GoogleTranslate Service

What drew me to Bourdieu’s work

April 15th, 2013 by Cristina Costa
look what has arrived! new reading :-) cc @socialtheoryapp

Social Theory and Education Research
Understanding Foucault, Habermas,Bourdieu and Derrida by Mark Murphy

Many people have asked why I decided to use Bourdieu’s work in my research. I have often jokingly said it was because he “spoke his mind and that I liked that”! ;-) There’s some truth in it. I think Bourdieu used his position well, as a French intellectual, and tried, in his own way, to inform, critique, and sometimes even contest, the social realities he studied and was interested in. This led to studies in the most varied areas… as many as the areas he was interested in, I guess.

This post comes as a first reaction to a new book I am reading:

Social Theory and Education Research – Understanding Foucault, Habermas,Bourdieu and Derrida by Mark Murphy


[This book just came through the post! I have been waiting for it to arrive for weeks now. so I was really excited to see that there was a book-shaped parcel for me this morning! :-)

Please note that this post is *not* a review of the book, as I still have a lot to read and digest before I can provide my impression on the book. However, my first reaction to it is: thumbs up! ]


The book focuses on the work of the 4 social theorists mentioned on the book cover and thus aims to present us with research lenses through which we can examine social phenomena. As you might have guessed, I have started with the chapters focusing on Bourdieu’s work (!). It was just easier to start there. I will need more time to read the articles on the work of the other theorists [i.e, it will take me longer to digest the ideas presented as I know less about their work!]

I have just finished the chapter on Bourdieu and educational research: Thinking tools, relational thinking, beyond epistemological innocence by Rawolle and Lingard.

It is definitely a good read! For me the highlights of this paper relate to:

  • Bourdieu’s approach to scholarship. As the authors so eloquently put it

[f]or Bourdieu, scholarship and commitment go together, but in terms of the researcher participating in political struggles, he argued ‘the most valuable contribution a researcher can make to the political struggles is to work, with all the weapons the science offers at the moment in question, to produce and promote the truth’ (Bourdieu, 2010, 271)  (Rawolle and Lingard, 2013, p132)

This takes me again to the topic of academics as public intellectuals and the role social media can play in stimulating this collective and open debate.  (something the authors also stress given that “Bourdieu argues the necessity of academics becoming collective intellectuals… ” (ibid)

  • Bourdieu’s take on the presentation of research. Something that I attempted to do in my own PhD research and which gave me quite a few sleepless nights as it made me feel really vulnerable as a research apprentice. But now I am really happy I did it. Rawolle and Lingard point out that

Bourdieu suggests an openness and vulnerability, indeed honesty, in the presentation of our research in both oral and written genres

because as Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992, cited in Rawolle and Lingard, 2013) state

A research presentation … is a discourse in which you expose yourself, you take risks… The more you expose yourself, the greater your chances of benefiting from the discussion and the more constructive and good-willed, I am sure, the criticisms and advice you will receive.

I think there is resonance here with the principles of digital scholarship. And with that also scope to apply Bourdieu’s thinking tools in order to understand the relationship between the fields of academia and social media …

just some initial thoughts in the form of note taking!

… looking forward to reading the other chapters! :-)

Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed.

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.

    Please follow and like us:

    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

    Please follow and like us:

    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

    Please follow and like us:

    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

    Please follow and like us:

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

      Please follow and like us:
  • Twitter

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories