Bourdieu and Historical Analysis

Bourdieu and Historical Analysis

Politics, History, and Culture

More about this series

Book Pages: 432 Illustrations: 5 tables, 9 figures Published: January 2013

History > World History, Sociology > Social Theory

The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu had a broader theoretical agenda than is generally acknowledged. Introducing this innovative collection of essays, Philip S. Gorski argues that Bourdieu's reputation as a theorist of social reproduction is the misleading result of his work's initial reception among Anglophone readers, who focused primarily on his mid-career thought. A broader view of his entire body of work reveals Bourdieu as a theorist of social transformation as well. Gorski maintains that Bourdieu was initially engaged with the question of social transformation and that the question of historical change not only never disappeared from his view, but re-emerged with great force at the end of his career.

The contributors to Bourdieu and Historical Analysis explore this expanded understanding of Bourdieu's thought and its potential contributions to analyses of large-scale social change and historical crisis. Their essays offer a primer on his concepts and methods and relate them to alternative approaches, including rational choice, Lacanian psychoanalysis, pragmatism, Latour's actor-network theory, and the "new" sociology of ideas. Several contributors examine Bourdieu's work on literature and sports. Others extend his thinking in new directions, applying it to nationalism and social policy. Taken together, the essays initiate an important conversation about Bourdieu's approach to sociohistorical change.

. Craig Calhoun, Charles Camic, Christophe Charle, Jacques Defrance, Mustafa Emirbayer, Ivan Ermakoff, Gil Eyal, Chad Alan Goldberg, Philip S. Gorski, Robert A. Nye, Erik Schneiderhan, Gisele Shapiro, George Steinmetz, David Swartz


“Gorski’s volume has initiated a dialogue on the temporal dynamics of Bourdieu’s sociological analysis…” — Gabriel R. Ricci, History: Reviews of New Books

“This edited collection is the first to place at center stage the contributions to the study of social transformation made by French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu…. For sociologists, this volume expands the possibilities for doing more historical research using Bourdieu’s thought.”
— Deborah Reed-Danahy, H-France, H-Net Reviews

“[H]ighly scholarly and very useful….engaging…the final part on empirical applications of Bourdieusian themes was also fascinating, analyzing with great cogency classification struggles in the arenas of welfare and nationalism.”
— Dennis Smith, Sociological Review

“The collection is of remarkably consistent quality, and the book is a paradigm example of when essays deserve to be published together as a book. Each chapter gains greater significance when all are read together.” — Arthur Frank, Canadian Journal of Sociology

"An enriching read for historians and sociologists preoccupied with understanding intellectual change vis-à-vis rapid social transformations and crises. It is hard to imagine anything more pertinent." — Marcus Hernando, Political Studies Review

"[A]part from a thorough, albeit sometimes loosely connected, introduction to Bourdieu’s thought with an emphasis on history, this volume is an enriching read for historians and sociologists preoccupied with understanding intellectual change vis-à-vis rapid social transformations and crises. It is hard to imagine anything more pertinent." — Marcos Gonzalez Hernando, Political Theory

"In Bourdieu and Historical Analysis, Philip S. Gorski and his fellow contributors reject both the functionalist and structuralist perspectives that would view Bourdieu strictly as a reproduction theorist. They demonstrate very convincingly that Bourdieu should be seen instead as a theorist of historical transformation. This volume makes a significant scholarly contribution." — Johan Heilbron, author of The Rise of Social Theory

"This uncommonly interesting set of essays will contribute to the growing appreciation, and the productive use, of the resources contained in Bourdieu's extraordinarily rich oeuvre for the theoretical analysis of historical transformations." — Rogers Brubaker, author of Ethnicity without Groups


Availability: In stock
Price: $30.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Philip S. Gorski is Professor of Sociology and of Religious Studies at Yale University, where he directs the European Studies Council and codirects the Center for Comparative Research and the MacMillan Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society. He is the author of The Protestant Ethic Revisited and The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction. Bourdieu as a Theorist of Change / Philip S. Gorski 1

Part I. Situating Bourdieu

1. Metaprinciples for Sociological Research in a Bourdieusian Perspective / David L. Swartz 19

2. For the Social History of the Present: Bourdieu as Historical Sociologist / Craig Calhoun 36

3. Comparative and Transnational History and the Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu: Theory and Practice / Christophe Charle 67

Part II. Theoretical Engagements

4. Rational Choice May Take Over / Ivan Ermakoff 89

5. Toward Socioanalysis: The "Traumatic Kernel" of Psychoanalysis and Neo-Bourdieusian Theory / George Steinmetz 108

6. Dewey and Bourdieu on Democracy / Mustafa Emirbayer and Erik Schneiderhan 131

7. Spaces Between Fields / Gil Eyal 158

8. Bourdieu's Two Sociologies of Knowledge / Charles Camic 183

Part III. Historical Extensions

9. T. H. Marshall Meets Pierre Bourdieu: Citizens and Paupers in the Development of the U. S. Welfare State / Chad Alan Goldberg 215

10. Nation-ization Struggles: A Bourdieusian Theory of Nationalism / Philip S. Gorski 242

11. Structural History and Crisis Analysis: The Literary Field in France during the Second World War / Gisèle Sapiro 266

12. The Transmission of Masculinities: The Case of Early Modern France / Robert Nye 286

13. The Making of a Field with Weak Autonomy: The Case of the Sport Field in France, 1895–1955 / Jacques Defrance 303

Conclusion. Bourdieusian Theory and Historical Analysis: Maps, Mechanisms, and Methods / Philip S. Gorski 327

Appendix 1. English Translations of Bourdieu's Works 367

Appendix 2. Original Publication Dates of Bourdieu''s Monographs 368

Works Cited 369

Contributors 409

Index 413

Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5273-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5255-6
Publicity material