Four Transversal Principles for Putting Bourdieu to Work Cover Image

Cztery generalne zasady zastosowania Bourdieu w działaniu
Four Transversal Principles for Putting Bourdieu to Work

Author(s): Loďc Wacquant
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Philosophy, Sociology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: Bourdieu; Bachelard; Weber; Leibniz; Durkheim; Cassirer; social space; symbolic power; social topology; epistemological vigilance

Summary/Abstract: This article spotlights four transversal principles that animatePierre Bourdieu’s research practice and can fruitfully guide inquiry on anyempirical front: the Bachelardian imperative of epistemological ruptureand vigilance; the Weberian command to effect the triple historicizationof the agent (habitus), the world (social space, of which field is but asubtype),and the categories of the analyst (epistemic reflexivity); the Leibnizian–Durkheimian invitation to deploy the topological mode of reasoning to trackthemutual correspondences between symbolic space, social space, and physicalspace; and the Cassirer moment urging us to recognize the constitutive efficacyof symbolic structures. I also flag three traps that Bourdieusian explorersof the social world should exercise special care to avoid: the fetishizationof concepts, the seductions of “speakingBourdieuse” while failing to carry outthe research operations Bourdieu’s notions stipulate,and the forced impositionof his theoretical framework en bloc when it is more productively used in kitthrough transposition. These principles guiding the construction of the objectare not theoretical slogans but practical blueprints for anthropological inquiry.This implies that mimesis and not exegesis should guide those social scientistswho wish to build on, revise, or challenge the scientific machinery and legacyof Pierre Bourdieu.

  • Issue Year: 5/2017
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 65-80
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish