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Pierre Bourdieu's Theory of Practice - Book Report/Review Example

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This includes structuralism, neo-Marxism, ethnomethodology, symbolic interactionism and symbolic approaches which derives itself from hermeneutics. Bourdieu's Outline of a theory of practice evaluates these different approaches by questioning a set of presuppositions that appears to be present in most of them. In this regard, Bourdieu deviates from the normal sociological practice of confining inquiry into how natives account for their ethnological world as it places into the limelight how sociological accounts construe these phenomena as objects of analysis. In other words, the aim is no longer to relate how men and women of different culture attaches meaning to their ways but in the way sociologists and anthropologists interpret the ways of these people.
In this paper, I will be providing a review of Bourdieu's work which will try to capture the essence of the composition. It should be noted that the complexity, depth and volume of Bourdieu's idea makes it a daunting task and the discussion provided can indeed have limitations. Nonetheless, I have tried to encapsulate and highlight the main points that Bourdieu makes in his philosophical undertaking.
Bourdieu forms his analysis through the por...
These modes includes the phenomenological, theoretical and practical knowledge and are further discussed in the following passages

2.1 Phenomenological Knowledge
According to Bourdieu (p. 32), phenomenological knowledge "makes explicit the truth of primary experience of the social world, i.e. all that is inscribed in the relationship of familiarity with the familiar environment, the unquestioning apprehension of the social world which, by definition, does not reflect on itself and excludes the question of the conditions of its own possibility" (p.32).
This statement, when simplified, is the attempt to make people appreciate/recognize that there are certain peculiarities in our own ways that we often take for granted because we have become all too familiar with the process. This field of endeavor has earned its special place in sociology and anthropology and is dubbed as ethnomethodology. Prominent works in this field include that of Harold Garfinkel (1967) which made the world recognize that there are 'conventions of understanding' governing our taken-for-granted activities. These understandings make it possible for interaction to take place because there is no need for constructing its meanings again with other people. These they simply are the conditions for the negotiation of the social world.
Within the bounds of these conventions of understandings or 'common sense' dictums, people interact with one another and interpret the actions of others. In other words, people have the tendency to account other people's actions thru the 'common sense' perceptions that they acquire from their previous encounters/interactions. These unspoken rules govern our processing of a person as dead or getting a phone call started (Schegloff ...Show more


Pierre Bourdieu's Outline of a Theory of Practice is recognized as a major educational material for anthropologists and sociologists due to its discussions on the theoretical foundation of sociological practice. It is highly acclaimed for its philosophical approach to the methods, postures and approaches used in the study of human behavior and interaction…
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Pierre Bourdieus Theory of Practice
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