File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1997/may12, message 7

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 10:40:01 +0100
Subject: Distinction and explanation

(I sent, last week, a personal message to the list. Sorry about that--I
realized the mistake too late. Anyway, thank you for the answers I

I would like to ask for comments on Jon Elster critiques to "Distinction"
(he wrote them in "Sour Grapes"). Right now I have not the book, but as
long as I remember he criticized Bourdieu's type of explanation, which from
Elster's point of view was something like the result of mixing functional
and causal kinds of explanation without making it explicit and in a not
clear and consistent way.

When I read Bourdieu's "Distinction" I liked it very much but I had a
strange sensation: everything was circular and self-evident; therefore, it
was like a circular discourse (and indeed a very interesting one) with a
lack of clarity and, is some way, without a clearly accessible information.
It's true that reality is complex and not static, but I also think that
reductionism is one science strategy and that trying to speak and think
clearly has some advandatges.

Roger Martinez



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