Social Status Tends to Seal One's Fate, Says France's

Michael Hoover hoov at
Wed Jan 10 15:54:19 MST 2001

> Boy, did I ever have Bourdieu wrong. I just assumed that because he was a
> French professor who published in New Left Review and who was championed by
> Doug Henwood, he was to be shunned. In my muzhik mind, Zizek, Bourdieu and
> Butler formed some kind of unholy trinity. This Times article seems to
> indicate that he has nothing in common with the typical trendy
> post-Marxist. I will now go lash myself with a cat-o'nine-tails that I keep
> in the bedroom for special occasions and order one of his books from
> Louis Proyect

don't know if above is serious or ironic given e-mail "tone problematic",
perhaps reference to at end is supposed to be giveaway, in any

Sociologist Bernard Lahire wrote in *Le Monde* coupla yrs ago that
dialogue with PB is impossible and that his ideas aren't subject to
critique because he is too powerful: holding *the* sociology chair at
College de France, Bourdieu alone represents that discipline as nation's
sociologist, he controls own journal (*Actes de la recherche en sciences
sociales*) & has own collection ("Liber-Raisons") at Seuil publishing
house, he has own research center at Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences
Sociales, he's been awarded godl medal by state-controlled research
monopoly (Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique).

Bourdieu is well-known for citing himself, articles published in journal
he controls, works published by those who publish him.  Historian Jeannine
Verdes-Leroux suggests that PB's work consists of his opinions, prejudices,
tastes, judgements disguised as knowledge & she asserts that he is defended
by folks beholden to him in institutional fortress he has constructed.

In contrast, Sartre may have always been questionable (both in his
literary-philosophical approach *and* in his role as "universal
intellectual"), but one had sense that he was taking on established
power and that his "symbolic authority" was dependent upon connecting
with audience outside academic-intellectual-institutional realm.

bourdieu, puh-leeze, beaujolais anyone?    Michael Hoover

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