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PART V - APPLICATIONS

Michael Grenfell
Affiliation:
Trinity College Dublin
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Summary

Introduction

While giving an account of concepts which, on the face of it, seem highly abstract in character, the various contributors to this book have sought to stress that Bourdieu's approach is based on a theory of practice. In other words, complex though the underlying epistemological perspective is, it only has value to the extent to which it is put to practical ends. Numerous practical examples have been offered across the chapters in order to illustrate each concept. In this last part, we ask what the method amounts to as a whole. Here, we turn our attention to methodological features as a way of guiding would-be researchers interested in adopting, or at least incorporating, aspects of Bourdieu's method in their own projects. The part is therefore entitled “Applications”.

Chapter 13 is all about methodology. The chapter addresses the relationship between the actual social world and the language/terminology used to express and represent it. In particular, we consider how Bourdieu's concepts were formed in the light of deep empirical enquiry and the limits of representation. Social class is used as an example. The chapter then sets out an approach to Bourdieusian research in terms of a “three-level methodology”. The first level concerns the construction of the research object and how this shapes the entire undertaking. Level 2 is field analysis, expressed in terms of three stages: fields within the field of power, the structure of the field itself, and the habitus of those relatively positioned within it. Level 3 then concerns participant objectivation, in which we return to the all important reflexive dimensions to working with Bourdieu's method.

Type
Chapter
Information
Pierre Bourdieu
Key Concepts
, pp. 209 - 212
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2012

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