File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2001/bourdieu.0107, message 21

Subject: Re: Bourdieu and North American literacy education
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 19:21:56 -0500

My work focuses on social class and writing instruction--primarily at the
college level, but I spill over.  I rely on Bourdieu for conceptions of
social class and their distributions in a social space.  His specific
details of social reproduction and insights into the mechanisms certainly
inform my work.  If I had to pick three people who have influenced how I
think and what I do, I guess I would pick James Moffett, Freire, and
Bourdieu.  So to answer your question, when I speak, a lot of bourdieu
comes out (bakhtin speaking there).  Other people in my field refer to him
with some frequency.  I don't think too many of us have read him very
carefully--but we have the idea.  Those of us who are interested in social
class generally refer to him without worrying about the oedipal wars that
flame around him (whether he is overly deterministic, pessimistic, etc.).

So short answer, Jim: quite a few of us in rhetoric and composition and who
are more or less on the social justice bandwagon pay attention to Bourdieu.
We're not too worried about the controversies.  We're here to get some
ideas, not engage in intellectual territorial battles.

irvin peckham

"Albright, James" <> on 07/14/2001 05:07:27 PM

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Subject:  Bourdieu and North American literacy education

Wacquant and Bourdieu together and separately discuss factors that
contribute to the possible misreading of Bourdieu's work and project in
North American academic circles. Others (eg. Swartz)also have commented on
this issue.

I am interested in this question. Specifically, I am currently studying how
Bourdieu's work has been received in North American education, in
within critical pedagogy and literacy education . Too frequently, I believe
his methodology and analysis has been read as overly reproductive and
pessemistic (See Giroux). I would perfer to read any gaps or silences in
Bourdieu's work as opportunities for further inquiry, given the utility of
his theoretical tool chest and mid-range theorizing rather than reasons for

I was wondering if others, again especially in literacy and education,
or contest the readings. Grenfell, et al in in Britain and Luke and
and Carrington and Luke in Australia have productively argued for
Bourdieuian perspectives in their respective fields. Does anyone see such
work possible in North America and/or do you know of such work being done
North America?

Thank you,
Prof. Jim Albright
New York



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