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Friday, June 24, 2005, 13:16
Locating Bourdieu - Interview with anthropologist Deborah Reed-Danahay
Interesting interview by Scott McLemee with anthropologist Deborah Reed-Danahay on her recent book Locating Bourdieu in the magazine "Inside Higher Education". The book is according to Scott McLemee "a very good place for the new reader of Bourdieu to start".
Reed-Danahay summarizes one of Bourdieu's main points and compares France to the USA:
"Bourdieu believed that we are all constrained by our internalized dispositions (our habitus), deriving from the milieu in which we are socialized, which influence our world view, values, expectations for the future, and tastes. These attributes are part of the symbolic or cultural capital of a social group.
In a stratified society, a higher value is associated with the symbolic capital of members of the dominant sectors versus the less dominant and “controlled” sectors of society. So that people who go to museums and like abstract art, for instance, are expressing a form of symbolic capital that is more highly valued than that of someone who either rarely goes to museums or who doesn’t like abstract art.
The person feels that this is “just” a matter of taste, but this can have important consequences for children at school who have not been exposed to various forms of symbolic capital by their families."
"His work on academia provided us with a method of inquiry to look at the symbolic capital associated with academic advancement and, although the specific register of this will be different in different national contexts, the process may be similar. Just as Bourdieu did in France, for example, one could study how it is that elite universities here “select” students and professors."
>> to the interview in "Inside Higher Education"
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