• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is the first comprehensive description of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of culture and habitus. Within the wider intellectual context of Bourdieu's work, this book provides a systematic reading of his assessment of the role of `cultural capital' in the production and consumption of symbolic goods. Bridget Fowler outlines the key critical debates that inform Bourdieu's work. She introduces his recent treatment of the rules of art, explains the importance of his concept of capital - economic and social, symbolic and cultural - and defines such key terms as habitus, practice and strategy, legitimate culture, popular art and distinction. The book focuses particularly on Bourdieu's account of the nature of capit

The Historical Genesis of Bourdieu's Cultural Theory
The historical genesis of Bourdieu's cultural theory
Dialectical Materialism and Genetic Structuralism

Despite the rules of the game in which distinction is achieved through the denial of predecessors, Bourdieu himself is in a line of descent from Lukács, Goldmann and Benjamin. The theory of practice developed by Bourdieu is dedicated to the classical aims of social criticism, especially the Enlightenment critique of magic. In this respect, it extends Marx's analysis of capitalist society, with its fundamental concern for demystification and its insistence that ‘the real is the relational’. Despite Bourdieu's methodological refusal to engage in prediction of the future, there is an important continuity with some of the guiding ideas of the ‘Hegelian’ work of Lukács.

In 1923, Lukács inventively combined ...

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