File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1998/bourdieu.9801, message 8

Subject: Re: Bourdieu and Mauss
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:59:55 -0800 (PST)

>Ulle Jaeger wrote:
>> I am presently working on the aspect of incorporation in
>> Bourdieus concept of habitus. It seems to me that  Bourdieu is drawing - at
>> least in part - on "Techniques of the Body" by Marcel Mauss. But alas, I
>> havent't found a direct reference yet.
>> So this is my question to you: Does anyone know of a text in which Bourdieu
>> himself directly refers to Mauss and the Techniques of the Body? 

He certainly *is* drawing on Mauss here (and much more than "in part", 
in my view--in fact, virtually *everything* that's interesting about
B.'s discussion of the concept is there in Mauss, in germinal form
at least) as are many of the post-68 French thinkers who launched into
investigations of the body and its practices/techniques, the
construction of the self historically and socially, the gift, and 
trangression and the sacred (including, besides Bourdieu, Foucault, 
Baudrillard, Deleuze, Derrida).  Perhaps you might profitably think about 
a more nuanced understanding of intellectual influence here--more than 
a few of these guys got their Mauss not directly, but through Leiris,
Bataille, and the College de Sociologie (which is hardly unaltered
Mauss, but still recognizable in my view).  And for some of the
members of this post-68 generation, it simply was un-PC to invoke
Mauss (nephew and successor, after all, of Durkheim, great enemy of
radical French thinkers of virtually *all* persuasions throughout a
good portion of the post war years), and Bataille, et al., were much
more *hip* (if less rigourous) ways to get in on some of this very
provocative intellectual action.  Of course, given Bourdieu's
slightly different political and disciplinary position, he ought to
have been considerably less restrained by these issues from directly
acknowledging his debt to Mauss.

Alexander Tristan Riley



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