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Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.
Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.
Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.
Power is the central organizing principle of all social life, from culture and education to stratification and taste. And there is no more prominent name in the analysis of power than that of noted sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Throughout his career, Bourdieu challenged the commonly held view that symbolic power—the power to dominate—is solely symbolic. He emphasized that symbolic power helps create and maintain social hierarchies, which form the very bedrock of political life. By the time of his death in 2002, Bourdieu had become a leading public intellectual, and his argument about the more subtle and influential ways that cultural resources and symbolic categories prevail in power arrangements and practices had gained broad recognition. In Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals, David L. Swartz delves deeply into Bourdieu’s work to show how central—but often overlooked—power and politics are to an understanding of sociology. Arguing that power and politics stand at the core of Bourdieu’s sociology, Swartz illuminates Bourdieu’s political project for the social sciences, as well as Bourdieu’s own political activism, explaining how sociology is not just science but also a crucial form of political engagement.
During the last two decades, sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has become a dominant force in cultural activity ranging from taste in music and art to choices in food and lifestyles. The Field of Cultural Production brings together Bourdieu's major essays on art and literature and provides the first introduction to Bourdieu's writings and theory of a cultural field that situates artistic works within the social conditions of their production, circulation, and consumption. Bourdieu develops a highly original approach to the study of literary and artistic works, addressing many of the key issues that have preoccupied literary art and cultural criticism in the last twentieth century: aesthetic value and canonicity, intertextuality, the institutional frameworks of cultural practice, the social role of intellectuals and artists, and structures of literary and artistic authority. Bourdieu elaborates a theory of the cultural field which situates artistic works within the social conditions of their production, circulation, and consumption. He examines the individuals and institutions involved in making cultural products what they are: not only the writers and artists, but also the publishers, critics, dealers, galleries, and academies. He analyzes the structure of the cultural field itself as well as its position within the broader social structures of power. The essays in his volume examine such diverse topics as Flaubert's point of view, Manet's aesthetic revolution, the historical creation of the pure gaze, and the relationship between art and power. The Field of Cultural Porduction will be of interest to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines: sociology and social theory, literature, art, and cultural studies.
Examining in detail the work of consecration carried out by elite education systems, Bourdieu analyzes the distinctive forms of power—political, intellectual, bureaucratic, and economic—by means of which contemporary societies are governed.
Long a dominant figure in the French human sciences, Pierre Bourdieu has become internationally influential in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. A major figure in the development of "practice" as an organizing concept in social research, Bourdieu has emerged as the foremost advocate of reflexive social science; his work combines an astonishing range of empirical work with highly sophisticated theory. American reception of his works, however, has lacked a full understanding of their place within the broad context of French human science. His individual works separated by distinct boundaries between social science fields in American academia, Bourdieu's cohesive thought has come to this country in fragments. Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives provides a unified and balanced appraisal of Bourdieu's varied works by both proponents and skeptics. The essays are written from the varied viewpoints of cultural anthropology, ethnomethodology and other varieties of sociology, existential and Wittgensteinian philosophies, linguistics, media studies, and feminism. They work around three main themes: Bourdieu's effort to transcend gaps between practical knowledge and universal structures, his central concept of "reflexivity," and the relations between social structure, systems of classification, and language. Ultimately, the contributors raise a variety of crucial theoretical questions and address problems that are important not only to understanding Bourdieu but to advancing empirical work of the kind he has pioneered. In an essay written especially for this volume, Bourdieu describes his own "mode of intellectual production" and the reasons he sees for its common misunderstanding. The contributors are Hubert Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow, Charles Taylor, Aaron Cicourel, James Collins, William Hanks, Beate Krais, Nicholas Garnham, Scott Lash, Roger Brubaker, and Loic Wacquant, and the editors.

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