Locating Bourdieu

Locating Bourdieu

Deborah Reed-Danahay
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/25/2004
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21732-5
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Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) had an enormous influence on social and cultural thought in the second half of the 20th century, leaving a mark on fields as diverse as sociology, anthropology, critical theory, education, literary criticism, art history, and media studies. From his childhood in a rural French village, to his fieldwork in Algeria, to his ascension to the Chair of Sociology at the Collège de France, Bourdieu’s life followed a trajectory both complex and contradictory. In this original and eloquent study, Deborah Reed-Danahay offers fresh insights on Bourdieu’s work by drawing on the perspectives of ethnography and autobiography. Using Bourdieu’s own reflections upon his life and career and considering the totality of his research and writing, this book locates Bourdieu within his French milieu and within the current state of discussion of Europe and its colonial legacy. Locating Bourdieu revisits major themes and concepts such as structure and practice, taste and distinction, habitus, social field, symbolic capital, and symbolic violence, adding new perspectives and discovering implications of Bourdieu’s work for understanding emotion, social space, and personal narrative. The result is a work of impressive scholarship and intellectual creativity that will appeal to scholars, students, and non-specialists alike.

New Anthropologies of Europe—Daphne Berdahl, Matti Bunzl, and Michael Herzfeld, editors

Author Bio

Deborah Reed-Danahay is Professor of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She is author of Education and Identity in Rural France: The Politics of Schooling, editor of Auto/Ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social, and co-editor of Citizenship, Political Engagement, and Belonging. She lives in Buffalo, New York.


“Pierre Bourdieu's life followed a trajectory both complex and contradictory, and his work left a distinctive mark on social thought of the 20th century. In this original and eloquent study, Reed-Danahay draws on the perspectives of ethnography and autobiography to offer new insights on Bourdieu's work. Using his own key concepts and reflections upon his life and career, she locates Bourdieu within his French milieu and within the current state of discussion of Europe and its colonial legacy.”

“This is an excellent introduction to the major themes that have made of Bourdieu an inescapable monument in late 20th-century social thought. Reed-Danahay makes an insightful contribution.”
 — Hervé Varenne, Teachers College, Columbia University

“n this fine study, Deborah Reed-Danahay invites us to revisit Bourdieu's oeuvre with an eye for often neglected aspects—his autoethnography, his treatment of emotions and personal narratives, the connections between his early work in the Béarn and in Algeria. Her analysis is refreshingly dispassionate and always thoughtful and well-informed.”
 — Michèle Lamont, Harvard University

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Table of Contents

1. Bourdieu's Point of View
2. Education
3. Insider/Outsider Ethnography in Algeria and France
4. Habitus and Emotion
5. Situated Subjectivities
Appendix I. Remembering Pierre Bourdieu, 1930<N>2002
Appendix II. Suggested Readings