Sociology Index

Pierre Bourdieu

Among distinguished sociologists, Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist and anthropologist. Bourdieu pioneered terminologies such as cultural capital, social capital, and symbolic capital. Bourdieu is also known for his work in the sociology of culture and cultural studies and education, sociological theories. 

After the 1970s, Bourdieu worked on diverse set of empirical topics like kinship, religion, science, social classes, while developing his own paradigm, seeking a pathway out of the opposition between structuralist objectivism and constructivist subjectivism. His best quote which is most relevant today is "Television enjoys a de facto monopoly on what goes into the heads of a significant part of the population and what they think."

Pierre Bourdieu's books include: Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977), Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (1977) and Distinction (1984). Pierre Bourdieu's book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste argues that judgments of taste are related to social position, or social positioning. Bourdieu published some thirty books and more than three hundred articles on an astounding variety of topics.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. In other words: Essays towards a reflexive sociology. Translated by Matthew Adamson. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press. A collection of lectures and interviews in which Bourdieu presents the intellectual rationale and main results of his investigations and answers frequent questions about his work, up until the mid-1980s.

Bourdieu, Pierre, and Loc Wacquant. 1992. An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Invitation is the most comprehensive presentation of Bourdieu’s empirical and theoretical works. The first part offers a thorough delineation of the principles underlying the sociologist’s work.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1998. Practical reason: On the theory of action. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.
A collection of conference presentations given abroad sketch out Bourdieu’s main findings on class, cultural capital, time, power, and morality.