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Knowing Bourdieu, I would definitely not put him forward as a reference. He represents precisely the kind of approach to society and philosophic stance that I deeply feel in disagreement with. Bourdieu, in what concerns me, is the Marx of the sociology, one of the apostles of social engineering as a science, no better in that respect than the structuralists he criticized, and I do believe this way of thinking belongs to the same category as those responsible for the advent of nazism and especially communism in Europe.
The idea that individual's life is largely predetermined by the economical and social environment, the simplist manner, indeed the reductionism -- I warmly recommend you the excellent book of Professor Jeffrey Alexander as a very good way to understand the numerous flaws in Bourdieu's theory.

We are all under the influence of what surrounds us, be it family, friends, local and national culture (weather, for some, and I won't even mention moon and stars, for this will most certainly stir your ire! :) ). But the free, educated adult individual will always dispose of something called Reason, critical thinking, ability to make his own opinion and decisions.
You see people's similar attitudes and choices as a proof of conditioning. I see it as a proof that we're all related in the end, we don't differ that much. What you see as imposed, describe in terms of classes, categories, and stereotypes, I see as proof of the essential brotherhood of all humans, ancient wisdom, product of centuries of evolution. What you plan to deconstruct by activist laws, to me seems an absurd and dangerous attempt at moulding the society according to superficial views of proud minds, as if it was a small animal that we stretch and extend to fit our little wooden box.
Mark my words: many philosophers and savants believed to have penetrated the misteries of life. Society is far too complicated for a limited mind, no matter how brilliant that is. Be careful about people that pretend to explain life in a book, as tempting and appealing as it may be.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 03:50:08 PM EST
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