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Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory
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Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory
Critical Investigations



January 1997 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In this first comprehensive and systematic study of Pierre BourdieuÆs theory of culture and habitus, Bridget Fowler examines the intellectual context of BourdieuÆs work, while providing an exacting and systematic reading of the development of his thinking on "cultural capital." Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory outlines the key critical debates that inform BourdieuÆs work: the role of Lukßcs and Goldmann, BenjaminÆs discussion of the sacred and the secular; and HabermasÆs examination of communication. Fowler goes on to provide a lexicon of BourdieuÆs thought in cultural theory, explaining the importance of capitalùeconomic and social, symbolic, and culturalùas well as outlining the importance of key terms like habitus, practice and strategy, "legitimate culture," and consumer society, in the context of BourdieuÆs analysis of capitalism and modernity. There is also substantive analysis of BourdieuÆs work on contemporary culture. This critical examination concludes with a discussion of the state and education as exemplified in BourdieuÆs latest work. Comprehensive, critical, and rigorous, this is the definitive guide to the changing contours of BourdieuÆs cultural theory. It will be the essential reference for students of sociology, cultural studies, and social theory.

 
PART ONE: INTERPRETATIVE STUDIES
 
Situating Bourdieu
Cultural Theory and Sociological Perspectives  
 
Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
 
Bourdieu, Postmodernism, Modernity
 
The Historical Genesis of Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
 
PART TWO: CRITICAL INVESTIGATIONS
 
Bourdieu and Modern Art
The Case of Impressionism  
 
The Popular and the Middlebrow
 
Bourdieu, the Popular and the Periphery
 
Conclusion

`This book acknowledges the relative lack of interest in, or the fairly selective reception of, the work of Bourdieu in the Anglo-American world, especially with regard to his sociology of culture. The book is therefore an attempt to introduce Bourdieu's analysis of cultural phenomena (in particular of literature and painting), as well as an invitation to remedy the virtual absence of any critical debate regarding

some of his more antagonistic claims. The author portrays Bourdieu's theory as comprehensive and sophisticated, less idealistic in its reserved attitude towards French post structuralism than it is truly

synthetic in its formulation of classical social theory in the wake of late capitalism. The monograph's inclusion in the series Theory, Culture & Society reflects this concern with the resurgence of interest in

cultural theory within the contemporary domains of social science and of the humanities in general' - Pragmatics

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