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Bourdieu, Pierre (1930–)


Subject Literature

People Bourdieu, Pierre

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


French sociologist. Although Bourdieu graduated from the École Normale Supérieure as an agrégé de philosophie , in reaction against what he took to be the intellectually authoritarian and Stalinist orientation of the institution, he refused to write a thesis. Conscripted into the French Army in 1956, he spent four years in Algeria, publishing Sociologie de l'Algérie in 1958 and teaching at the University of Algiers until 1960 when he returned to France. After short periods at the University of Paris and the University of Lille, he assumed the post of Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, where he soon established the Centre for European Sociology, which he continues to direct. Bourdieu was appointed to a chair at the Collège de France in 1981. Most of his publications reflect both his early engagement with philosophy and his meticulous anthropological fieldwork in Algeria. Like Michel F oucault and Jacques D errida , Bourdieu has been equally suspicious of the E xistentialism of Jean Paul S artre and the S tructuralism of Claude L éavi -S trauss . In his generous but critical response to such thinkers as M arx , Weber, D urkheim , and W ittgenstein , Bourdieu finds in each of them a means for overcoming the limitations of the others ( Jenkins, 1992 , p. 19). Bourdieu has been persistently concerned with the problem of how an ethnographer can come to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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