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How power is transferred and social order is maintained within and across generations

Bourdieu routinely sought to connect his theoretical ideas with empirical research and his work can be seen as sociology of culture or, as he described it, a "Theory of Practice". His contributions to sociology were both evidential and theoretical (i.e., calculated through both systems). His key terms would be habitus, capital, and field.

    Bourdieu elaborated his theory of the habitus while borrowing ideas on cognitive and generative schemes from Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget dependency on history and human memory. For instance, a certain behaviour or belief becomes part of a society's structure when the original purpose of that behaviour or belief can no longer be recalled and becomes socialized into individuals of that culture.

He extended the idea of capital to categories such as social capital, cultural capital, financial capital, and symbolic capital. For Bourdieu each individual occupies a position in a multidimensional social space; a person is not defined only by social class membership, but by every single kind of capital he can articulate through social relations. That capital includes the value of social networks, which Bourdieu showed could be used to produce or reproduce inequality.

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Bourdieu worked as a lycée teacher at Moulins for a year before his conscription into the French Army in 1955. His biographers write that he chose not to enter the Reserve Officer's College like many of his fellow ENS graduates as he wished to stay with people from his own modest social background. Deployed to Algeria in October 1955 during its war of independence from France, Bourdieu served in a unit guarding military installations before being transferred to clerical work.

After his year-long military service, Bourdieu stayed on as a lecturer in Algiers. During the Algerian War in 1958-1962, Bourdieu undertook ethnographic research into the clash through a study of the Kabyle peoples of the Berbers, laying the groundwork for his anthropological reputation. The result was his first book, Sociologie de l'Algérie (1958; The Sociology of Algeria). which became an immediate success in France and was published in America in 1962. He later drew heavily on this fieldwork in his 1972 book Outline of a Theory of Practice, a strong intervention into anthropological theory.

Picturing Algeria: Pierre Bourdieu's sociology and ethnography using visual methods

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 11th, 2022 at 08:09:39 AM EST

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