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An Interview WithPierreBourdieu
For a Socio-Analysis of Intellectuals: On Homo Academicus*
Introduction by Loïc J.D. Wacquant
An exceptionally and inventive Frenchsociologist thinker, productive Pierre Bourdieu has, over the past three decades, produced one of the mostambitious and fertile bodies of sociologicalworkof the post-classical era. After a protractedhistory of partial and often distortedreadings his writings, which range widelyfrom scholars,1 among Anglo-American the anthropology of Algeria,the sociologyof language,culture,class and of the social sciences, have politics,to the philosophyand epistemology become one of the major sources of the currenttheoretical renewal. one major thrust of Bourdieu's work has Beyond its apparentdispersion, been to explore the manifold forms of symbolicpower and to unmaskits contributionto the constitutionand reproduction of domination in modern society. This problematicof a political economy of symbolic violence has led him,time and again, to aim his sociological weapons at the preeminent contendersin the symbolic class struggle: intellectuals. In Homo Academicus,a dense volume which packs more than twenty years of intenseresearchand thinking on the subject,Bourdieu (1988a) tackles the issue of practiceand power among French university professors. The end-resultis a livelyand often surprising journey throughthe intricate landscape of academia in France. Combining ethnographic statistical and prosopographicdetail, the book offers vignettes, profiles, a vividdepictionof the structured conflicts and intereststhatdefine and shape the French intellectualspace and link it to the larger arena of of Bourdieu's highlydistinctive politics,as well as a lucid illustration theories,concepts, and methods.Homo Academicus, however,is much more than an empiricalinvestigation of French academics and the May '68 crisis.It is an attemptto providean experimental demonstration for the necessityand potencyof a genuinelyreflexive sociology: Bourdieu's aim is to show thatsociologistscan overcome the antinomy of objectivist and account forthe veryworld explanationand subjectivist understanding withinwhich they live on condition of turningupon themselves the
♦This text is the transcription of an interview conducted in Paris in April of 1989 by Lore J.D. Wacquant, who is also responsible for the translationand notes. The interviewer would like to thank Daniel Breslau for a careful re-reading of the translationand the editorial collective of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology for their suggestions,enthusiasm, and patience on this project. 1. See Wacquant (1989) for a discussion of the reasons for this fragmentedand incomplete reception of Bourdieu's work in America.
BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY
scientific tools for objectivationthat theyroutinely employ upon others relation so as to neutralizethe biases inscribed both in the contemplative between the social observerand her object and in the factof occupying In this sense, a particularlocation in the universeunder investigation. in the specific Homo Academicus also constitutes a politicalintervention politics of intellectuallife. Bourdieu's hope is that the socio-analytic instruments he sharpens in this book can be used in academic struggles to help increase the autonomyof the scientificfield and therebythe of its participants by makingthem more aware of politicalresponsibility the hidden determinations thatoperate withinand upon it. Yet the greatest value of Homo Academicus lies perhaps in the and threatit poses to the present"working consensus"between "theorists" that allows each side to ignore the other while payinglip "researchers" of conceptual and empirical service to the necessityof the integration sacred this work. By consistently divide, Bourdieu forces us effacing conditions of our institutional to re-examine not the critically only which regulates unconscious but also the conduct, scientific professional our daily practicesas symbolicproducers.There should be no mistake while Bourdieu writesabout French of his inquiry: about the implications and theoretical model he puts the concepts, methodology, professors, forth have a greatdeal to reveal about academics and other intellectuals on thisside of the Atlantic.Its ultimatemerit, then,maybe to challenge us to a hunt for homo academicus americanas that is as fiercelessand as the one the Professorof the Collège de France uncompromising launched on his own tribe. Sociology As Socioanalysis Loïc J.D. Wacquant: One might have thoughtthat Homo Academicus would be an easy book for you to write since it deals with French intellectuals,that is, witha world in whichyou have been an actor, and of all your a centralone, fornearlythreedecades. Now,on the contrary, cost has that the one to be Academicus Homo you most works, appears and in research effort-andalso of writing, in termsof time,of thinking, (I think this is revealing) in terms of anxiety: you mention in the forewordyour apprehension about publishing such a book and you devote the entire opening chapter to ward off,and to guard yourself against, a wide varietyof possible misreadings.Whyso much difficulty? Pierre Bourdieu: It is true thatHomo Academicus is a book that I kept for a verylong time in myfilesbecause I feared that it would slip away from me upon publication and that it would be read in a manner opposite to its deep intent,namely,as a pamphletor as an instrument
that etc. . with theawareness will thatthosewhobearsuchcruelty notthink forone moment thattheauthor Glied of this or thatsentence bearsit alongwith with violence willdenounce them. It follows thatthisbookdemands a particular manner of reading.secondwith to of all ascesis There is first an regard writing. it is truethatI have [. There are severalfactors behindthis.2 in thatthe ordinary workrequired scientific is by by a work-a objectivation accompanied labor in the psychoanalytic sense-upon the subjectof objectivation.This is something perhaps 2.Honneth. This explains is found fora partamongphilosophers and thata my"invisible college" certainformof positivistic exhibitionism is no doubt unconsciously forbidden to me as pedestrian. Consequently.[. they as gratuitous what is in anamnesis~a fact a labor cruelty socioanalysis. a number of things thatan analysis of my intellectual including trajectory andSchwibs for 1987a. . If mybook were read as a pamphlet.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 3 It is a book whichis peculiar of self-flagellation." . . level... of I have in mindhere in particular some of the passages which me from someof mybestfriends. to having been initially trained as a philosopher.] Having neverhandled moredata thanforthisbook. thatthis I havehad-I think separated is not of merelyanecdotalsignificancewith dramatic clashes very whoperceived theviolence oftheobjectivation colleagues very accurately butwho saw a contradiction in the factthatI couldobjectivize without of myself.] thinking This nativefamiliarity withtheuniverse thatyouanalyzewas thusan asset but also.. said this. One is not to construe it as a pamphlet or to use it in a self-punitive fashion. Bourdieu(1987a. It is indeedan ascetic book in tworespects.one is reminded at every thatthe moment Working of theobjectivation himself is being theharshest and subject objectivized: most cruel analysesare written with the knowledge and an acute of thefactthatthey awarenesss to he whois writing them. in the rhetoric of data display. . Is thiswhy on sucha largearray ofdata (themere youbase yourwork of all the sources takes and yet listing up several pagesand appendices) ofthem? One cannot butbe struck display onlya smallportion byhow asceticthisbook is. I would soon come to hate it and I would ratherhave it burned. (Bourdieu Kocyba 1986)wouldaccount such as a form of aristocratism that I owe to well. p. very precisely having followed one of thehighest in theFrench educational trajectories sytem. on suchan object..at apply thesame time. on another an obstaclethatyou had to overturn. Reflecting on HomoAcademicus after itspublication. to the first withregard use of data. shortly withrare emotion:"Sociology can be an extremely instrument of 117) writes powerful whichallowsone better to understand whathe or she is by giving one an self-analysis of one's ownconditions of production and of theposition one occupiesin understanding thesocialworld. whileof courseI was doingit all thewhile. and.
