Intellectual politics and Europe
in Democracy, social resources and political power in the European Union
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The often contradictory process of symbolic integration into the evolving European political field has had a significant impact on public debates concerning the politics of Europe, and also concerning France as a whole and its political and intellectual heritage. Two models of political engagement for European intellectuals coexist today: the model of the oppositional intellectual and that of the functional intellectual. France is a country where intellectual culture is highly developed and where the oppositional intellectual rules. Specific historical traditions of the status of sociology as an academic discipline enabled Pierre Bourdieu to elaborate his particular political vision of society. In France, starting with Auguste Comte and later Émile Durkheim, sociology has been the intellectual heir of metaphysics, philosophy and religion. In Bourdieu's view, political parties, and especially the French Socialist Party, have neglected social movements and intellectuals.

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