File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1998/bourdieu.9804, message 26

Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 10:50:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Whiggish history

On Tue, 7 Apr 1998, Gabriel Ash wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:54:15 -0400 (EDT), George Free wrote:
> >	There's some great lines....
> >	"If, obeying the principle of reflexivity that they themselves
> >invoke, the proponents of the 'strong programme' took the trouble to turn
> >the gaze of the sociology of science upon their own practice, they would
> >immediately recognize in the falsely revoltuionary 'breaks' that they
> >effect the most common form of strategy of subversion through which new
> >entrants seek to assert themselves against their predecessors and which,
> >because they are well suited to seduce the lovers of novelty, constitute a
> >good means of realizing at little cost an initial accumulation of symbolic
> >capital." 

> Frankly, I don't get it here, could you elaborate. Surely the fact that
>the 'strong  program' employs a traditional strategy of accumulating
>scientific credit through  claims of novelty is not in itself a proof
>that these claims are baseless. 

	For Bourdieu, attempts to "seduce the lovers of novelty" involves 
appeals to fashion and to those who are generally outside of, or at the 
bottom end of, the scientific field. It is an appeal to heteronomous 
criteria of judgement, in other words. In general, Bourdieu warns 
sociologists against being followers of fashion. 
 	Bourdieu is saying that the 'strong program' is merely novel and, 
in reality, not at all new. It does not represent a genuine innovation in 
the history of the sociology of science.
	Also, Bourdieu is saying that, if they saw what they were doing,
the proponents of the strong program could correct their actions and
develop what is genuinely worthwhile in their research. He is not
rejecting it, but saying that it is limited and one-sided and that this
one-sidedness results largely from their efforts to be "novel", to be seen
as the latest thing.
	Sorry I couldn't elaborate more. I hope this helps clarifies the 
above passage.

	George Free		Toronto, Canada



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