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Pierre Bourdieu as a Sociologist of the Economy and Critic of 'Globalisation'

  • Max Koch
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 71-86
Publication/Series: International Journal of Contemporary Sociology
Volume: 43
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Joensuu University Press

Abstract english

This article examines Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of the economy and his most recent politically engaged interventions on ‘globalisation’. Many scholars regard these as not being in the same academic league as his classic studies on taste, academia, and state elites, etc., and, instead, dismiss them as a private matter or even, as the spleen of Pierre Bourdieu, the individual. The paper questions this disjunction of the ‘academic’ and ‘politically engaged’ sides of Pierre Bourdieu’s work. First, it argues that his most recent interventions against a neo-liberal globalisation were the logical result of a particular definition of intellectual practice that had been outlined before in his sociology of the intellectual field. It then demonstrates that Bourdieu’s economic sociology and critique of contemporary capitalism does not only not contradict his earlier research, but that it provides valuable and original insights into the current transformation of the political economy of the advanced capitalist countries. The paper concludes with the suggestion of strengthening the theoretical foundation of Bourdieu’s analysis of contemporary capitalism by relating it to and making it compatible with alternative approaches in the tradition of critical political economy.


  • Social Work


  • ISSN: 0019-6398
Max Koch
E-mail: max [dot] koch [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se


School of Social Work

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