The American Sociologist

, Volume 48, Issue 3–4, pp 436–452 | Cite as

From False Premises to False Conclusions. On Pierre Bourdieu’s Alleged Sociological Determinism

Article

Abstract

Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological determinism is a recurrent issue in French as well as in Anglo-Saxon sociology. Accusations of ‘determinism’ are very often coupled with the enunciation of a mechanistic and rigid structuralist vision of society which would result in a ‘reproductivist’ approach of social relations. In such a perspective, social change would be hardly possible. Without ignoring Bourdieu’s particular attention to structural constraints, in this article my intention will be to refute the accusations of social determinism by showing in a synthetic manner why it would be if not completely erroneous, but at least simplistic to define Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology as one only focusing on reproductive tendencies and thus being incapable of dealing with the possibility of social change.

Keywords

Pierre Bourdieu Social theory Determinism Reproduction Habitus 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EHESSParisFrance
  2. 2.ELTEBudapestHungary

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