- Paperback: 333 pages
- Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (August 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804720118
- ISBN-13: 978-0804720113
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Logic of Practice 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
'A writer whose intellectual passion is continuously supported by empirical observation, Pierre Bourdieu is particularly attractive to English traditions of social criticism. An English translation of this important book is very welcome. What was formerly exciting but arcane in his work becomes excitingly accessible because he explains his various theoretical standpoints as part of a single grand project: to interpret the whole of human communication, including the use of the body in all possible spatial and calendrical frameworks.'Mary Douglas
From the Inside Flap
In this, his fullest statement of a theory of practice, Bourdieu both sets out what might be involved in incorporating one’s own standpoint into an investigation and develops his understanding of the powers inherent in the second member of many oppositional pairs—that is, he explicates how the practical concerns of daily life condition the transmission and functioning of social or cultural forms.
The first part of the book, “Critique of Theoretical Reason,” covers more general questions, such as the objectivization of the generic relationship between social scientific observers and their objects of study, the need to overcome the gulf between subjectivism and objectivism, the interplay between structure and practice (a phenomenon Bourdieu describes via his concept of the habitus
), the place of the body, the manipulation of time, varieties of symbolic capital, and modes of domination.
The second part of the book, “Practical Logics,” develops detailed case studies based on Bourdieu’s ethnographic fieldwork in Algeria. These examples touch on kinship patterns, the social construction of domestic space, social categories of perception and classification, and ritualized actions and exchanges.
This book develops in full detail the theoretical positions sketched in Bourdieu’s Outline of a Theory of Practice
. It will be especially useful to readers seeking to grasp the subtle concepts central to Bourdieu’s theory, to theorists interested in his points of departure from structuralism (especially fom Lévi-Strauss), and to critics eager to understand what role his theory gives to human agency. It also reveals Bourdieu to be an anthropological theorist of considerable originality and power.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
On the other hand, the first part of the book contains what I consider the "meat". In part one, Bourdieu attempts to present, in its fullest and most abstact expression, a philosophical system which gives impetus to his work as a sociologist, as an analyst of "practice". In part One we find the "objective-subjective" arguments, habitus, doxa, and all sorts of reference to strange concepts like "structured structuring structures" of the mind. (I wonder what that is?) One noteworthy part of Part One is Bourdieu's discussion of the body, the body's relation to the habitus etc and how people use their bodies as a function of the habitus. Missing, however, are in depth discussions of language, symbolic power, fields, or the idea of cultural capital which make some of Bourdieu's other writings so interesting to non-anthropologists.
One last note: if you are familiar with "Outline of a Theory of Practice" you will find that this book bears a strong resemblance to the aforementioned. This book, in fact, appears to be Bourdieu's effort, 20 years after the publication of "Outline" to revisit the same material, address some of the original objections and challenges made to "Outline" and otherwise refine the expression of his ideas. If you are looking for a document that captures in one place the current state of affairs of Bourdieu's philosophical/anthropological program, look to this document rather than the "outline" since much Bourdieu's ideas are more completely and currently expressed here. Also, if Bourdieu is a new writer to you, this is a very poor first Bourdieu book to read, however. Everything that is wrong with Bourdieu's writing style is exponentially exagerated in this text. Once you are used to Bourdieu's style and ideas, however, this book can become an invaluable resource.
Modern sociology is populated with politically correct social pleaders of all sorts, and Bourdieu was one himself, especially in the last two decades of his life. But, modern sociology also has produced penetrating, insightful, and socially relevant analysis of social problems through the skillful collection and analysis of data and the use of basic, low-level but robust social theory. Bourdieu began his career with such down-to-earth social analyses, mid-way between sociology and anthropology, starting with The Sociology of Algeria (1962). Indeed, throughout his life, Bourdieu made sure not to wander too far from concrete data collection, analysis, and interpretation. However, Bourdieu was educated in the Continental philosophical tradition, was conversant in the languages of Marx, Hegel, Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and the rest of the gang, and had pretentions of theoretical grandeur. He learned the Continental manner of saying little with many erudite words, choosing his political commitments to maximize his popularity with the intellectual elites.
It is an indication of the sad state of sociological theory that Bourdieu's contributions could be called "theory" at all. In fact, Bourdieu invents a few neologisms, such as habitus, illusio, and symbolic capital, but these terms have not become, and likely never will become, part of a general sociological theoretical discourse. Bourdieu the theorist is an idiosyncratic social philosopher, a thinker more like an artist than a scientist, like a poet who is appreciated and analyzed, but not copied. Indeed, there is a considerable amount of pleasing poetry in this book, The Logic of Practice. For instance, Bourdieu tells us "Practice has a logic which is not that of the logician." (p. 86) Of course, this is a knock-off of Blaise Pascal's famous "Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. (The heart has its reasons that reason knows not at all)," but cute just the same.
The intellectual message of The Logic of Practice is very simple. There are two main strands of sociological theory, subjectivism (phenomenology, ethnomethodology, etc.) and objectivism (structuralism, functionalism, systems theory). Both are wrong because each is one-sided in recognizing part of social reality and attempting to subsume the remainder as an epiphenomenon. Now, to my mind there is a perfectly reasonable consolidation of subjectivism and objectivism in structure/action theory, according to which social institutions create the space of possibilities within which strategic action takes place, as well as supplying the incentives for role-performance. Thus structure structures practices and practices maintain and transform structures. We can model this system using game theory, the rational actor model, the sociological theory of norms, and the like. Bourdieu, of course, will have none of such a solution (he has mounted vigorous, if to my mind uniformed, critiques of each of the building blocks of what seems to me to be the correct approach). Rather, he opts for creating the new term habitus, which is a sort of philosophical solution to the problem. "The conditionings associated with a particular class of conditions of existence produce habitus, systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them." (p.53) Habitus is thus neither objective (it is not a structure because it resides in individuals) nor subjective (it is not thought, it has no conscious aims, it is not reasoned, it is not choice).
Unfortunately, Bourdieu's eloquence and erudition are not likely to turn habitus into a major theoretical concept. It is of course true that individuals do not re-solve problems anew each time the pertinent situation arises. One brushes one's teeth without heavy calculation, and one drives to work each day traversing the same route as the previous day. Living one's life is an exercise in routinization, and it takes a considerable alteration in structural conditions or personal situation to induce one to revise one's habitual choices. However, the concept of habitus does not solve any problems, but rather describes the situation of the individual whose problems have already been solved, or at least accommodated. An integration of structure and subjectivity must say how the content of habitus is determined and changes over time. Of this, the logic of practice gives us no hint.