I should also add that the scientific of an rendering in-depthsociological analysisof this kind raises verythorny of One would need to invent questions writing. Secondly. slight connotations. "spontaneous skilled at objectivizingothers. has been European Sociology. is an intellectualand provides a definitionbased on biased. partisan of the intellectual a centralproperty furthermore field. there is an ascesis at the level of writing. theywould have encouraged a regressionto the visionof the field.whichis generally ordinary polemic. destroying does not and does over who site that it is the of belong struggles namely. for the sociology of intellectuals is very often the mere and partialvision of the weaknesses of one's conversionof an interested intellectualopponents into a discourse that has all the trappingsof of the object.into the sociology. to track down polemical adjectives. This is most evident at the stage of construction one asks what forinstancein the samplingproceduresadopted: typically. This would be especially true of the sociologyof intellectuals? Yes. In fact.on thismatter. one of the centralproblemsof a sociologyof the intellectual milieu is that intellectuals are. more than that. a laboratory for experimentingsuch a new mode of sociological expression). Being sociologists"who are particularly have a of discourse and explication. At the riskof seemingto moralize. no doubt in the name of a positivistic of data and of their usage which definition of data and results--we identifies science an exhibitionism with wrongly and would be better advised to display the conditionsof construction analysisof these data. criteria..I would say that. unconsciousinnuendos. science.intellectuals professionals their spontaneous much greater than average capacity to transform vision of the social world. . to it. to critically moment. comes at the cost of a kind of a little courage of every scientificity scrutinizeeach word.4 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY that is not always readilyrecognized in the United States.however. appearance sociology. a whole new language for it (the journal thatwe edit at the Center for Actes de la recherche en sciencessociales.. theirself-interested much of sociologyis little a of scientific Besides.I wrote a considerablenumberof pages which could have earned me a succès de scandale forbeing slightly polemic and caustic that I ended up throwing out because. as all social agents. precisely.and so on.thatis.a vigilanceand commitment each line.
system they This applies also to a questionwhichis oftenput to me in the UnitedStates:whydo I not proposeanylaws of the middle range?I think that thiswould first of all be a way of satisfying a positivistic of the kind represented in earliertimesby a book by expectation. to be more other a that reminder have no definition permanent concepts precise.and other the thatillustrate which theorize Each comprises threeparts keyarguments. scholastic almost book. but ratheron the intellectual think that this I on intellectuals field. and of a selection principles texts(by historians and philosophers of science.which which nevertheless containsmanytheoretical and methododological of thegapsor thatwouldmakepeople understand thatmany principles and for which I amreproached are infact conscious refusals shortcomings is a wayof choices. sociologists) three considers French GastonBachelard. (Bourdieu et al.3 (Bourdieuet al. Berelsonand Steiner(1964) whichwas a rote compilation laws established This kindof positivistic partial by the social sciences. 1973).it is.Durkheim. 24). The now-famous network states science is a complex that Duhem-Quine hypothesis thatfaces the testof empirical not on any as a whole:evidenceimpinges experience or conceptbuton theentire net they form. [through rupture verified [les faitssont conquis. acquiretheir meaning only 3. It consistsof a 100-page expositionof the foundational of of "applied rationalism" in thesocialsciences. A constatés]" worthwhile critical introduction of Bachelard's can be foundin Tiles (1984). and capitalare definable. Such notions as habitus. and in thetheoretical a fundamental difference ofperspective introduces of field of theobject Whatis themeaning of this notion construction in of intellectuals.For instance.4 Andwhatis trueofconcepts is trueof Quine has developed recently which of relations.in the particular instance shaping yourproblematic? a definition-I much-a do not like definitions BeforeI put forth de sociologue brief aside on their hereto Le métier usage. following epistemologist centralto the production in the of sociological and that he encapsulates knowledge formula: "facts are conquered with common constructed. is something that sciencemust itself.Marx. philosophy 4. Thereare no such gratification deny laws" in the of laws.I couldrefer but is a didactic. of small. butonlywithin thetheoretical not in isolation. 1973. and more it. thansystemic. stagesthatBourdieu. constitute. particular proposition . Weber. the use of open concepts deliberate thisis a ready-made rejecting positivism-but phrase. field. 5 is nota book it shouldbe emphasized thatHomoAcadémicas Precisely.as social there are world.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU And Practice Field. p. This book (whosetranslation reasons was foryearsblocked forobscurecopyright and has recently of been announcedby De Gruyter) is essential to an understanding Bourdieu's sociologicalepistemology.construits. within a system relations. and howdid it helpyou. "middle-range only systems is the case in physics-Duhem said it some thirty yearsago.Interest. following sense].
6 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY Now. following the formula of a famous des Felds. field. he that the individual. 1987b.is ausgeburt physicist.myattentionfastens on the primacyof this systemof objective relationsover the particles themselves. along withthe constitution can come to exist. Bourdieu'sanalysisof the historical is the artist of the modern "invention" Franceand of the correlative nineteenth-century For book on The Economicsof CulturalProduction. preliminary and art is Bourdieu(1989b). namely.is almost meaningless.exists as such only because there is an to help solve the or an artistic field. active and actingin the field under considerationby the fact that they of the artisticfield in late formation 5. or would like to have. of ourselves. research operations.Indeed. A second general propertyof fields is that they are systemsof relationsthat are independent of the populations which these relations I knowverywell thatin this field. This does not imply that individuals are mere "illusions. as in a magnetic the swayof forcesof attraction." define.of labeling.As soon as the researcheris alerted to this. 1971c.)5 like an artist an artistic fieldwithin whichsomething because it remindsus The notion of field is extremely important even thoughone thatthe true object of social science is not individuals. 1983b. cannot construct (or analysisare generallyattached to individuals necessaryforstatistical and mustbe the focusof the It is the Held whichis primary institutions). 1988c).or subjects-who are sociallyconstituted biological individuals. of aesthetics statement of Bourdieu's sociology . of since this transition is made progressively.he or she is on guard against the temptationof stating7 shall call 'intellectual'" such and such set of agents. or she is in a sense an emanation of the field. And we could say. art have raised of that historians perennial question to the artist. one of image overtheir the general properties of fieldsis thattheyencompassstruggles veryboundaries.Having said this. and where the uncontrolled construction of the object allows us to exclude those who do not fitthe that we have.this or that artist.the notion of fieldhas proved criticalbecause the intellectual world is a terrainwhere we are particularly exposed to social as an unconsciousmannerof satiating usingoperationaldefinitions pulsions of categorization. A concise sketches. in thisinstance."that they do not exist: they exist as agents~and not as as actors. posed in this fashion.as soon as I speak of a field. This or that particular intellectual.and so on.When I talkof the "intellectual for a momentwe are dealing fieldI will find"particles" me (let pretend witha physicalfield-we shall see that it is not the case) that are under of repulsion. since the information a fieldif not throughindividuals.at what point have we moved fromthe craftsman This is a question which. (This is veryimportant intellectual time and again. of a forthcoming centerpiece ' see Bourdieu (1971a. like the electron.
