Contemporary articles citing Bourdieu P (2000) Pascalian Meditation
bourdieu's, concept, action, agency, his, habitus, pierre, change, suggests, insights
- Tavory, Iddo. 2011. "The Question of Moral Action: a Formalist Position*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 272-293.
- This article develops a research position that allows cultural sociologists to compare morality across sociohistorical cases. In order to do so, the article suggests focusing analytic attention on actions that fulfill the following criteria: (a) actions that define the actor as a certain kind of socially recognized person, both within and across fields; (b) actions that actors experienceor that they expect others to perceiveas defining the actor both intersituationally and to a greater extent than other available definitions of self; and (c) actions to which actors either have themselves, or expect others to have, a predictable emotional reaction. Such a position avoids both a realist moral sociology and descriptive-relativism, and provides sociologists with criteria for comparing moral action in different cases while staying attuned to social and historical specificity.
- Atkinson, Will. 2010. "Phenomenological Additions to the Bourdieusian Toolbox: Two Problems for Bourdieu, Two Solutions From Schutz." Sociological Theory. 28:1 1-19.
- In constructing his renowned theory of practice, Pierre Bourdieu claimed to have integrated the key insights from phenomenology and successfully melded them with objectivist analysis. The contention here, however, is that while his vision of the social world may indeed be generally laudable, he did not take enough from phenomenology. More specifically, there are two concepts in Alfred Schutz's body of work, which, if properly defined, disentangled from phenomenology, and appropriated, allow two frequently forwarded criticisms of Bourdieu's perspective to be overcome: on the one hand, a particular interpretation of the concept of lifeworld can remedy identified weaknesses on the problem of individuation; while on the other hand, Schutz's notion of the stock of knowledge can rectify Bourdieu's overly nonconscious depiction of agency. Given my overall support for Bourdieu's scheme and the fact that the extant criticisms on these two grounds are often excessive and obfuscatory, both the suggested elaborations will be prefaced by a clarificatory partial defense of his position.
- Reay, Mike. 2010. "Knowledge Distribution, Embodiment, and Insulation." Sociological Theory. 28:1 91-107.
- This article looks at how parts of a social stock of knowledge can become insulated from each other via their uneven distribution both ``horizontally'' across time and space, and ``vertically'' with respect to degrees of embodiment in unconscious habits and routines. It uses ideas from Alfred Schutz, Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann, Michael Polanyi, and others to argue that this insulation can produce a highly dynamic structuring of knowledge, awareness of which has the potential to help explain the existence of ignorance, misperception, and multiple interpretations in different social settings. This potential is illustrated with examples taken from a study of American economists, showing how an approach considering insulation can improve understanding of at least one currently influential branch of knowledge. The article also suggests briefly how such an approach might augment recent theories of habitual action by accounting for both stability and change, and even help with some longstanding epistemological problems in social theory.
- Collet, Francois. 2009. "Does Habitus Matter?: a Comparative Review of Bourdieu's Habitus and Simon's Bounded Rationality With Some Implications for Economic Sociology." Sociological Theory. 27:4 419-434.
- In this article, I revisit Pierre Bourdieu's concept of habitus and contrast it with Herbert Simon's notion of bounded rationality. Through a discussion of the literature of economic sociology on status and Fligstein's political-cultural approach, I argue that this concept can be a source of fresh insights into empirical problems. I find that the greater the change in the social environment, the more salient the benefits of using habitus as a tool to analyze agents' behavior.
- Silber, Ilana. 2009. "Bourdieu's Gift to Gift Theory: an Unacknowledged Trajectory." Sociological Theory. 27:2 173-190.
- This article offers to unravel lines of both continuity and change in Bourdieu's repeated return to the topic of the gift throughout his intellectual career. While this periodical revisiting of the gift may seem at first like mere repetition, a closer reading reveals three successive and cumulative phases in his gift theory, each adding a new layer of analytical and normative inflections. Emerging from these three phases is a trajectory marked by systematic theoretical consolidation but also growing dilemmas and inner tensions, even to the point of self-contradiction: starting from a critical debunking of the disinterested gift as sincere but obfuscating fiction, it culminates with a positive, prescriptive valorization of disinterestedness as something which needs be cultivated in our very own times. Challenging his vision, as it were, ``from within,'' these inner tensions and developments amount to an intriguing, inverted case of Bourdieu's own idea of ``double truth,'' all the more significant since it pertains to a topic that he defined as playing a paradigmatic function in his general theoretical approach.
- McNay, Lois. 2008. "The Trouble With Recognition: Subjectivity, Suffering, and Agency." Sociological Theory. 26:3 271-296.
