Understanding Bourdieu aims to explain Bourdieu's work in a lively and accessible style with extensive reference to popular culture. Bourdieu's work is central to contemporary social and cultural theory as well as research and teaching, however, understanding Bourdieu can be a challenge. This book uses a range of examples from popular culture to flesh out the material in accessible terms. As such it is an ideal primer for all beginning sociology and cultural studies students.
Chapter 5: Government and Bureaucracy
Government and Bureaucracy
The eighteenth-century English philosopher David Hume wrote, with reference to government, that:
Nothing is as astonishing for those who consider human affairs with a philosophic eye than to see the ease with which the many will be governed by the few and to observe the implicit submission with which men revoke their own sentiments and passions in favor of their leaders. (quoted in Bourdieu 1994a: 15)
Bourdieu is perhaps less astonished than Hume, though he is equally interested in the processes and mechanisms by which ‘the many’ are governed by ‘the few'. But while his work is in many ways very politicised, most of his publications don't deal directly with government, or take its various institutions as the focus of attention. All ...