of hermeneutic circle:in orderto construct one mustidentify the field. movement to and fro. my 6. to produce in this effects.Bourdieu(1987d) on the juridical field. everything this is one of theprinciples thatguided be satisfied one cannot work. of researchis to identify these active properties. professors. For further see Bourdieu elaborations. In France." . Thisis indeedthedefinition I usedto construct of agents my sample activein the humanities and social sciencesdepartments des 'faculté whenI study thetotality of thefaculties or disciplines. is. these efficient that ofspecific Thereis thusa sort characteristics. theforms of specific that to construct the within and it.who had who had titles however. and For example. I foundout thatone can exist in the French fieldbecause one detainsacademicpower.definedas the university the reproduction of the institution of powerto control (thatis. control and of the of and allocation financial other positions. Committee which nominates Advisory [comitéconsultatif] university In theUnited I couldnotsayforsurewhatwouldbe States. appointments. possess properties field. capital operate forms of specific There is an endless capitalone mustknowthe field. (1982) on thereligious (1981c. in theresearch is quitelengthy and which process. 1988c)on the politics.Bourdieu(1983a) on the fieldof and Bourdieu and de SaintMartin philosophy. the equivalent at bodybut I believethereare analogousmechanisms workthatare controlled in the definite by people occupying positions field. To say thatthe structure of the field-note thatI am progressively a working definition of theconcept-is defined building bythestructure of the distribution of the specific forms of capitalthatare activein it means thatwhen myknowledge of forms of capital is sound.1989e. one or several of the properties thatone musthavein orderto existas such in thisuniverse.6 Atevery moment thereis something to entry" likea "barrier or a right of entrythat the field imposes and which defineseligibility for participation. lettres]: my sample is a representative random of thecollegeof arts. (1978) and Bourdieu(1989a) on the"field of power.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 7 thenecessary to be effective.theseforms capital. 1987e)and Bourdieuand de Saint Martin Bourdieu on thescientific field.thismeansbeinga member of the University resources). arduous. artistic field. sample.I can differentiate thatthereis to differentiate. and legitimized to enterthe fieldby People are at once founded their a definite One of the goals of possessing configuration properties.1989f) Bourdieu(1981a) on the field of representative Bourdieu(1983b. (1971b.fortheanalysis I retained theset of agents of access. field.
Stuart Hughes' SophisticatedRebels (1988) would be a good instance of this and commonscnsical types and propositions. "Far frombeing. big capital holdersare automatically The field is thus not only of field of forces.one mustbe sure to introducethemin the analysisin a conscious and reasoned manner. althoughit does not space applies proposition and all are revolutionaries holders all small that necessarily capital imply conservatives. which will be transcended in their turn. dependingon the positionthattheyoccupyin the in capital. failures and expectations which they bring to light"(Bourdieu 1988a. objectivetruth because one must acquire both a thorough knowledge of objective command of the native "practical propertiesof the field and sufficient sense. I thinkthat this is a simplified as a to social that whole.only.as certain 'initiatory' representatives act." which is always suspect and touchy to use since it is through can that "spontaneous sociology"and value-judgements native intuition re-enterthe picture. then it means that somewhere I forgot something.a rigorous and fullyexplanatory between positions mustaccount not onlyforobjectivedifferences system that and collectivedistinctions and institutions.a structuredarena within which agents.they fieldbyvirtueof theirendowment(volume and structure) of capital of the distribution tend to act either toward the preservation or towardthe subversionof thisdistribution (thingsare of course much but general more complicatedthan that). 7. (Parenthesis: ordinary intuition and mundane knowledge are quite respectable." etc.)8 Here intuition And if I have built a model that does does the difference comes from?" not differentiate these people.This kindof work is verytime-consuming. the renunciation would have us believe. H. "parochial. p. for these are part and parcel of the of thisuniverse.engendering new hypotheses. analyses and verifiesor falsifiesitself. rather.whereas manysociologistsuse them as when they build the kind of silly typologiesthat I unconsciously.a space of objective force lines.8 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY with an explanatorymodel incapable of differentiating people whom ordinaryintuitionin the specific universe tells us are quite different. but also a battlefield.In the academic universe. thanks to the problems. uncontrolledbricolage of scientific of the 'epistemologicalbreak' 8.gradually more firmly based. 7). but also forthe individual agents spontaneouslyestablish. the field. because theycarrydifferent positions and potentials and have different of boundaries and structure the to very struggle (re)define proclivities.They are.7 criticize at the beginning of Homo Academicus-^et sociologist" way giving raisesquestions:"Where to "universal" vs. bearersof capitalsand. . One last and criticalpoint on this:social agents are not "particles" that are mechanically pushed about by externalforces.a sort of simultaneously inauguraland terminal intuitionis the end product of a long dialectical process in which intuition. of first-hand formulatedin an empirical operation.
sub-spaces follow thatare irreducible to economic specific logics logiceven though havean economy. In short. . subversion or conservation. and thuseliminates actionfrom social strategy analysis.9 posits are external stimuli associated with a position to and that responses them can be somewhat deducedfrom a description of the position. 1988d). ofa capital(or ofa position in a network in the case of "American that mechanically determines the structuralism1*) he or she will follow. 9. One would need to specifythe meaning of the adjective "structuralist. of thepointof viewthey takeon thefield as a viewtakenfrom a point in thefield. the bya specific of the that in fact it is in a field. of struggles whichenjoya degreeof autonomy and space. does noteven havethe structuralism. 1985a. 1986b.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 9 butthey do notstruggle in a manner Correct. On theone handit is proposed thatagentsact under theconstraint causes that are inscribed and we have in the situation of the mechanistic on the otherit is arguedthatagentsacts perspective. while-paradoxically-eschewing intentionality rationality. This tertiwn strategy. of the notion that there can be. 1986a. lacking in the discussion. chapter 3.It playsa pivotalrole in allowing you to breakout of the structuralist visionwhichreducesthesocial agentto the merebearer. in thesenseof Träger.11 Marxist forinstance. It seemsto me. within social concept specific capital. quid is the concept of habitus. even from within their ownapproach.as the "principleof regulated improvisation." is the means whereby Bourdieu re-introduces a strategic dimension into his structural framework and individual See Bourdieu (1980a.to take up this or that agents. type capitalby currency given this is not tautological: thereis a dialecticalmovement of mutual which one termhelpsprogressively to define the specification through other.whichconstitutes the conceptualbridgebetween the mechanism that "propels" definite capital and fieldby providing who bear certainvalencesof capital. 1977. thatthere is a third so far term.conversely. then. freely: they struggle with the positionthey occupy in the field. a wholerange ofphenomena they they ignore thatare critical. The notionof habitus is important in thatit allowsus to escape structural mechanism without into theintentionalist behaviorism relapsing is butitstransfigured which that there Thisperspective expression. thefield Ifone defines form ofcapitaland. They are consistent on thebasisof theperception thatthey differentiated haveof thefield. The concept of habitus. following a logicwhich can be either mechanistic and deterministic or teleological and voluntaristic.however.