- This article focuses upon the disagreement between Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth about how to characterize the relation between social suffering and recognition struggles. For Honneth, social and political conflicts have their source in the ``moral'' wounds that arise from the myriad ways in which the basic human need for recognition is disregarded in unequal societies. Fraser criticizes Honneth for the uncritical subjectivism of his account of social suffering that reduces social oppression to psychic harm. Fraser therefore redefines misrecognition not as a psychological injury but as ``status subordination'' understood as institutionalized patterns of discrimination and value inequality. My central argument is that while Fraser's critique of Honneth's subjectivist construal of recognition is largely justified, she falls into a counterveiling objectivism that prevents her from developing some of the central insights of her own paradigm. Her ``non-identarian'' rendering of recognition leads her to abandon an experiential or interpretative perspective that is associated with the idea of identity and, as a result, she cannot explain certain crucial aspects of political agency. Pierre Bourdieu's notion of habitus is used to indicate a way beyond the naturalization of the cluster of emotions associated with social suffering that seems to be the inevitable consequence of Honneth's ``ontology'' of recognition (McNay 2007). At the same time, the experiential emphasis of habitus mitigates the objectivism of Fraser's dualist paradigm showing how some of its central insights can be taken further through a materialist redefinition of identity and agency.
- Elder-Vass, Dave. 2007. "Reconciling Archer and Bourdieu in an Emergentist Theory of Action." Sociological Theory. 25:4 325-346.
- Margaret Archer and Pierre Bourdieu have advanced what seem at first sight to be incompatible theories of human agency. While Archer places heavy stress on conscious reflexive deliberation and the consequent choices of identity and projects that individuals make, Bourdieu's concept of habitus places equally heavy stress on the role of social conditioning in determining our behavior, and downplays the contribution of conscious deliberation. Despite this, I argue that these two approaches, with some modification, can be reconciled in a single emergentist theory of human action that is sketched out in this article. It examines how human dispositions and our reflexive decisions are related to the determination of human action, linking dispositions and decisions to their neural base in human physiology and to the social factors that influence them. As a result, it argues, we can see human action as the outcome of a continuous interaction between dispositions and reflexivity. The article goes on to relate this explanation back to Bourdieu's concept of the habitus and Archer's account of reflexivity. It argues that the weaknesses in Bourdieu's theory of action can be resolved by a reasonable reinterpretation of the habitus that makes it consistent with the emergentist theory and creates space for human choices as well as social influences on our behavior. This opens up a role for the sort of reflexive deliberations advocated by Archer and thus to a reconciliation of the key contributions of both Archer and Bourdieu.
- Dalton, B. 2004. "Creativity, Habit, and the Social Products of Creative Action: Revising Joas, Incorporating Bourdieu." Sociological Theory. 22:4 603-622.
- Hans Joas's The Creativity of Action (1996) posits that conceiving of all action as fundamentally creative would overcome problems inherent in rational and normative theories of action and would provide an alternative basis for action-based theories of macrosociological phenomena. Joas conceives (of creativity as a response to the frustration of ``prereflective aspirations,'' which necessitates innovative adjustment to reestablish habitual intentions. This conceptualization creates an unsupportable duality between habitual action and creativity that neglects other possible sources of creative action, including habit itself. Combining strengths from Bourdiell's concept of habitus, creativity can be redefined as the necessary adaption of habitual practices to specific contexts of action. Creative action continually introduces novel possibilities in practical action and provokes a variety of social responses to its products. This revised concept of creativity overcomes the dichotomy presented by Joas, identifies a microsocial source of innovation in creative action, and calls attention to patterns of creative authority in society at large.
- Verter, B. 2003. "Spiritual Capital: Theorizing Religion With Bourdieu Against Bourdieu." Sociological Theory. 21:2 150-174.
- Bourdieu's. theory of culture offers a rich conceptual resource for the social-scientific study of religion. In particular, his analysis of cultural capital as a medium of social relations suggests an economic model of religion alternative to that championed by rational choice theorists. After evaluating Bourdieu's limited writings on religion, this paper draws upon his wider work to craft a new model of ``spiritual capital.'' Distinct from Iannaccone's and Stark and Finke's visions of ``religious capital,'' this Bourdieuian model treats religious knowledge, competencies, and preferences as Positional goods within a competitive symbolic economy. The valuation of spiritual capital is the object of continuous struggle and is subject to considerable temporal and subcultural variation. A model of spiritual capital illuminates such phenomena as religious conversion, devotional eclecticism, religious fads, and social mobility. It also suggests some necessary modifications to Bourdieu's theoretical system, particularly his understanding of individual agency, cultural production, and the relative autonomy of fields.