Throughout his career, French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu sought to interrogate what he described as the 'social unconscious', the means by which power is held and transmitted across generations. Bourdieu's work has been hugely influential in disciplines across the social sciences and humanities for decades, yet Schirato and Roberts argue that few scholars are using his work to its full potential.
Bourdieu's work is so wide-ranging that commentary tends to focus on specific theoretical concepts he developed or his books on particular fields of inquiry. However he continued to develop these concepts in his work across his whole career, and much of the richness of his thinking is lost if this isn't taken into account.
Drawing on recently released lectures, Schirato and Roberts offer a systematic account of Bourdieu's full body of work, from his early research in Algiers to his last lectures in Paris. They show how Bourdieu continued to develop his concepts of habitus, field, capital, power and socio-cultural reproduction well into his later years. They also offer a nuanced reading of Bourdieu's thinking about education, class, language, knowledge and culture beyond the individual books Bourdieu published on these topics.
This critical introduction to Bourdieu is essential reading for all Bourdieu scholars, and for researchers and thinkers using Bourdieu's work in their own social and cultural analysis.
'A terrific book, which sets out a comprehensive overview of Bourdieu's oeuvre in a way that no other text I know has done' - Professor John Frow, University of Sydney
Table of Contents
1. Antecedents and trajectories
2. Scholarly trajectory
3. Education, socio-cultural reproduction and class
5. The habitus
6. Cultural field
7. Cultural capital
8. Symbolic power
9. The logic of practice
Tony Schirato is Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Macau, and formerly taught at Victoria University Wellington in New Zealand, and at Central Queensland University in Australia. He is co-author of introductions to Bourdieu, Foucault and Judith Butler, and author of Understanding Sports Culture and Sports Discourse.
Mary Roberts is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Macau.