File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2004/bourdieu.0410, message 47

Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 11:30:45 -0500
Subject: Re: [BOU:] Sexual = Social Libido?

In Practical Reason (1998) on pages 78-79, Bourdieu briefly answers  
your question.  He defines the biological libido as an undifferentiated  
impulse and a specific social libido as the differentiated, socialized  
impulse of a specific field.  "There are in effect as many kinds of  
libido as there are fields," he writes.

I'm taking a class on feminist theory, and your question brings into  
focus a question of my own.  The work of socializing the 'biological'  
libido, according to Bourdieu, is often talked about in terms of a  
specific field.  In feminist theory, however, the work of socialization  
is diffuse and spread out across social space.  The socialization of  
masculine and feminine identities occurs throughout social space, not  
just in a specific field.  In your question, you ask if sexual desire  
is only institutionally mediated.  We might also ask if it is  
culturally mediated, and this might help us explain social action that  
isn't explained by the economic interests defined by the logic of a  
specific field.


On Friday, October 22, 2004, at 11:30  PM, Matt George wrote:

> For the sake of discussion, (rather than mere reference), after one  
> takes a look at Pascalian Meditations on the relation between illusio  
> and libido, after one reads the early 70's diatribe against  
> psychoanalysis in Distinction etc...
> Is anyone willing to speculate on the difference between what might be  
> called the 'libidinal libido' i.e. first order sexual libido (aka:  
> lust, desire etc..) and its relation to second order 'institutional'  
> libido -- which B. argues is what arises from the illusio of a given  
> field?
> At a simple level one could assume that B. is saying that for every  
> field there is a sexual desire appropriate to it... but this would  
> imply that lawyers cannot sleep with waitresses and this seems  
> impossible to maintain.
> Which leads, as well to the question of whether by libido, Bourdieu is  
> actually referring to the statistics he marshalls in Distinction -- in  
> his discussion of Love as amor fati... which refer strictly to  
> liklihood of marriage, not of sexual coupling... and desire per se...
> In which case; yes, it is indeed rare for lawyers to actually marry  
> waitresses, but surely we are far from "libido" when we measure only  
> chances for marriage are we not?
> So, to return to my question:  does anyone what to comment on the  
> 'slippage' involved in Bourdieu's, no doubt, intentional word play --  
> as he nominates questing for power within a field as "libido".  Is the  
> implication then that sexual desire is only "institutionally  
> mediated", that it is a unconscious motivation for positionality in  
> the field?
> Just curious what people here think, since woefully little (or am I  
> wrong on that) has been written questioning Bourdieu's 'paleonymic'  
> appropriation of the psychoanalytic term, 'libido'
>> From: Denis Baranger <>
>> Reply-To: bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>> To: <>
>> Subject: Re: [BOU:] Where's the agency in agent?
>> Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 19:29:07 -0300
>> Take a look at Pascalian Meditations, chapter 5 (search for illusio  
>> and
>> libido).
>> Denis Baranger
>> > From: "M . Motola" <>
>> > Reply-To: bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>> > Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 09:01:43 +0200
>> > To:
>> > Subject: Re: [BOU:] Where's the agency in agent?
>> >
>> > Dear participants
>> >
>> > I am looking for some references (articles, phrases .) where  
>> Bourdieu wrote
>> > about psychoanalysis.
>> >
>> > M.Motola
>> >
>> >
>> >  
>> **********************************************************************
>> > Contributions:
>> > Commands:
>> > Requests:
>> **********************************************************************
>> Contributions:
>> Commands:
>> Requests:
> **********************************************************************
> Contributions:
> Commands:
> Requests:



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