Contemporary articles citing Bourdieu P (2000) Pascalian Meditation

bourdieu's, bourdieu, pierre, action, habitus, his, problems, concept, american, notion

Tavory, Iddo. 2011. "The Question of Moral Action: a Formalist Position*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 272-293. Link
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. Link
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. Link
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. Link
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. Link
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. Link
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.

Gross, N. 2003. "Richard Rorty's Pragmatism: a Case Study in the Sociology of Ideas." Theory and Society. 32:1 93-148. Link

Widick, R. 2003. "Flesh and the Free Market: (on Taking Bourdieu to the Options Exchange)." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 679-723. Link
On the options trading floor at the Pacific Exchange in San Francisco, traders spend their days ``making markets'' in option contracts, a mentally and bodily intense practice that requires the acquisition of a series of embodied knowledges specific to the occupation. In this article, I report on field research conducted at the exchange, during which I explored the cultural turn of practice theory to the body. Taking direction from Pierre Bourdieu's changing descriptions of habitus, field, and practical action, I argue that the logic of trading does proceed to some extent beneath the level of reflexive application of the rules of the game; but my encounter with traders' talk, their cultural production, and their gendered performance led my interpretation of this unconscious dimension beyond the limits of cognitivist metaphors for knowledgeable bodies toward an identificatory logic of practice. Whereas Bourdieu stopped short of taking practice theory all the way in to psychoanalysis, I found the imaginary order it brings into the picture decisive in shaping the experience of trading.

Emirbayer, M & CA Goldberg. 2005. "Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics." Theory and Society. 34:5-6 469-518. Link
We aim to show how collective emotions can be incorporated into the study of episodes of political contention. In a critical vein, we systematically explore the weaknesses in extant models of collective action, showing what has been lost through a neglect or faulty conceptualization of collective emotional configurations. We structure this discussion in terms of a review of several ``pernicious postulates'' in the literature, assumptions that have been held, we argue, by classical social-movement theorists and by social-structural and cultural critics alike. In a reconstructive vein, however, we also lay out the foundations of a more satisfactory theoretical framework. We take each succeeding critique of a pernicious postulate as the occasion for more positive theory-building. Drawing upon the work of the classical American pragmatists-especially Peirce, Dewey, and Mead-as well as aspects of Bourdieu's sociology, we construct, step by step, the foundations of a more adequate theorization of social movements and collective action. Accordingly, the negative and positive threads of our discussion are woven closely together: the dismantling of pernicious postulates and the development of a more useful analytical strategy.

Buchholz, Larissa. 2006. "Bringing the Body Back Into Theory and Methodology." Theory and Society. 35:4 481-490. Link
This is a discussion of a book by Kathryn Linn Geurts, Culture and the Senses. Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002; and a book by Judith Farquhar, Appetites. Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2002.

Buchholz, Larissa. 2006. "Bringing the Body Back Into Theory and Methodology." Theory and Society. 35:4 481-490. Link
This is a discussion of a book by Kathryn Linn Geurts, Culture and the Senses. Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002; and a book by Judith Farquhar, Appetites. Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2002.

Gartman, David. 2007. "The Strength of Weak Programs in Cultural Sociology: a Critique of Alexander's Critique of Bourdieu." Theory and Society. 36:5 381-413. Link
Jeffrey Alexander's recent book on cultural sociology argues that sociologists must grant the realm of ideas autonomy to determine behavior, unencumbered by interference from instrumental or material factors. He criticizes the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu as ``weak'' for failing to give autonomy to culture by reducing it to self-interested behavior that immediately reflects class position. However, Alexander's arguments seriously distort and misstate Bourdieu's theory, which provides for the relative autonomy of culture through the concepts of habitus and field. Because habitus is a set of durable dispositions conditioned by past structures, it may contradict the changed structures of the present. Further, the influence of the habitus is always mediated by the structure and strategies of the field of contest in which it is deployed, so that the same habitus may motivate different actions in different circumstances. However, Alexander is correct to argue that in Bourdieu's theory culture generally serves to reproduce, not contradict social structures. Yet Bourdieu addresses this and other problems in his later work, in which he argues for the existence of certain cultural universals transcending particular structures.

Swartz, David. 2008. "Bringing Bourdieu's Master Concepts Into Organizational Analysis." Theory and Society. 37:1 45-52. Link
This article argues that while elements of Pierre Bourdieu's sociology are increasingly employed in American sociology, it is rare to find all three of Bourdieu's master concepts-habitus, capital, and field-incorporated into a single study. Moreover, these concepts are seldom deployed within a relational perspective that was fundamental to Bourdieu's thinking. The article ``Bourdieu and Organizational Analysis'' by Mustafa Emirbayer and Victoria Johnson is a welcomed exception, for it draws on all three of Bourdieu's pillar concepts to propose a relational approach to the study of organizations. It both reframes existing thinking about organizations, particularly from the neo-institutional and resource dependence schools, and indicates new directions for research in organizations to move. This paper evaluates their contribution calling attention to its many strengths and suggesting a few points that need future clarification and elaboration.