constancy. Translator's note:hereBourdieu expressions plays "under theconstraint of causes")and en connaissance de causes(literally sous la contrainte and of finalist of causes") to bringhome the similarity de cause ("withknowledge mechanistic forms of socialanalysis. and we have the finalist perspective.evaluate.Differencesin whereas for others values. (a man of honor is one who does not change at everyturnof the wind). social agents will actively determine. of history. pp.the factthatsome people remainsteadyon the left fromthe standpointof dominant will be viewed as rigidity. totalizing.1981b.1984. Thus. between a fullymechanisticand a fullyfinalistphilosophyof social conduct The notion of habitus accounts for what is the truthof human the factthatsocial agents are neitherparticlesof matter action. social agents are determinedonly to the extent that they determine themselves. The way one accedes to a positionis inscribedin habitus as a systemof durable and transposable To put dispositionsto perceive. are of social trajectory When they are thus embodied. of associated with the group of origin-for instance.11 we mustknow will do in a givenconjuncture. of the whole social fieldand of the accumulatedexperienceof a history Thus. On practice history see Bourdieu(1980a. and history in fields. in the politicalfield. differences such thateventsand situationsthatare perceivedby some as unbearable or revoltingwill seem acceptable. . in order to understandwhat path withinthe specificsub-field. honor values of of are at the that foundation constantia sibi. 95-101. nor littlemonads guided solely by internal reasons. embodiedin habitus objectified 1980c. on the basis of these it differently. natural or even desirable to others to the right when thereis a general shift (Bourdieu 1980c).10 BERKELEY JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY withfull knowledge that theyhave a complete.namely. stubborness.10 and fully-informed vision of the situationand thus produce the response best adjusted to it. executing a sort of perfectlyrational internal of the programmeof action. since the thatphilosophicalreflection paradoxically (but thisis something no difference thereis ultimately Cartesianshas demonstrated repeatedly). such and such a professor what position he occupies in academic space but also how he got there and fromwhat originalpoint in social space. of thefacts. that are determinedby externalcauses. socially and historicallyconstituted categories of perception and whichdetermines them. throughsocial trajectory. For instance." of two forms of the "meeting as the product 11. differences in stances or position-takings that account for disposition to the values [prisesde position] are linked.values of dignity. Social agents are the product of history. and respond to social reality.1986b). of theFrench on thesimilarity 10. this will be a mark of rigor.One can even say that the situation appreciation.
by means of a mere mental .not as these propertiesare in fact given. inasmuch as the determinismsapplying to a given position never operate but through the complex filter of dispositions acquired and articulated over the whole social and of the agent.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 11 Such and such political or social event that divides intellectualscannot be describedas a stimulus whichautomatically determines theirreactions. 1988b). On the otherhand. You thus reject the kind of deterministicscheme that is sometimes attributedto you withthe formula"structure determinespracticewhich reproduces structure"(e. what are.or is it a unique case? One can and must read Homo Academicus as a programmeof research on any academic field. I can understand insofaras dispositions themselves are sociallydetermined.there are of course many (This is the old Spinozistdefinition other formsof freedom. To come to the substantive argumentof Homo Académicas.g.some of the determinisms thatoperate through the relation of immediate complicitybetween position and dispositions. the principal species of capital that are effective?Is the structureof this universeas you describe it found in other underlying academic fields. thenone could that I am in a sense an ultra-determinist. These reactions are socially generated on the basis of situational properties. is true that It say analysesthat take into account both effects of positionand effectsof dispositioncan be perceived as formidably deterministic. with the idea that position in the structure directly determinessocial strategy. G iroux 1982. that is. but as they are the dispositions associated witha definite perceivedthrough positionand in the academic and social spaces. This explainsthatacademics trajectory who occupy similarpositionssynchronically may take up quite different lines of politicalconduct. Circularand mechanicalmodels of this kind are preciselywhat the notion of habitus is designed to help us get away from(see Bourdieu such interpretations: 1980a. In fact. It is difficult to control the first movements of habitus but reflexiveanalysis allows us to alter our thus our reactionto the situation.and of the structuralhistoryof this biographical trajectory position in social space. Jenkins1982. p. 7). This being said.and especially in the Americanacademic field. the main forms of power. Gorder 1980. one can utilize such analyses preciselyto step back and gain distance fromdispositions. but it is one that social analysiscan provide). perceptionof the situationand thereby to control.. of freedom.up to a certainpoint. in the French university world as you analyzed it. The Stoicians used to say thatwhat depends upon us is not the first movementbut only the second one.
Of course. Would the oppositionbe more or less pronounced? differentiated.12 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY the American reader can do the work of transposition expérimentation. Here. namely. It is also simultaneously species for power afieldofstruggles in of different forms ofpower. in which sociopolitical pressuresseem to exert themselvesin more visible fashion. I had even data and documents duringa previous sojourn in the begun gathering United States. university particularly of departments. such a project would be in some ways easier. too. seeksto getaway 12. is more favorableto scientific and "meritocratic11 autonomy competitive from social forces than the French system.especially definition is the following: of poweris a fieldof The field pp. I even think scratch. and discover. I believe that. owing to the fact that there exist series of yearlystatisticsthat are much more elaborate and readily available.A preliminary of power.a good numberof things about his or her own professional universe.often from of indicators which did not exist). this is no substitute fora thorough scientific field. in the familiarity Americancase.(In the French case.throughhomological reasoning.and on universities. Is the capacityof an academic power devoid of scientific to grounding perpetuateitselfgreaterin France or in the United States? Only a full survey could tell us the answer.those of the theoreticalmasteryof a comparative model and the primary with the universe to be analyzed. defined of theexisting balanceof forces between forms forces bythestructure or between different ofcapital.a whole battery that a very worthwhilefirstpass could be done on the basis of a secondaryanalysisof data that are alreadycollected. on professors. the instruments of reproduction and intellectual capital linkedto scientific renown. but that it would be expressed in different.It is a space of playand competition amongtheholders . On thenotion of field theFrench bywhich sociologist thesusbstantialist castof theconcept from of"ruling see Bourdieu class. At the time I even thoughtof puttingtogethera team withsome Americancolleagues to tryto cumulate all advantages. ofpower. 373-427). on the various student and rankings hierarchies bodies. Such research could also give an both by the empiricalanswer to the question that is raised periodically. both scientifically This raises also the problem of the relation of academics to the powers that be. studyof the Americanscientific I toyedwiththe idea of doing such a studya fewyears back. perhaps more forms." (1989a. issue of the greatestimportance. My hypothesis here would be that we would find the main such as that between academic capital linked to power over oppositions. Americansociologyof the French university and by the French system uses of the American model as a instrument of critique of the French as more whetherthisAmericansystem thatpresentsitself system.This is an and politically. we would need to have very precise measurementsof the relation of American scholars to the various institutions that are part of what I call the field of power.12In France. I had to construct.
