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7 - Doxa

from PART III - FIELD MECHANISMS

Cécile Deer
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Michael Grenfell
Affiliation:
Trinity College Dublin
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Summary

This chapter has three main parts. After introducing the concept of doxa, the second section considers it as part of Bourdieu's theory of practice. Here, I address its significance in the way fields operate, crucially in the relationships between field structures and habitus. I show how Bourdieu's approach to doxa significantly differs from others and the implications which follow on from his own working of the concept. There are examples of the way doxa functions in a range of Bourdieu's empirical studies – in education, culture and economics and so on. These examples extend to the knowledge or academic field, which is the principal focus for the third part of the chapter. Here, we consider the extent to which doxa prevails in intellectual fields and what needs to take place in order to break free from it. I conclude with some reflections on what might be the outcome of such an undertaking.

Introduction

Following on from Durkheim, Bourdieu considered that today's sociology of culture was equivalent to yesterday's sociology of religion. His early use of the Husserlian concept of “doxa” bears a direct relationship to this understanding. In Bourdieu's work, doxa has a number of related meanings and types of understanding, but the concept broadly defined refers to the misrecognition of forms of social arbitrariness which creates the unformulated, non-discursive, yet internalized and practical recognition of that same social arbitrariness.

Type
Chapter
Information
Pierre Bourdieu
Key Concepts
, pp. 114 - 125
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2012

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