ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.