File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1997/may12, message 12


Date: Tue, 08 Apr 1997 18:09:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Distinction and explanation



>> I don't know Elster's critique (thanks for bringing it to my attention)
>but on problems with Bourdieu's mode of analysis/explanation, I strongly
>suggest you look at Basil Bernstein 'Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and
>Identity' (1996) chap 9. Question: what is arbitrary & non-arbitrary in
>Bourdieu's own work. He insists upon its scientific status, but how is it
>'scientific'???
>> 
>> 
>>
As I understand it his claim to be scientific is based in the historical
stuggle to create a more or less autonomous scientific field where truth is
searched for and capital rewarded according to reason and rules of
reasoning.  This field is, like all others, a relational structure of field
positions where the struggle is over how/what to name the truth --a kind of
cultural capital called scientific authority or competence.  Part of the
rules of the field that legitimize its autonomy is the need to be reflexive
about oneself and one's science; that is, to see it and oneself in the
context of a historically generated field. 

Tom 

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