Pierre Bourdieu

Pierre Bourdieu (August 1, 1930January 23, 2002) was an acclaimed French sociologist whose work employed methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines, from philosophy and literary theory to sociology and anthropology.



  • If the sociologist has a role, it is probably more to furnish weapons than to give lessons.
    • Bourdieu (talk at the Conference of the AFEF, Limoges, October 30, 1977)
  • The practical mastery of the logic or of the imminent necessity of a game — a mastery acquired by experience of the game, and one which works outside conscious control and discourse (in the way that. for instance, techniques of the body do).
    • Bourdieu (1990), In Other Words p. 60
  • Practice has a logic which is not that of the logician.
    • Bourdieu (1990), The Logic of Practice. p. 86
  • Male domination is so rooted in our collective unconscious that we no longer even see it.
  • Television enjoys a de facto monopoly on what goes into the heads of a significant part of the population and what they think.
    • Bourdieu (1998: 18); as cited in: Helen Kelly-Holmes (2001) Minority Language Broadcasting: Breton and Irish. p. 8
  • I often say that sociology is a martial art, a means of self-defense. Basically, you use it to defend yourself, without having the right to use it for unfair attacks.
    • Bourdieu (2000), La Sociologie est un sport de combat; cited in: John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter (2004), Football Goes East. p. xii
  • The point of my work is to show that culture and education aren't simply hobbies or minor influences.
    • Bourdieu (2001), "The Intellectual Class Struggle," New York Times, Jan. 6, 2001

Equisse d'une Théorie de la Pratique (1977)Edit

Pierre Bourdieu (1977), Equisse d'une Théorie de la Pratique.
  • The mind is a metaphor of the world of objects which is itself but an endless circle of mutually reflecting metaphors.
    • p. 91
  • Every established order tends to produce (to very different degrees with different means) the naturalization of its own arbitrariness.
    • p. 164; as cited in: Jan E. M. Houben (1996) Ideology and Status of Sanskrit, p. 190
  • The most successful ideological effects are those which have no need of words, and ask no more than complicitous silence
    • p. 188

About Pierre BourdieuEdit

  • Pierre Bourdieu [was] a leading French sociologist and maverick intellectual who emerged as a public figure here in the 1990's by championing the antiglobalization movement and other anti-establishment causes.
  • Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, observed that elites in a society typically maintain their power not simply by controlling the means of production (ie money), but by dominating the cultural discourse too (ie a society’s intellectual map). And what is most important in relation to that cognitive map is not what is overtly stated and discussed – but what is left unstated, or ignored.

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