Chapter 1: An Insider/Outsider Frenchman Next Chapter

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An Insider/Outsider Frenchman
An insider/outsider frenchman

Bourdieu's career to date can usefully be divided into three phases, and these can be briefly stated before giving a detailed account.

There was, first of all, an introductory period between 1950 and 1970 in which he trained as a philosopher and gradually made his way intellectually towards sociological practice by way of ethnographic fieldwork. Although there was a philosophical origin for those things that he found empirically interesting or problematic, intellectual circumstances ensured they were formulated in the current anthropological frame of thinking. Bourdieu was interested in doing practical phenomenology, but his early work appeared to be influenced by what contemporary American anthropologists were calling ‘acculturation’ studies and to be relating itself uneasily to the prevalent French practice of Lévi-Strauss. In ...

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