An accessible and readable introduction to Bourdieu's work, this book places him in intellectual and historical context, and shows how Bourdieu is best understood as a cultural analyst. It traces his development from his early work on education to his relationship to cultural sociology and cultural studies. The book also gives detailed examples, drawn from Bourdieu's own work, to show how he makes sense of contemporary culture.
Robbins guides the reader authoritatively through Bourdieu's wide-ranging body of theoretical and analytical work and offers a framework within which the most recent aspects of that work can be understood.
Derek Robbins is Professor of International Social Theory in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of East London. He is the author of The Work of Pierre Bourdieu (1991) and of Bourdieu and Culture (2000); the editor of the 4-volume collection of articles on Bourdieu in the Sage Masters of Contemporary Social Thought series (2000) and of a 3-volume collection of articles on Lyotard in the same series (2004). His On Bourdieu, Education and Society was published by Bardwell Press in July, 2006, and he was the editor of the Special issue of Theory, Culture and Society on Bourdieu which was published as 23 (6) in November, 2006. In 2007-8 he was in receipt of an ESRC award to study the work of Jean-Claude Passeron, and he has written an introduction to a translation of Passeron's Le raisonnement sociologique which will be published in 2011 by Bardwell Press, Oxford, as Sociological Reasoning. As Directeur associe in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Marseille in 2009-10 he gave courses on the comparative epistemology of the social sciences, and he is currently exploring the influence of Husserl on 20th Century French social theory, particularly in relation to the development of the thought of Lyotard and Bourdieu.
PART ONE: THE CAREER An Insider/Outside Frenchman PART TWO: THE CONCEPTS The Socio-Genesis of the Thinking Instruments Production, Reception and Reproduction PART THREE: THE CASE STUDIES Flaubert and the Social Ambivalence of Literary Invention Courr[gr]eges, the Fashion System and Anti-Semiology Manet, the Mus[ac]ee d'Orsay and the Installation of Art PART FOUR: THE CRITICISMS Evaluating Fragmented Responses Meta-Criticism Charting Interminable Territory Conclusion Commending the Bourdieu Paradigm: The Sociologist as Conceptual Artist