commissions. acquired throw on another and to ask questions of boththateach couldnot light on itsown. University April1989). scientific to the control of departments." allowsone to ask verygeneralquestions about objects thatare very in time and space. defining play largely On thiscount. It generatesbroad specificand well-demarcated or problems-take for instance thenotion that thefield is the propositions site of struggles around specificstakes-which immediately specify themselves as they are appliedto a concrete historical case. multiplication and of a strong of oppositional the absenceof leftist tradition parties theweakroleof "public and so on. intellectuals. whichthe social agentsand institutions whichall possess the determinate of quantity and cultural sufficient to occupythe specific capital(and economic capitalin particular) dominant within their fields civil thefield of higher field. to and institutes of research which seem foundations policy philanthropic a in the broader directions albeit role hidden.. characterized.The StateNobility possibly generate inwhich I analyze thefunction ofelite ofconsecration [Bourdieu 1989a]. In boards.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 13 in officialadministrative such as membership you have indicators etc. for strategies (. myhypothesis in theuniversity field and thefield of powerare stronger links between one wouldneed to takeintoconsideration theUnitedStates.. unions... .] The fieldof power is organizedas a bellatorts. and which new issues that call for and so on. and conflicts between different levelsof decision-making. positions respective [theeconomic service or thestate. I constantly use the knowledge of one fieldto myown work. political field. In suggest immediately comparisons. theuniversity and theintellectual confront one another in field. (as in the discussions ranking in Medieval Europe)." principle (cultural capital)" (unpublished of Wisconsin-Madison." In yourperspective. thespecificity of thevery structure of theAmerican another difference: the very cursorily. of real. advisory governmental one's attention thatone wouldneed to turn the UnitedStates. (as in"palacerevolutions" confrontations over the relative and of or atores. [.I think Offices of the Dean. a monograph on theFrench youhavenotproduced but studieda set of very thatbear on university generalmechanisms intellectuals one of its specific realizations. committees. This can take the form or warsof religion or ofsymbolic forinstance) physical struggles. principle balancein thesharing of power. at everymoment. crucial. that in thework is. historical through I follow here the Bachelardian idea of the "particular case of the One of the virtues thatit of the notionof fieldis precisely possible. by federalism.Thusin mylatestbook. knights.to whatI calla division ofdomination.) Thisstruggle the imposition of the dominant of domination to a leads.priests. expert reports. trade-unionism. field] aimedat preserving or transforming this balanceof forces. charismatic structure: thedistribution tothedominant ofhierarchization according principle to thedistribution to thedominated (economic capital)is inversely symmetrical according ofhierarchization lecture on "TheFieldof Power. wouldbe thatthe structural of research. It is also a struggle over the legitimate and forthe legitimate of legitimation principle mode of reproduction of the foundations of domination. andespecially thelargeresearch and "blue-ribbon" panels.Of course.
but reallyas a fundamental to it challenge whichaccountsboth for the It is." a desirethanthisdesireitself satisfying of which can yielda variety of subjective chances. Action of Rational paradigm (RAT) may Theory paradigm thisforquite some time have known untenable~we RAT is obviously that have been now and I shall not rehearsehere all the criticisms on to Durkheim Pascal from at itsanthropological levelled foundations. moreoftenthannot.Without this is whatmakes reasonable-and sociology possible or and without of the facts. I believe."I referboth to in Englandand institutions in advanced countries. withfullknowledge mechanically acting of had act as if social causes. after his downto Wittgenstein. utilizethevocabulary preferences strategy. of as in The StateNobility (Bourdieu1989a. People are not fools.. But. knowledge they agents obeying passively thosecauses. 225-228). and thesocialmade ofhabitus in theform between thesocialembodied as a theory not institution in theform offields.and to comparable mechanisms presentin more traditional societiessuch as the Maori of New Zealand.in have internalized chancesbecause they withtheir accordance objective in the form of conditioning.theyact.the true paradigm the what action and for immanent of appearanceof validity logic of The have.." -thusthescheme (Elster1984). of Human Naturethat "no sooner do we knowof the impossibility dialectic Thisongoing vanishes. germane presents and alternative to rationalchoicetheory. byintroducing Copernicus suchas JonElster theside of theRAT. of social actionthatis madepossible The adequateanalysis bythe are socialagents without of habitus that. someauthors '(whoreadswhat than he admits I write and more readilyemphasizesdivergences their to effort make bycontinually paradigm preserve borrowings). of mentalschemes. hopesand objective that desire to come fit mutual for outcomes (when people ranging perfect the to which are objectively (as with disjunction doomed)to radical they or the Don Quixoteeffect forinstance. especially equivalent the United States. of subproletarians Millenarism . itself. a longand complex them. every therival takenfrom in it moreand morecorrections paradigm inserting forinstance of "sourgrapes.Even though Let us return to the problem you evensometimes of interest. theory explains in theend. beingrational. process through on Hume writesin the Treatise of expectations. of the logicof action. or to the as described in medieval of of knights society by ceremony thedubbing MarcBloch.14 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY schoolsin their to the fieldof powerand in the reproduction relation call the "ruling of whatwe commonsensically class.the theory dialectic constituted as a historically practicethat you put forth. likewise.pp.justas Ptolemy system perpetuated on in it moreand morecorrections.
dispositionsmustbe abandonned determinism to theirfreeplay..determinisms operate to their full only by the help of unconsciousness. Science. Albert Hirschman's (1977) The Passions and the Interestsrecounts part of that storyand argues persuasivelyfor its role in the cultural legitimationof early capitalism. a strategy that seventeenth-century following philosophersadvised.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 15 dear to Marx). Conscience. ifit is truethatit is through knowledge of determinations that only science can know that a formof freedom which is the conditionof an ethic is possible.14 But thisworkof management of one's dispositions. in this instance. that explicit Failingan analysisof such subtle determinations work themselves out through one becomes accessoryto the dispositions. The 'unconscious' is indeed never but the forgetting of historythat historyitself the objective structures it itself produces by turning engenders into those quasi-natures that habituses are" (Bourdieu 1980a:94). of habitusas the unchosen principle of all "choices. And Politics Could one say that your method of analysis and the sociology you practice comprise both a theoryof the social world and an ethic? This is a verydifficult question and I would be tempted to answer both yes and no. made possible by an awakening of consciousness[prise de conscience]thatscience can trigger underdefinite 13. At bottom. unconsciousness of the action of dispositions.This means thatagentsbecome something like subjects masterthe relationtheyentertain onlyto the extentthattheyconsciously withtheirdispositions: let them"act"or theycan on theycan consciously the contrary inhibit them through the virtue of consciousness.13 For to exert itselfunchecked. Morality is. then it is also true that science is an ethic-which does not implythat it is a scientisticethic. If what I say is correct. 14. . Or. I would say no if one abides by the old antinomy between the positiveand the normative. which is itself the accomplice of determinism. they can pit one dispositionagainst another. (Leibniz said that one can not fight passion with reason. 1979. withthe help of other passions). 1977). i.it is an ethic because it is a science. but with "slantedwills" [volontésobliques].e. is at work throughout the social world (Bourdieu 1974. with the complicity of the unconscious. I would say yes if we agree to thinkbeyond thisopposition. as Descartes claimed." is possible only with the help of clarification. In point of fact.
