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.
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.
This book presents an overview and evaluation of contemporary research in international political sociology (IPS). Bringing together leading scholars from many disciplines and diverse geographical backgrounds, it provides unprecedented coverage of the key concepts and research through which IPS has opened up new ways of thinking about international relations. It also considers some of the consequences of such innovations for established forms of social and political analysis. It thus takes the reader on an intellectual journey engaging with questions about boundaries and limits among the many interrelated worlds in which we now live, the ways we conceptualise them, and how we continually reshape boundaries of identities, spaces, authorities and disciplinary knowledge. The volume is organized three sections: Lines, Intersections and Directions. The first section examines some influences that led to the formation of the project of IPS and how it has opened up avenues of research beyond the limits of an international relations discipline shaped within political science. The second section explores some key concepts as well as a series of heated discussions about power and authority, practices and governmentality, performativity and reflexivity. The third section explores some of the transversal topics of research that have been pursued within IPS, including inequality, migration, citizenship, the effect of technology on practices of security, the role of experts and expertise, date-driven surveillance, and the relation between mobility, power and inequality. This book will be an essential source of reference for students and across the social sciences.
Assemblage, Enactment, and Agency offers an exploration of the emerging shift in policy research towards the notion of policy enactment, namely, the creative recontextualization and translation of policy ideas into social realities by policy actors in education. Bringing together recent work on the intersections between assemblages, enactments, and agencies in educational policy analysis, the authors call attention to issues of subjectivity, practice, power, and relationality as they offer critical perspectives that challenge linear/instrumentalist views of policy processes. In doing so, they not only interrogate conventional understandings of policy design, implementation, and evaluation, they also recognize the role of agency, interpretation, sense-making, translation, embodiment, and meaning throughout policy processes. They also explore the contested nature of policy, situating educational policies as sites of conflict and negotiation between actors, highlighting the uncertainty, fragility and instability of policy work. By offering a non-linear and heterogeneous account of education policy, the collection furthers contemporary conversations on the nature and goals of education reform. This book was originally published as a special issue of Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
This volume offers an unprecedented account of recent and future developments in the sociology of intellectuals. It presents a critical exchange between two leading contemporary social theorists, Patrick Baert and Simon Susen, advancing debates at the cutting edge of scholarship on the changing role of intellectuals in the increasingly interconnected societies of the twenty-first century. The discussion centres on Baert’s most recent contribution to this field of inquiry, The Existentialist Moment: The Rise of Sartre as a Public Intellectual (2015), demonstrating that it has opened up hitherto barely explored avenues for the sociological study of intellectuals. In addition, the authors provide an overview of various alternative approaches that are available for understanding the sociology of intellectuals – such as those of Pierre Bourdieu, Randall Collins, and Neil Gross. In doing so, they grapple with the question of the extent to which intellectuals can play a constructive role in influencing social and political developments in the modern era. This insightful volume will appeal to students and scholars of the humanities and social sciences, particularly to those interested in social theory and the history of intellectual thought.
This volume brings together Pierre Bourdieuâe(tm)s highly original writings on language and on the relations among language, power, and politics. Bourdieu develops a forceful critique of traditional approaches to language, including the linguistic theories of Saussure and Chomsky and the theory of speech-acts elaborated by Austin and others. He argues that language should be viewed not only as a means of communication but also as a medium of power through which individuals pursue their own interests and display their practical competence. Drawing on the concepts that are part of his distinctive theoretical approach, Bourdieu maintains that linguistic utterances or expressions can be understood as the product of the relation between a âeoelinguistic marketâe and a âeoelinguistic habitus.âe When individuals use language in particular ways, they deploy their accumulated linguistic resources and implicitly adapt their words to the demands of the social field or market that is their audience. Hence every linguistic interaction, however personal or insignificant it may seem, bears the traces of the social structure that it both expresses and helps to reproduce. Bourdieuâe(tm)s account sheds fresh light on the ways in which linguistic usage varies according to considerations such as class and gender. It also opens up a new approach to the ways in which language is used in the domain of politics. For politics is, among other things, the arena in which words are deeds and the symbolic character of power is at stake. This volume, by one of the leading social thinkers in the world today, represents a major contribution to the study of language and power. It will be of interest to students throughout the social sciences and humanities, especially in sociology, politics, anthropology, linguistics, and literature.
