chapter  11
17 Pages

Bourdieu and humanist realism

It is hard to know how to conclude a book which has been so multifaceted and complex. Sociology embraces new theoretical paradigms with great rapidity and is always hoping for some new input. Recent inspirations include Beck, Bourdieu, Butler, Deleuze and Guattari, Latour, Thrift and so on. What I have decided to do to finish this book is to treat just one of these recent writers. My introduction to Bourdieu’s work was through the massive study Distinction in which he examines French society in the 1960s and 1970s (Bourdieu 1984). The following is an attempt to articulate what Bourdieu might mean, if we look at his writings in terms of humanist realism. I am going to take quotations from a number of articles and lectures in which Bourdieu, sometimes with others, explains his position (1990, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c, 1994, 1998).