scientific end to theeffects of domination which distort by competition preventing peoplewhowantto enterintothegameto do so-byturning or bycutting offresearch downmeritorious forfellowships applications notforget form of censorship butwe must funds (thisis themorebrutal suchas thatit is exercised on a dailybasis).I willsimply state. according her one of herpropositions.butbyparticipating we can say thatit is the scientific fieldwhich likewise makesscientific itsvery freedom through possible functioning.. saying (It goes without an ground ethic. one can prevent thetime. one can clearly conditions science is possible emancipatory onlyifthesocialand political to putan thatmakeit possible are gathered: thisrequires. This "peculiarity discussed in Bourdieu (1981c. very and who expectsalvation inclined to think in singular fashion typically and initiatory from individual in thelogicofwisdom liberation.Thereare softer formulas. that one does not alone. 1989e. the scientific of strugglesin that it is capable of yieldingproducts (true knowledge) that transcendtheir reason" is of the historyof scientific historicalconditions of production. but more find freedom scientificity. of a Cartesian cogitobut a freedom achieved individualfreedom the historically datedand situated construction of collectively through a space of regulated discussion and critique. ofintellectual forget politics see thatan On the basis of everything I have said. academic somebody byobliging censorship through propriety [bienséance]: of his or to expenda considerable who has a lot to contribute portion canonsof to provide to thepositivistic hertime thefullproof.. For Bourdieu. forinstance. . poweris exercised through 1988a.in a that autonomy is the condition of rather coarse and hastymanner. alone. it is not the In other if thereis a freedom words.)[. conquest. of timethatacademic thecontrol (Bourdieu. importantly as one is notan artist Just in theartistic field.pp. toooften that there is a Intellectuals freedom. who are This is something thatintellectuals seldomrecognize.15 of the intellectual. As I showedin Homo Academicus.] Wheredoes this significance to the autonomy of the you attribute and howdoes it relateto youranalysisof scientific fieldlie precisely thesocial world? Therewouldbe too muchto say on this. in the case of acute manner arisesin a particularly This problem can exert forces is a fieldwherepolitical becausesociology sociology fieldis both a field like all others and a unique space 15. 1989f).16 BERKELEY JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY thatthisis not the onlywayto circumstances. ofeach andevery she validation full new whose a from propositions producing greatmany it is mainly could leave to others. 90-105).
at the risk of I would say that we must not forgetthat the soundingquite simplistic.Bourdieuis currently platform a cabinet-level -Committee on theReform of theContents of Education" heading advisory with thelong-term schoolreform thatis thepet project of Rocard's charged spearheading socialist He is also on theboardof Channel7. (Very quickly. Bourdieu has also beeninvolved with thesocialist-led power. the one scientific and the other political. followsthe logic of the scientific field. he will be the editor-in-chief of Liber. European.1988f)and Bourdieu.. universal subject is a historical achievement and that it is through historical in historical struggles spaces of forcesthatwe progresstoward a littlemore universality [Bourdieu and Schwibs1985].scientific effectsin turngeneratingpolitical effects. Is the analysis of Homo Académicas. one does not win one's scientific salvation or one's ethical salvation alone. by means of a demonstration against the exclusion of assistant professorson political grounds or by fighting the use of pseudo-scientific argumentsin issues of racism. culturaltelevision channelin the making.16 Let us pursue this issue of the relationsbetweenscientificsociologyand this political progress. reflection on the intellectualworld and on the possibilities it offersfor more universality. rigorous capable of producing stronger political effects because it is more rigorous? Such an analysishas two kindsof effects. (1985b. AmongBourdieu 's recentpolitical the following bear mentioning. GreatBritain.) It is on condition that we engage in the strugglefor reason and that we engage it in we practicewhat I called a Realpolitikof reason (Bourdieu history-that interventions to reform the university 1987c)~for instancethrough system or through actions aimed at defending the possibilityof publishing avant-gardebooks.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 17 themselves more strongly: the sociological field by some of its properties. and^Germany laterthis to facilitate the yearand designed formation of a European "collective intellectual" capable of actingas a countervailing Overtheyears.1987e. government.For a sample of his struggles stancesand thinking on the roleof sociology in politics and current see Bourdieu issues. It followsthat the claim for autonomyand the conquest of the politicalconditions that make it forindividual autonomization and even possible are absolute prerequisites for the appropriation of instruments of individualautonomization.Italy.etc. 1989d). 1986c. that we can push reason forward. . beyond many convergences.Just 16. CjFDT union and activein anti-racism withthe groupSOS-Racisme.a self-contained project or is it. an international intellectual scheduled to appearas a supplement to majornewspapers journal in France. To put it differently. a publicly-owned. as the means of a more science of the social you just suggested. After the "Reportof the Collègede Franceon the Futureof Education" that drafting informed Mitterrand's 1988 presidential on education. This is a point that separates me from Habermas.but by others it followsthe logic of the political field (Bourdieu 1980b. runs the risk of becoming an end in itself. then. interventions. Casanovaand Simon(1975).Some criticswill object that this reflexive return.
thatare in effect Thereis a wholerange of suchstrategies of subversion this of intellectualsof displacement. Utopian. is to showthattheprinciple work my . are adolescent. byvirtue their But they as dominated thedominant. disappointing unrealistic. adolescents (in thesociological." Partof the difficulty here is that.oneiric.I believethat sociopolitical forces the blindness of intellectuals to the social forceswhich rule the intellectual and therefore theirpractices. amongthe risksthatone must take to defendpositionslike mine." like to avail Marx's expression. Pharisaism (The specific strategies its to us enables book was remarked but I think that grasp my longago. immature. they often taken sideswith thedominated-for structural of reasons. naive. very always contribute to theperpetuation of dominant forces. that some bourgeoisintellectuals themselves of). being principle-consists the issuesat stake. is whatexplainsthat.in particular students). the more of the more distant. Because they engagein forms of struggle thatare unrealistic. and thisin spiteof theefforts invested theshackles of intellectual determinism. of youth. I thinkthat it is the ignoranceof the collective mechanisms andtheoverestimation ofpolitical andethical subordination. I am awarethatsuch a blunt statement is very becauseit goes against theimageof shocking themselves that intellectuals have fabricated: they like to thinkof themselves as liberators.18 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY as I said earlierregarding individual is agentsthat unconsciousness withdeterminism. revolutionary. the And it is truethat have in United disengaged. geographically of all this of all thesemalpractices." dreamof beingthe "corrupters in all meanings subversive their that to tell adolescents it is Granted.)One of thegoalsof and historically. often radical theintelligentsia almost under airs. especially States)."adolescent. notthebiological. havebeen so position among much lessoften less than thanthey couldhavebeen andespecially much believe. they Is this the reason whyyou reject the label of "critical sociology"?You have always kept aloof from everythingthat marches under the banner of "radical" sociologyor "critical"theory? self-proclaimed reflexes You are absolutely one of myfirst (I can evensaythat right as a young a certain was to constitute imageof sociologist myself against to use the Frankfurt School as a sortof "spiritualist pointd'honneur.there is that of disappointing that senseof theterm. All intellectuals and graduate scholars is. collectively. thathas too oftenled the mostsincere does not at all belongin thiscategory intellectuals suchas Sartre-who in myestimation-to remain withthe forces they they thought complicit in trying to escape werefighting. of the freedom of intellectuals. intentions thatis. field. as progressive (or at worst as neutral. younger of theword. I would argue thatthe collective likewise complicit unconsciousness is thespecific thatthecomplicity of intellectuals form of intellectuals with thedominant takes.