Questions of power are central to understanding global trade politics and no account of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can afford to avoid at least an acknowledgment of the concept. A closer examination of power can help us to explain why the structures and rules of international commerce take their existing forms, how the actions of countries are either enabled or disabled, and what distributional outcomes are achieved. However, within conventional accounts, there has been a tendency to either view power according to a single reading - namely the direct, coercive sense - or to overlook the concept entirely, focusing instead on liberal cooperation and legalization. In this book, Matthew Eagleton-Pierce shows that each of these approaches betray certain limitations which, in turn, have cut short, or worked against, more critical appraisals of power in transnational capitalism. To expand the intellectual space, the book investigates the complex relationship between power and legitimation by drawing upon Pierre Bourdieu's notion of symbolic power. A focus on symbolic power aims to alert scholars to how the construction of certain knowledge claims are fundamental to, and entwined within, the material struggle for international trade. Empirically, the argument uncovers and plots the recent strategies adopted by Southern countries in their pursuit of a more equitable trading order. By bringing together insights from political economy, sociology, and law, Symbolic Power in the WTO not only enlivens and enriches the study of diplomatic practice within a major multilateral institution, it also advances the broader understanding of power in world politics.
Cultural Analysis and Bourdieu’s Legacy explores the achievements and limitations of a Bourdieusian approach to cultural analysis through original contributions from distinguished international scholars. This edited collection offers sustained critical engagement, substantiated by new empirical work. It presents concrete evidence of different approaches to the interpretation of culture in Britain, France and the USA. Discussions are situated in relation to current debates about cultural analysis, in particular the vibrant and extensive disputes concerning the applicability of Bourdieu’s concepts and methods. Subsequently, implications for the future of research work in cultural analysis, including into theory and methods, are drawn. The contributing authors offer key interpretations of the work of Bordieu, arguments for alternative approaches to cultural analysis, and critical applications of his concepts in empirical analysis. This book is essential reading for graduate students of sociology, cultural studies, social anthropology or cultural geography, providing great insight into the work of one of the most eminent contemporary scholars in the field of cultural analysis.
Pierre Bourdieu has been making a distinguished contribution to European sociology for the past 25 years. He is Professor of Sociology at the Collge de France in Paris and author of many influential books including, most recently, Distinction and Homo Academicus, which have both been translated into English. This book serves to introduce this important body of work to the Anglo-American world. In a cross-disciplinary collaboration Richard Harker, Cheleen Mahar and Chris Wilkes provide the reader with the necessary tools to understand this complex and rewarding body of French sociology. Post modernist sociology has already been influenced by the French theorist Foucault; it is likely that the generation to come will be reading Bourdieu.
critical evaluations of his work, notably papers by Rodney Benson, 4 Rogers Brubaker, Nick Crossley, and John Myles. Indeed, it is the 1985 article by Rogers Brubaker that can truly be said to have served as one of the best introductions to Bourdieu’s thought for the American social scienti?c public. It is for this reason that we include it in the present collection. Intellectual origins & orientations We begin by providing an overview of Bourdieu’s life as a scholar and a public intellectual. The numerous obituaries and memorial tributes that have appeared following Bourdieu’s untimely death have revealed something of his life and career, but few have stressed the intersection of his social origins, career trajectory, and public intellectual life with the changing political and social context of France. This is precisely what David Swartz’s “In memoriam” attempts to accomplish. In it he emphasizes the coincidence of Bourdieu’s young and later adulthood with the period of decolonization, the May 1968 French university crisis, the opening up of France to privatization of many domains previously entrusted to the state (l’état providence), and, most threatening to post-World War II reforms, the emergence of globalization as the hegemonic structure of the 21st century. An orienting theme throughout Bourdieu’s work warns against the partial and fractured views of social reality generated by the fundamental subject/object dichotomy that has plagued social science from its very beginning.