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Understanding Bourdieu

Understanding Bourdieu

First Edition

Other Titles in:
Cultural Theory | Social Theory

January 2002 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Bourdieu's work is formidable - the journey is tough. Follow this French foreign legion - take an apple, take a hanky - but take this book".
- Peter Beilharz , La Trobe University

 "A good range of recent examples from popular culture are used to flesh out the material in accessible terms. These examples are deployed very well indeed - rather than being tacked-on illustrations of an idea, they are instead used at the heart of the explanation of the ideas".
 - David Gauntlett, Leeds University

Now considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, Pierre Bourdieu has left his mark on most of the 'big' theoretical issues in the world of contemporary theory: gender, subjectivity, the body, culture, citizenship, and globalization. His terms are now commonplace: 'social capital', 'cultural capital', 'field', and 'habitus'.

Bourdieu examines how people conduct their lives in relation to one another and to major social institutions. He argues that culture and education aren't simply minor influences, but as important as economics in determining differences between groups of people. Unlike the other grand systematisers Marx and Foucault, Bourdieu has tested these arguments in detailed fieldwork. His range is eclectic, his vision is vast, and his writing is often dense and challenging.

Understanding Bourdieu offers a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's work. It is essential reading for anyone tackling him for the first time.
Contexts and Approaches
Cultural Field and the Habitus
Theorizing Practice
Bourdieu's Sociology
Government and Bureaucracy
Bourdieu and Secondary Schools
Bourdieu and Higher Education
The Field of Cultural Production
Art and Artists
Journalism and Television

Bourdieu's theorising is made accessible to an audience who might otherwise skip over such an important thinker; a good introduction.

John Hoffman
Medical and Social Care Education, University of Leicester
March 8, 2011

A very readable introduction for undergraduate students unfamiliar with the subject.

Mr Felix Seyfarth
KWA - Leitung Handlungskompetenz, University of St. Gallen
February 4, 2011

explains the positionality of Bourdieu's his theoritical ideas, objectivism/subjectivism, and his structural relationships in education.

Mr Noel Ronan
Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology
October 11, 2010

Bourdieu's work in sociology is well known but this helpful introduction and analysis of his work is a worthy text to have. A concise "understanding" which students and researchers should be aware off, easy to use and simply but well written it nevertheless maintains the erudition of the man himself.

Professor Andrew Melrose
English, Creative Writing and American Studies, Winchester University
September 14, 2010

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