will findsuch stakes a field between offers which The relation grotesque-and specific profits. vaguely inspired thatis. of the social locationof the locutor:in this case.everything equal. proclaim But to say "I am an assistant-professor at Grenobleand I am meaning. For instance. (Bourdieu. greater propensity than the children of businessmen who. thisis muchmorepainful useful: and this is wherethenotion of interest becomes things. intoa which under certain itself sublimate académica. objectivations singular. bypsychoanalysis. is a specific interest of theintellectual. served confession. there "Butfrom whereare you intellectual milieu whichconsisted in asking: This false. socially a to libido académica else held have. returnto the point of departure.)This notion was deliberately vicious constructed to destroy narcissism and thisparticularly intellectual of objectivation which consistsof making legerdemain [escamotage] or either andherepsychoanalysis comesin handy. profits desire Thereis a libido académica of very which is thistype specific or impulse whicharisesout of the relation betweena certain habitus. can. narcissistic speaking?From what place am I speaking?" in the as a screen. scientifica capable (It producing thenotion of interest is herea means one to effect ofcontest that allows . libido that in addition of is clear science. of any "I ama bourgeois is devoid I ama slimy rat!1* intellectual. constituted-we that thechildren forinstance. extremely it servesto showthatthereare specific in beingan intellectual.not sociology you practice at effecting a narcissistic returnupon the individualperson of the but at uncovering whathervisionof theobjectowesto what scientist.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 19 to double talkand doubles jeux. I first elaborated the notion of fieldin the case of the intellectual and artistic world and thisis no happenstance 1971a. after '68. and a HomoAcademicus is botha culmination 1971c). conditions. their Intellectuals are particularly inventive whenitcomesto masking was a kindof toposin theFrench interests.(In thisregard. the the discovery in theuniversity position hierarchy. because it touchesupon vital Now. Freudian sense of theword.1971b. one's insertion It follows from this thatthereflexive aims. and blocked a genuine elucidation. a specific a libido habitus and a specific fieldproduces a specific libido. so broadthatthe individual underconsideration becomesthe tokenof To a category so largethathis or her responsibility vanishes entirely. it is to a Parisian to ask whether is to force oneself speaking professor" nottherelation between thesetwopositions thatis speaking my through mouth. often. know of professors. residesin bad faithin one's relation in the intellectual field.
This explainsmuchof the resistance common reflexive sociology. among that thefact Underthis contribution resides in uncovering angle. thereis nothing that and the average. my of the not to the social position intellectual are related. 1980a.commonplace. see itself? of in the position bias inherent Thereis an intellectualist Exactly. structure of the intellectual in the objective occupies and forces a crucial mediation: external factors intellectual field provides structure. 1977. There is. as it is. agents practice practical replaces social utilitarian from of interest and itsdifference 17. are mechanisms it makesus discover they also tied to a a relation therelation to thefather is always to a singular uniquehistory: the in a singular Whatmakesforthe absenceof charm.ifthe reflexivity Psychoanalytic are universal.although reflexive as youuse thesameexpression.)17 disinterested" which epistemological In theend. however. Now.Bourdieu 1982and 1987a).is quitedifferent from youconceive the kind of reflexivity advocated by Gouldner or claimed by ethnomethodologists.of sociological reflexivity painfulness thataregeneric. Bourdieu's usageof thenotion of theSociologist" is discussed in Bourdieu (Bourdieu (1988b) and in The Interest theory 1987a: 124-131). Thisis already itsspecific actuponitsparticipants through only a considerable advanceand we could stop here. thatI discovered in myanthropological evenmoreimportant something thatare associated the factthatthere arefallacies. things things worse than the in the table of intellectual values. banal.g. a paradoxicalreflexivity is better tolerated and received because. father history.. bias that inheresin the scientific A sort of intellectualist project. productions defined in the broadest but to the locationhe or she terms. cannot and whichtherefore the "scientific inscribed within eye"itself. I). sociology it (e. or she is not immediately that to relation which the theworld. all. fieldwork: blunders.20 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY a break with theprofessional of intellectuals as "unattached and ideology is inseparably and social. is thatit makesus discover even. first I believethatit is somewhat theoppositeinasmuch of because fundamentally anti-narcissistic. of the "thinking of thinker. thatare shared. producer The universe. . sociology.and in particulara non-narcissistic encounters intellectuals. thatgo withthe posture withthe position it (see to think action in order depensée] whoretires from man" [homme Book and Bourdieu 1986a. he inwhich from theoutside a universe whoobserves thesocialscientist to relation It is thisintellectualiste involved.
the most among the dominatedforinstance. But thisis not all: ethnomethodology is a depoliticized formof analysis We need thoroughly to sociologize the phenomenological of conformismo not analysisof doxa as the uncontestedacceptance of the daily lifeworld.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 21 have with that between the observer and his object.where proletarianswill take for granted and find acceptable.when it realizes itselfin certain social positions.This is one of the thingsthat separate me fromGarfinkel and ethnomethodology. The two-way relation on the one hand. namely the native relation.but also to discoverthat." conditions of oppression and exploitation that are does not exclude practical sickening to those "on the outside"--which forms of resistanceand the possibility of a revoltagainstthem (Bourdieu 1980c).on "Flaubert's Pointof View"). rests on a relation of of the world that makes one take it for immediatebelief in the facticity granted. as Husserl and Schutz showed. that must be objectivized. There is no way of adheringto the establishedorder that is more undivided. The great virtue of aware thatsuch ethnologicalexperienceis thatit makes one immediately conditionsare not universally as phenomenology would have us fulfilled. I grantthatthere is a primary experience of the social which. believe by universalizing reflection based on the particularcase of the indigenousrelationto one's own society.18This alone between intellectualsand explains a good numberof misunderstandings workers.that is.and whichtendto mirror by Bourdieuwiththe conceptof of viewas a viewtakenfrom a point" "point (see Bourdieu1988d.and so on. This analysis is excellent as far as descriptionis concerned.of conservatism. This relationof belief pre-reflexive acceptance of the world groundedin a fundamental in the immediacyof the structuresof the Lebenswelt represents the absolute. is captured it. even "natural.1989cand 1988c. valid for all perceivingand simplyto establish that it is not universally actingsubjects.it represents radical formof acceptance of the world. the "rightbelief."a croyancegauche). .of structuring on the (of conditioning a position in a socialspaceand thecategories thatcomewith of perception other)between its structure. ultimate form of conservative conformism(it lies below orthodoxy.more complete than this infra-political relationof doxic evidence. there is no fullerway of findingnatural conditions of existence that would be revoltingfor and who does not grasp them somebodysocialized underotherconditions throughcategories of perceptionissued out of this world. We must recognize that the coincidence between objectivestructures which and embodied structures creates the illusionof immediateunderstanding is a particular case of the relation to the world." which presupposes at least an awareness of a "wrongbelief. 18.but we mustgo beyondit and raise the issue of the conditions of possibilityof this doxic experience.
