File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1998/bourdieu.9806, message 26

Subject: Re: acteur, agent, sujet
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 23:44:54 GMT


First: hello to everybody I hope my comments wont be annoying to anyone 
(I am a beginner in the Bourdieu sociology)

I think the main difference between actor and agent in B. sociology is 
the pursue of interests. In an article he wrote: 

"Agents (...) have only to give way to their dispositions in order to 
produce practices that are naturally distinguished;they can do so 
without having to take distinction as a goal, without pursuing it as 
such consciously, methodically, as a part of a rational schema or plan, 
of a strategy designed to maximize the symbolic profit of distinction"
(A REPLY TO SOME OBJECTIONS an article in Confrontations)

I think that an actor is seeking objectives and wants to fulfill his 
interests and he is aware that he is doing it. An actor "acts". Bourdieu 
prefers to use the word "agent" with the word "strategies" to mean, I 
think, that the agent behave in the society (field) as a "fish on the 
water" thanks to the habitus (the structures that show him how to 
achieve goals).

I think this discussion can be more "ambitious" if we think about the 
notion Bourdieu has of social action and interaction... 

But my position is that B. uses the word agent to explain how the 
subject "acts" in a society without the awareness that he is acting.

I hope you could understand my position... My english is not real good, 
specially when I try to talk about the teoric terms of sociology.

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

>Hello every one,
>	What about a discussion on subjet and actors and  agent... ?
>I remember I read somewhere an explication by Bourdieu about his choice 
>the word "agent" to give an account of the way people relate and are 
>to social constraint, biographical and social determinations. Still, as 
>introduced the concept of "strategie" to balance the dominancy  he
>attributed to the concept of 'habitus",  I will be interested in 
>about how people on this forum think about (and eventualy oppose) a
>sociology centrated on "actors" (Crozier, Touraine) to Bourdieu's 
>and his choice of the word "agent".
>Last, how does Bourdieu regard approches in term of "sujet", the one 
>was so strongly rejected after the death of Sartres, by Foucault for
>Any reference welcome.

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