Fields as Dimensions of Context: An Application of Bourdieu’s Sociological Theory to Modelling of Context of Social Action

  • Tomasz Zarycki
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4635)


The present paper is an attempt to construct a theoretical model of the context of social action based on a reinterpretation of the sociological theory of social fields as developed by Pierre Bourdieu. Using his notions of different types of capital and other tools, a multidimensional model of context is presented in which dimensions are defined as fields affected by (and affecting) a given social action. Focus in the paper is on discursive behaviour, but following the assumptions of linguistic pragmatics, discourse is considered here just as a specific form of broadly defined social action. Thus an attempt is made at linking studies on context from linguistics with those from sociology. Social action is theorized, as in Bourdieu’s models, as a process of conversion of different types of capital. The strategic use of particular types of capital is considered as another dimension of contextualization of social action.


sociology discourse analysis pragmatics social field social capital cultural capital contextualization social stratification Bourdieu Bakhtin 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomasz Zarycki
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Social Studies, Warsaw University, ul.Stawki 5/7, 00-183 WarszawaPoland

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