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107

Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary

4
terms
3
notes

an interesting critique of Bourdieu. says that his sociology is nonexplanatory

Riley, D. (2017). Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary. Jacobin, 2, pp. 107-136

(verb) to make faulty or defective; impair / (verb) to debase in moral or aesthetic status / (verb) to make ineffective

114

Bourdieu’s attempt to explain habitus as a result of class is thus vitiated by a basic conceptual weakness.

—p.114 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago

Bourdieu’s attempt to explain habitus as a result of class is thus vitiated by a basic conceptual weakness.

—p.114 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago
120

[...] Given the obvious inequalities and injustices of contemporary capitalism, how is it possible that such societies can stably reproduce themselves over time? Bourdieu’s answer to this undeniably real puzzle is symbolic power, which can be best grasped as, in Mara Loveman’s words, “the ability to make appear as natural, inevitable, and thus apolitical that which is a product of historical struggle.” Bourdieu’s account of symbolic power closely parallels the French Marxist Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology. Bourdieu, like Althusser, claims that the misrecognition of the social world is a precondition for action; therefore, a false, imaginary, or incorrect understanding of the social world is the universal default condition of actors in capitalist society. Furthermore, like Althusser, he emphasizes that this condition of universal misrecognition is reinforced through the education system. Therefore, the school is the central institutional mechanism of social reproduction under capitalism. [...]

—p.120 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] Given the obvious inequalities and injustices of contemporary capitalism, how is it possible that such societies can stably reproduce themselves over time? Bourdieu’s answer to this undeniably real puzzle is symbolic power, which can be best grasped as, in Mara Loveman’s words, “the ability to make appear as natural, inevitable, and thus apolitical that which is a product of historical struggle.” Bourdieu’s account of symbolic power closely parallels the French Marxist Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology. Bourdieu, like Althusser, claims that the misrecognition of the social world is a precondition for action; therefore, a false, imaginary, or incorrect understanding of the social world is the universal default condition of actors in capitalist society. Furthermore, like Althusser, he emphasizes that this condition of universal misrecognition is reinforced through the education system. Therefore, the school is the central institutional mechanism of social reproduction under capitalism. [...]

—p.120 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago

(adjective) of, relating to, or characterized by play; playful

122

The ludic metaphor that underlies the idea of the field

—p.122 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago

The ludic metaphor that underlies the idea of the field

—p.122 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago
123

[...] Bourdieu and Passeron put the argument:

Nothing is better designed than the examination to inspire universal recognition of the legitimacy of academic verdicts and of the social hierarchies they legitimate, since it leads the self-eliminated to count themselves among those who fail, while enabling those elected from among a small number of eligible candidates to see in their election the proof of a merit or “gift” which would have caused them to be preferred to all comers in any circumstances.

Schooling and examinations thus translate class inequalities into inequalities of merit legitimating these inequalities both in the eyes of the dominant and subordinate classes. According to Bourdieu, to a large extent the dominant class of contemporary is a credentialed elite. To recall, this is also Althusser’s argument: that the school ISA is the key institution in reproducing capitalism.

quote from Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. relevant to my theory of meritocracy (retroactive legitimation)

—p.123 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] Bourdieu and Passeron put the argument:

Nothing is better designed than the examination to inspire universal recognition of the legitimacy of academic verdicts and of the social hierarchies they legitimate, since it leads the self-eliminated to count themselves among those who fail, while enabling those elected from among a small number of eligible candidates to see in their election the proof of a merit or “gift” which would have caused them to be preferred to all comers in any circumstances.

Schooling and examinations thus translate class inequalities into inequalities of merit legitimating these inequalities both in the eyes of the dominant and subordinate classes. According to Bourdieu, to a large extent the dominant class of contemporary is a credentialed elite. To recall, this is also Althusser’s argument: that the school ISA is the key institution in reproducing capitalism.

quote from Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. relevant to my theory of meritocracy (retroactive legitimation)

—p.123 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago

an unfilled space; a gap (plural: lacunae)

124

the term capitalism, in contrast to capital, appears almost nowhere in his work. This lacuna weakens his account of reproduction,

—p.124 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago

the term capitalism, in contrast to capital, appears almost nowhere in his work. This lacuna weakens his account of reproduction,

—p.124 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago

(especially in Marxist theory) a way of thinking that prevents a person from perceiving the true nature of their social or economic situation (esp used to mislead members of the proletariat about their own exploitation)

128

French degree holders thus were in the grips of a form of false consciousness. They thought their degrees entitled them to certain positions that would have been available to them in a previous state of the field, but these positions were becoming scarce as more people entered higher education.

—p.128 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago

French degree holders thus were in the grips of a form of false consciousness. They thought their degrees entitled them to certain positions that would have been available to them in a previous state of the field, but these positions were becoming scarce as more people entered higher education.

—p.128 by Dylan Riley
notable
3 years, 3 months ago
134

[...] One hypothesis to explain the attraction of Bourdieu’s work is that it turns the potentially radical energy of social critique inward, thereby creating a form of political engagement that promises the attainable goal of accumulating “symbolic power” in lieu of confronting real exploitation and domination. The appeal is best indicated, again, by Brubaker’s gloss: the point of Bourdieu’s texts “is not simply to interpret the world; it is to change the world, by changing the way in which we — in the first instance, other social scientists — see it.” This pale recapitulation of Marx’s (uncited, naturally) eleventh thesis on Feuerbach is an effective summation of Bourdieu’s appeal. In him we have a thinker who mobilizes vast intellectual resources in the pursuit of a militant project to transform sociological consciousness in place of transforming society.

—p.134 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] One hypothesis to explain the attraction of Bourdieu’s work is that it turns the potentially radical energy of social critique inward, thereby creating a form of political engagement that promises the attainable goal of accumulating “symbolic power” in lieu of confronting real exploitation and domination. The appeal is best indicated, again, by Brubaker’s gloss: the point of Bourdieu’s texts “is not simply to interpret the world; it is to change the world, by changing the way in which we — in the first instance, other social scientists — see it.” This pale recapitulation of Marx’s (uncited, naturally) eleventh thesis on Feuerbach is an effective summation of Bourdieu’s appeal. In him we have a thinker who mobilizes vast intellectual resources in the pursuit of a militant project to transform sociological consciousness in place of transforming society.

—p.134 by Dylan Riley 3 years, 3 months ago