Article/Publication Details

The Epistemology of Pierre Bourdieu

(Original title: Epistemologie Pierra Bourdieua)
Filozofia, 2006, vol. 61, No 4, pp. 309-322.
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Abstract

Bourdieu does not blind the fact that he branched from the French structuralism and that he is a critic of its static character which he surmounts by means of the dynamism characterizing the interpretative theories. He introduces a number of new concepts into sociology for what he is blamed on one hand because it complicates understanding his own theory; on the other hand it enables him to avoid the epistemological dichotomy of objective versus subjective approaches, as well as the dichotomy, rather value or political one, of consensual versus conflict understanding of the contemporary societies. He leaves out the structuralist meanings of the words status, structure, class, fights, what still does not place him on the side of the critics of structuralism or conflict theories. The frame of all Bourdieu’s works is his theory of reproduction of society and creation, or preservation of order. It is the substance of his theory of action, even though not always explicitly expressed in all his works. Bourdieu’s theory, based on the relation “position –> disposition –> interaction”, or, in Bourdieu’s terms, “structure –> habitus –> practice”, has rather the character of Merton’s medium-range theory than that of Parson’s macrotheory.

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