4,572 research outputs found

    Introduction : Bourdieu and the literary field

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    Pierre Bourdieu’s range as a thinker was extremely wide, and it would be misleading to present him primarily as a literary theorist. Trained as a philosopher, he became the leading French sociologist of his generation, and brought under the spotlight of his ‘critical sociology’ a whole series of institutional and discursive universes (education, art, linguistics, public administration, politics, philosophy, journalism, economics and others). Far from representing an intellectual dispersal, these manifold objects of enquiry allowed him to develop and refine a comprehensive theory of social process and power-relations based on distinctive concepts such as ‘field’, ‘habitus’, variously conceived notions of ‘capital’, and ‘illusio’ (all these concepts and others will be explicated and assessed in this issue). Yet Bourdieu’s analyses were scarcely ever received as neutral descriptions within the fields which he analysed. Bourdieu’s abiding agenda was to show how the discursive presuppositions and institutional logics at work in such fields carried but also masked certain social logics that a ‘critical sociology’ could disclose. Coupled with the inveterately combative drive seldom absent from Bourdieu’s objectifying analyses—and even setting aside the misprisions to which an external analyst is inevitably subject—this helps explain the resistance which his work recurrently provoked. In this respect, Bourdieu’s forays into the world of literary studies and his reception therein can be seen as part of a wider pattern

    Marcel Mauss, aujourd’hui

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    The habitus and the critique of the present. A Wittgensteinian reading of Bourdieu’s social theory

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    I tackle some major criticisms addressed to Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of habitus by foregrounding its affinities with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notion of rule-following. To this end, I first clarify the character of the habitus as a theoretical device, and then elucidate what features of Wittgenstein’s analysis Bourdieu found of interest from a methodological viewpoint. To vindicate this reading, I contend that Wittgenstein’s discussion of rule-following was meant to unearth the internal connection between rules and the performative activities whereby rules are brought into life. By portraying rules as tools that allow agents to stabilize and renegotiate practices, I illustrate the active role social agents play in the production of shared accounts of practices. I conclude by showing that, if viewed through this prism, the habitus proves to be meant to provide guidance on how social theory helps historicize and denaturalize the social world

    The Peasant and Photography

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    Recorrendo a uma etnografia da aldeia do Sudoeste francĂȘs onde o autor passou sua infĂąncia, este artigo analisa os usos sociais e o sentido das fotografias e da prĂĄtica fotogrĂĄfica na sociedade camponesa do BĂ©arn nos inĂ­cios de 1960. A fotografia surgiu ali, pela primeira vez, durante as grandes cerimĂŽnias da vida familiar e coletiva, como os casamentos, em que preenchia a função de afirmar a unidade, posição e fronteiras das linhagens envolvidas. Tais cerimĂŽnias podiam ser fotografadas porque estavam fora da rotina diĂĄria, e deviam ser fotografadas para solenizar e materializar a imagem que o grupo pretendia apresentar de si prĂłprio. Por isso, as fotografias sĂŁo vistas e apreciadas nĂŁo em si mesmas e por si mesmas, isto Ă©, em termos das suas qualidades tĂ©cnicas ou estĂ©ticas, mas como sociogramas leigos que possibilitam um registro visual das relaçÔes e papĂ©is sociais existentes.S’appuyant sur l’ethnographie du village du sud-ouest français oĂč l’auteur a passĂ© son enfance, cetarticle analyse les usages sociaux et le sens de la photographie et de la pratique photographique ausein de la sociĂ©tĂ© paysanne du BĂ©arn, au dĂ©but des annĂ©es 1960. La photograhie y survient pour lapremiĂšre fois Ă  l’occasion de cĂ©remonies importantes de la vie familiale et collective, comme lesmariages, oĂč elle jouait le rĂŽle d’affirmer l’unitĂ©, la position et les frontiĂšres des lignĂ©es. Ces cĂ©rimoniespouvaient ĂȘtre photographiĂ©es parce qu’elles ne s’insĂ©raient pas dans le quotidien, et devraient ĂȘtrephotographiĂ©es pour cĂ©lĂ©brer et matĂ©rialiser l’image que le groupe voulait rendre de lui-mĂȘme. Lesphotos ne sont donc pas vues et apprĂ©ciĂ©es en tant que telles, c’est-Ă -dire par leurs qualitĂ©s techniquesou esthĂ©tiques, mais comme des sociogrammes non professionnels qui permettent d’y inscrirevisuellement les relations et les rĂŽles sociaux.Drawing on an ethnography of the author’s childhood village in southwestern France, this article analyses the social uses and meaning of photographs and photographic practice in the peasant society of BĂ©arn in the early 1960s. Photography was first introduced on the occasion of the great ceremonies of familial and collective life, such as weddings, in which it fulfills the function of affirming the unity, standing, and boundaries of the lineages involved. Such ceremonies can be photographed because they lie outside the everyday routine and they must be photographed to solemnize and materialize the image that the group intends to present of itself. Thus photos are read and appreciated not in themselves and for themselves, in terms of their technical or aesthetic qualities, but as lay sociograms providing a visual record of extant social roles and relations