WP153 Pierre Bourdieu and language in society.

Collection: Key word


This paper argues that Bourdieu?s oeuvre presents a radically new set of images on man and society in which language, as object and practice, assumes a key role. Three aspects of Bourdieu?s work are highlighted: (1) Bourdieu?s New Left-inspired search for a ?socialized humanity? and his related interest in American symbolic interactionism; (2) the particular ?methodological loop? he constructed in his work, in which ethnographic insight was used as the foundation for statistical work, which in turn yielded new ethnographic issues; (3) the development of ?nexus concepts? such as habitus, in which the traditional ?micro-macro? divide was crossed, leading to an analytic of ?the big in the small? which enables ethnographic generalization. These three points, I argue, continue to serve as a fertile source of inspiration for innovative? and explorative research into language in society.