In the early 1960s, a French anthropologist, Pierre Bourdieu, gained a reputation as one of the most important social scientists emerging in the wake of the structuralist turn associated with Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss. He made his name with studies on decolonising Algerian society (Bourdieu, 1962), including an influential account of how one could read gender relations from the layout of the Kabyle house (Bourdieu, 1992). He then became one of the first anthropologists to turn attention to his own society, where he became interested in the way that its prized cultural practices sustained forms of privilege. From the mid-1960s he focused on what he called ‘cultural capital’, the ability of privileged groups to define their culture as superior to that of lower classes (Robbins, 2005). Studies of photography (1965) and art galleries (1966) followed. He also conducted a survey and interviews, which probed French people’s cultural tastes, participation and everyday life. The research took a long time to write up, and was put on hold whilst he wrote his theoretical treatise Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977). Workingwith a large interdisciplinary team, he initially produced a famous article, ‘L’anatomie de gout’ (The anatomy of taste), for the new journal he had launched, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales. Then, in 1979, a long, meandering, 600-page book, Distinction, was published and translated into English in 1984. This book can fairly claim to be the single most important monograph of post-war sociology published anywhere in the world.