From this point of view, argument thinkers could differentiate among fields by exploring the structures of argumentative form effectively applied in social theory. Therefore, the research on argument fields facilitated the methodical study and inclusion of argument without having to create general claims (Swarts 2003). This perspective provided a concrete step toward the understanding of the mechanics of social authority in actual social settings (Swarts 2003).
This essay is an attempt to discuss how and why Pierre Bourdieu describes social theory as a ‘combat sport’. This essay argues that the theory of power and practice of Bourdieu offers a solution to the chronic dilemmas facing theorists engaged in a ‘combative’ social theory of argument.
As a matter of fact, the theory of Bourdieu offers a practical way to reunite the contemporary challenges confronting field theory. The claim of Bourdieu that social theory is a ‘combat sport’ is founded on discursive struggles and the symbolic representations of social authority at the base of the prearranged social authority forms (Jenkins 2002). He tries to understand and elaborate how the discursive practices of an individual are an outcome of, and function to preserve, social authority. His assumption attempts to reconcile the conflicts in social science, to include “the seemingly irresolvable antagonism between subjectivist and objectivist modes of knowledge, the separation of the analysis of the symbolic from that of materiality, and the continued divorce of theory from research” (Bourdieu & Wacquant 1992, 3). Bourdieu, from the beginning of his career, has been deeply doubtful of the social scientific dichotomies orienting theory and practice (Jenkins 2002).
Bourdieu’s assumption functions to go beyond numerous traditional dichotomies of social science.