Lizardo, Omar. 2010. "Beyond the Antinomies of Structure: Levi-strauss, Giddens, Bourdieu, and Sewell." Theory and Society. 39:6 651-688. Link
In this article, I attempt to address some enduring problems in formulation and practical use of the notion of structure in contemporary social science. I begin by revisiting the question of the fidelity of Anthony Giddens' appropriation of the idea of structure with respect to Levi-Strauss. This requires a reconsideration of Levi-Strauss' original conceptualization of ``social structure'' which I argue is a sort of ``methodological structuralism'' that stands sharply opposed to Giddens' ontological reconceptualization of the notion. I go on to show that Bourdieu's contemporaneous critique of Levi-Strauss is best understood as an attempt to recover rather than reject the central implication of Levi-Strauss' methodological structuralism, which puts Bourdieu and Giddens on clearly distinct camps in terms of their approach toward the idea of structure. To demonstrate the-insurmountable-conceptual difficulties inherent in the ontological approach, I proceed by critically examining what I consider to be the most influential attempt to resolve the ambiguities in Giddens structuration theory: Sewell's argument for the ``duality of structure.'' I show that by retaining Giddens' ontological focus, Sewell ends up with a notion of structure that is at its very core ``anti-structuralist'' or only structuralist in a weak sense. I close by considering the implications of the analysis for the possibility of developing the rather neglected ``methodological structuralist'' legacy in contemporary social analysis.

Gartman, David. 2012. "Bourdieu and Adorno: Converging Theories of Culture and Inequality." Theory and Society. 41:1 41-72. Link
The theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Theodor Adorno both conceive culture as legitimating the inequalities of modern societies. But they postulate different mechanisms of legitimation. For Bourdieu, modern culture is a class culture, characterized by socially ranked symbolic differences among classes that make some seem superior to others. For Adorno, modern culture is a mass culture, characterized by a socially imposed symbolic unity that obscures class differences behind a facade of leveled democracy. In his later writings, however, Bourdieu's theory converges with that of Adorno. He too begins to privilege the high culture of intellectuals over mass culture by employing the universal standard of autonomy from economic interests. But there remains one vital difference between these theories. Bourdieu grounds the origins of a critical, autonomous culture in specific social structures, while Adorno grounds it in technology.

Lainer-Vos, Dan. 2012. "Manufacturing National Attachments: Gift-giving, Market Exchange and the Construction of Irish and Zionist Diaspora Bonds." Theory and Society. 41:1 73-106. Link
This article explores nation building as an organizational accomplishment and uses the concept of boundary object to explain how the groups that compose the nation cooperate. Specifically, the article examines the mechanisms devised to secure a flow of money from the Irish-American and Jewish-American diasporas to their respective homelands. To overcome problems associated with conventional philanthropy, Irish and Jewish nationalists issued bonds and sold them to their American compatriots as a hybrid of a gift and an investment. In the Irish case, disagreements about the entitlement to the proceeds resulted in the termination of the bond project. In the Jewish case, the bond served as a boundary object allowing American and Israeli Jews to cooperate despite ongoing tensions. The Israeli bond provided Jewish-Americans with an additional way to invest themselves financially and emotionally in Israel. This bond is an example of a socio-technical mechanism used to create national attachments.

Singh, Sourabh. 2012. "Unraveling the Enigma of Indira Gandhi's Rise in Indian Politics: a Woman Leader's Quest for Political Legitimacy." Theory and Society. 41:5 479-504. Link
This article employs Bourdieu's notion of symbolic capital to explain how Indira Gandhi gained legitimacy in Indian politics. It reveals that, in spite of having belonged to the politically illustrious Nehru family, Gandhi suffered numerous indignities as a minister in the immediate post-Nehruvian period because the incumbent political elite at the time, the Syndicate, devalued the symbolic value of her family-name-based-capital of mass popularity. In the meantime, changes in the clientelistic relations between the landed and landless caste groups had created conditions for the failure of the Syndicate's claim that their capital of popularity among politicians was the symbolic capital of the Indian political field. Aware of social changes taking place in the countryside, Gandhi took advantage of her access to the symbolic power of the state offices to classify the landless caste groups as garib (poor) in order to defeat the Syndicate electorally. Having established her capital of popularity among the masses as the symbolic capital of the Indian political field, she cemented its status by using her control over ruling party leaders' access to state offices and simultaneously creating a new classification of a competent leader in the ruling party. This study contributes to the existing studies of leadership, especially leadership by women, and the legitimacy-gaining process by revealing the role of contest among the elite over the meaning of symbolic capital in creating or destroying their respective authority.

Moon, Dawne. 2013. "Powerful Emotions: Symbolic Power and the (productive and Punitive) Force of Collective Feeling." Theory and Society. 42:3 261-294. Link
This article argues that emotions can be a medium of social power. Using qualitative interview material from American Jews discussing anti-Semitism and its relationship to contemporary politics, it engages recent scholarship on emotions and political contention and shows how emotions make effective the various forms of symbolic exclusion by which group members exercise what Bourdieu calls symbolic power. It also explores the emotional connections to group membership by which some ``excluded'' members can engage in symbolic struggle over ``the principles of vision and division'' Bourdieu (Sociological Theory 7(1), 14-25, 1989) that define the group. Finally, it shows how emotions work to incite discipline in some group members, inspiring them to conform to dominant definitions of group membership so as to avoid both symbolic struggle and exclusion.