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Bourdieu and Culture by Derek Robbins

By Derek Robbins

An available and readable advent to Bourdieu's paintings, this ebook areas him in highbrow and historic context, and indicates how Bourdieu is better understood as a cultural analyst. It strains his improvement from his early paintings on schooling to his courting to cultural sociology and cultural reports. The ebook additionally offers distinctive examples, drawn from Bourdieu's personal paintings, to teach how he is sensible of up to date tradition.

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B o u r d i e u ' s 1985 interview gives further indication o f the influence o f Merleau-Ponty. A s k e d why he began with ethnological research, B o u r d i e u replied that he had . . undertaken research into the 'phenomenology of emotional life' [la vie affective], or more exactly into the temporal structures of emotional experience [expérience affective]. T o reconcile my need for rigour with philosophical research, I wanted to study biology and so on. I thought of myself as a philosopher and it took me a very long time to admit to myself that I had become an ethnologist.

5 A l t h o u g h B o u r d i e u had the 'instinct and the b o l d n e s s ' t o recycle himself, as s o m e o n e w h o surely was tacitly presenting himself as an O b l a t e ' he did retain an engrained c o m m i t m e n t t o institutionalisation. L i k e D u r k h e i m , Lanson, B e r g s o n , Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, MerleauPonty and Althusser, to name just a few 'big names', B o u r d i e u entered the É c o l e N o r m a l e Supérieure, Paris. B o u r d i e u was admitted in 1951. H e was an angry y o u n g man, violently denouncing the école for forming the 'watch-dogs o f the b o u r g e o i s i e ' .

In relation to Marxism, he commented: 'Marxism didn't really exist as an intellectual position,. . H o w e v e r , I did read Marx at that time for academic reasons; I was especially interested in the young Marx, and I had b e e n fascinated b y the "Theses o n F e u e r b a c h " . ' 1 0 11 B o u r d i e u implies that it was his reading o f Sartre which p o i n t e d him towards Merleau-Ppnty and Husserl, in search, in b o t h cases, for ways out o f existentialism. In the case o f Husserl, he w e l c o m e d the attempt t o m a k e philosophical analysis rigorously scientific.

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