Richard Jenkins
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Pierre Bourdieu
From the model of reality to the reality of the model
in Human agents and social structures
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This chapter shows how Pierre Bourdieu claimed to have transcended the 'ruinous opposition' between objectivism and subjectivism. Bourdieu argued that objectivism had no option but to attribute causal powers to abstract reifications, or to use vague or nebulous concepts to explain away social reality rather than explain it. Misrecognition looks suspiciously like 'false knowledge' and, once again, underlines Bourdieu's emphasis on objective rather than subjective knowledge. The final background current in Bourdieu's theory is structuralism. The chapter suggests that objectivism, determinism and structuralism may be mutually entailed in each other, particularly in the French context. Looking at Bourdieu's intellectual biography it may be defensible to suggest that, in his case, structuralism was the cornerstone. Subjectivism, on the other hand, is a matter of attending to the unreflexive individual experience of self, others and the environment, the 'apprehension of the world as self-evident, "taken for granted".

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