File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1998/bourdieu.9806, message 17

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 20:19:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: acteur, agent, sujet

On Thu, 18 Jun 1998, Dan Schubert wrote:

> 	later in this interview (p.15), B touches on what he seems to see
> as the critical/emancipatory potential of sociology:
> 	"The essential thing about historical realities is that one can
> always establish that things could have been otherwise, indeed, *are*
> otherwise in other places and other conditions.  This means that, by
> historicizing, sociology denaturalizes, defatalizes."
> 	my problem is this:  while B seems particularly helpful in
> identifying structures and practices of inequality and oppression, he
> doesn't go beyond this.  my questions are these:  to what extent does
> denaturalization end oppression?  does B offer anything
> beyond a reflexive scientific sociology that denaturalizes structures of
> oppression?  does he offer anything to the activist?  at one point (p.60) 
> in a lecture included in _Sociology in Question_, B says "If the
> sociologist has a role to play, it is more to give weapons than to give
> lessons."  if so, what are the weapons that B provides?
	As you are pointing out, sociology of Bourdieu's sort serves to 
demystify, to help us see reality (and the current power structure) as it 
is. By itself, this goes along way to undermining structures of 
domination since they depend upon their appearing natural in order to 
maintain their legitimacy. 
	It also serves as a basis for insight into the consequences of any
social action or policy that political agents might contemplate.
Opposition that is based on a false understanding of the social order is,
needless to say, doomed to failure. 

	George Free		Toronto, Canada



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