and frankness of the spoken word. Bourdieu and Chartier discuss some of the core themes of Bourdieu's work, such as his theory of fields, his notions of habitus and symbolic power and his account of the relation between structures and individuals, and they examine the relevance of these ideas to the study of historical events and processes. They also discuss at length Bourdieu's work on culture and aesthetics, including his work on Flaubert and Manet and his analyses of the formation of the literary and artistic fields. Reflecting on the differences between sociology and history, Bourdieu and Chartier observe that while history deals with the past, sociology is dealing with living subjects who are often confronted with discourses that speak about them, and therefore it disrupts, disconcerts and encounters resistance in ways that few other disciplines do. This unique dialogue between two great figures is a testimony to the richness of Bourdieu's thought and its enduring relevance for the humanities and social sciences today. Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) was one of the most influential sociologists and anthropologists of the late twentieth century. He was Professor of Sociology at the Collège de France and Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales. His many works include Outline of a Theory of Practice, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, The Rules of Art, The Logic of Practice and Pascalian Meditations. Roger Chartier is Professor of History at the Collège de France, Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include The Order of Books, The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution and Cardenio Between Cervantes and Shakespeare.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 100
    Erscheinungsdatum: 04.06.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780745688985
    Verlag: Polity
    Größe: 386 kBytes
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The Sociologist and the Historian


My first impression on reading these interviews conducted with Pierre Bourdieu in 1988 was to find him just as he had remained in my memory from these five broadcasts: energetic, humorous, impassioned. The merit of this little book, I believe, is that his way of thinking can be followed particularly closely in this lively exchange, freed from the shrouds that sometimes cover it, whether the magisterial authority conferred by his chair at the Collège de France 1 or the polemical debates of the sociologist deeply engaged in his era. Without obscuring the continuity and coherence of a work based from its beginnings on the same categories of analysis and the same demand for critical clarity, these five interviews introduce us to a rather different Bourdieu, less imprisoned by the roles that he subsequently chose, or that were imposed on him. A Bourdieu joyful, vivacious, ironic with others but also with himself; a Bourdieu confident about the scientific breaks that his work effected, but also ever ready for dialogue with other disciplines and other approaches.

These conversations should not be read without recalling the difference in time; rather, their specific date should be borne in mind. In 1987, France Culture, of which Jean-Marie Borzeix 2 was then director, wanted to include Bourdieu in its series À voix nue ('With Bare Voice'). If the choice of his interlocutor fell on a historian who was neither a beginner nor one of the most visible, this was certainly because the admiration and intellectual friendship that I felt for Bourdieu had already been expressed by his presence on several of the programmes I produced - and still produce - one Monday a month for Les lundis de l'histoire . 3 One programme, devoted to his two books that appeared within a short timespan - La Distinction and Le Sens pratique 4 - had him in dialogue with Patrick Fridenson and Georges Duby, with whom he enjoyed a bond of mutual esteem. 5 This remains for me one of the strongest memories of these broadcasts. At a time when Distinction had been the target of fierce attacks from certain historians, who either could not understand it or did so all too well, this exchange showed, conversely, that both historian and sociologist had to understand struggles over classification as being just as real as class struggles (if indeed they could be separated from one another), and that conflicting representations of the social world produced it at the same time as they expressed it.

The Bourdieu of 1987 was for many people the author of Distinction . Polemic and media attention to this book had brought the sociologist to the front of the intellectual and public stage. 6 But before the publication of Distinction , Bourdieu already had a long past as a researcher and a strong and substantial body of work, 7 marked by his ethnological publications on Kabylia, 8 his analyses of the French educational system, 9 his collective investigations of the social uses of photography 10 and of museum visiting, 11 and his theoretical reflections on the logics of practice. These main lines in no way exhaust the astounding vitality of a research that was always open to new topics, and that also focused on such varied objects as opinion polls, 12 matrimonial strategies, 13 haute couture, 14 the practices of sports, 15 and the sociology of employers 16 and of French bishops. 17 A number of these analyses, often presented in the form of interviews or lectures, were brought together in a short volume, Questions de sociologie . 18 In the 1980s, three books were milestones in Bourdieu's intellectual development as a sociologist after he had been appointed professor at the Collège de France: in 1982, Ce que parler veut dire ; 19 in 1984, what was undoubtedly the most

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