This lecture presents a brief introduction to the life and work of Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002).
It is difficult to find a social scientist today who is not aware of the ‘textbook’ version of Bourdieu: the author of La Reproduction and La Distinction, the scholar who coined the notion of cultural capital, who made habitus a household world, and who made social scientists see ‘fields’ wherever they go. A prolific ethnologist, sociologist, social theorist, activist and public intellectual, Bourdieu was indeed a great thinker.
This lecture aims to go beyond, or even put some dents in this textbook version of Bourdieu. First, Giselinde Kuipers will give a short overview of the ‘building blocks’ of Bourdieu’s theory: field, habitus and capital, showing how they work together to make up a coherent and productive theoretical program.
Second, she will discuss some of Bourdieu’s empirical studies (including some that have nothing to do with French snobbery). For Kuipers, the true dazzle of Bourdieu’s work is the range and diversity of this empirical work: from family photography, Algerian floor plans, to real estate, literature, lonely bachelors and classroom interactions; and from large-scale survey to ethnography.
Third, Kuipers will present some Bourdieusian reflections on Bourdieu’s (shifting) position in the transnational intellectual field. Why and how did this very French thinker become so influential, also internationally? And will it last?
Giselinde Kuipers is a professor of cultural sociology at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She has published widely in the fields of cultural sociology, the sociology of humor, media studies, and cultural globalization and transnational culture. Much of this research is comparative: she has done research in several European countries (the Netherlands, France, Italy and Poland) as well as the US.
Profile page Giselinde Kuipers
AISSR members present the work of a great thinker in the field of social sciences immersing us in key features of the social science canon and ‘Great Thinkers’ and exploring contributions across disciplinary lines. Staff members, PhD students and others interested can attend the public lecture. For AISSR PhD students the lecture can be followed by a PhD seminar with a second discussion of key readings of the respective thinker. How can you use these readings in your own research project?
All are welcome. Registration via: email@example.com
This lecture is not followed by a PhD seminar. Instead, we will offer the possibility to make a credited assignment. For more information, please contact Alix Nieuwenhuis A.E.Nieuwenhuis@uva.nl.