As soon relation to theworld is notan individual ourselves we remind as we recallitssocialconditions of possibility.you increasethe of a liberatingawakeningof of a space of freedom. popular recently "reflexivity" in anthropology (viz.on the one hand. of domination. I use the instruments In Homo Academicus. Thereis a strong unlivable? tension. phenomenological and of its this relation of the neglect of the historical underpinnings thatis. byhelping makespossiblea more about the social world. and for increasing consciousness this will to provideinstruments of acute consciousness thatan overly freedom and thedemobilization to produce.reflexivity knowledge . Reflexivity produce of theprogress of scienceand thusthegrowth Secondly. I arguethatdoxa is political. perhaps. political import. providedby and to make to control thebiasesintroduced byun-reflexivity reflexivity reflection. in thisrelation. politically progressive a paradoxhere in the factthat. there is nota single doxabutvarious specific to different fieldsand regions of social space. definite historical conditions of possibility The doxic Yes and. nihilism. is a tool to science. moregenerally. analysis is notan end in itself is a scientific function: The first and.I mustdisassociate myself completely United the become in that have States. relation to theworld. that. as an inherently scientific. impliedin the doxicunderstanding that effect a radical disenchanting otherhand. possibility reachhistorical consciousness which within rational possibilities brings domination and by the misrecognition excluded hitherto symbolic by on the of the social world.22 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY Whatseparates on thiscountis thatwhere ethnomethodology youfrom are daxak of a of talk they generic experience doxa. of beingand living first there are different manners and. You are verymuchin line withthe modern critique when it is when you presentsociology.youarguethatthere forms ofdoxicexperience. while. projectof the Aufklärung But isn'tthere force. that can alter intheknowledge ofthemechanisms my headway more not less. is thatwhatcomeswith a narrowly analysis secondly. For a Sociological Utopianism scienceis stillthebesttoolforthe If I understand then.depoliticization. the booksbyMarcusand Fisher especially of science (Latour and or by Rosaldo ) and in the sociology in a sortof relativist that culminate and Latour 1988). threatens thepervasiveness of social determinisms twoimportant of itserves as I conceive Reflexive purposes. each of whichwithits and efficacy. Woolgar1983. youcorrectly. you simultaneously almost to struggle we mustcontinue makesthissocial worldin which between a contradiction.on reflexivity of the forms from thiscount.
both insideand outside of academia." This effectof unveilingcarriesan unintendedcritiquethatwill be all the strongerthe more powerful science is and the more thoroughlymechanisms of occultationand misrecognition are neutralized. The Durkheim thus:"Sociology in no wayimposes quotation (1921. But as long as I do not know what goes on in my backyard. end-goal is in mybackyardin order to look at what lies behind its fence. 42).(The rather passive and unconsciouscontribution naive idea which some American radicals have objected to me. This is your anti-propheticside.Foreword). A rigoroussociologycan anything.especiallyabout themselves-andcan have at least the negativevirtueof makingit more difficult for them to bringa to symbolic domination.compelthe truth themto veil themselves evermore.19 is not at all a form of "art for art's sake.p." But I must come back to my question: doesn't the disillusionmentreflexivity produces also carrythe risk of condemning us to this "passively conservativeattitude1* from which the founder of the Année sociologique was already defending himself?20 There is a first level of answer to this question which is the following:if the risk is only to disenchantand undermine adolescent does not last beyondintellectual rebellion. as Bachelardsays." and Passeron write Bourdieu "oneunderstands that is on theside of historical forces which.INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 23 politics. 267) begins conservative attitude. Bachelard wrote responsible that "there is no science but of that which is hidden.11 upon man a passively 21." Its Thus reflexivity is not to it is to findout what contemplatemyprivatebackyard." forcing 20. On thecontrary. . "If'there is no sciencebutof that which is hidden'.) You remindme hereof Durkheim'saphorism (1921:267) whichsays that sociology "increases the range of our action by the mere fact that it increases the range of our science. then it is not that great of a loss. if onlyby epoch." is here an alibi in the etymologicalsense of the term: I displace my gaze elsewhere~alibi~in order not to have to look in mybackyard. (1977. free intellectuals from their illusions-and first of all fromthe illusion help that theydo not have any. "If.p. every mustfight the social prophet within thathis publicasks him to incarnate" sociologist (Bourdieuet al.I cannot see I do nothing but projectmyblindness.whichoftentimes adolescence.21and perhaps one of the things that distinguishesyour work fromthat of Foucault 19. which consists in invoking"true political struggles. 1973.'everychemist must fight the alchemist within'. sociology at every of relations of powerto unveilthemselves.
as longas thosewhomitserves (sometimes operate. . thatit does nothing mustknow science In reality.23 conditions theirhistorical ofthebodyin of the-training" hereto Foucault's refers 22. between sociologists forwhat I would call a sociological and Utopianvoluntarism. of society(and thiseven thoughits intentionis exactlythe opposite). Adolescents can feel such thingsand theyshow no indulgenceforthem. the clinic.22 the drilling [dressage] operate through it is not pleasurable to disenchantadolescents.There is a whole range of thatadolescentsgraspverywell because theyhave not yet lost all things theirillusions. theconditions to perpetuate a position of powerto concentrate do abouttheso-called as conservative tendency laws.the hospital. moment a certain characterizes tendential laws.24 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY There is. that bear on adolescents of different assumed by the constraints forms.and so on). cynical. of the bodies.againstthe academic doxa whichmakes forthe fact withtheirlips thatthereare people who can say veryrevolutionary things while theireyes say veryconservativethings. against the hypocrisy an inclination of submissive adults. have made. since there are quite sincere and profoundthingsin adolescent revolts: to go against the establishedorder. Discipline itself law thatperpetuates 23. I think that Marx's alternativebetween utopianism and sociologism is somewhat misleading here: there is room.at least in France.Utopianresponses to out a full general social constraintsthat allow one to avoid carrying and especiallyof the differential analysisof the specifichistoricalforms.the asylum. it is true. in time. the school.at a certain thegameand have themeansto set of thosewhodominate in favor functions and which .thelogicwhich game. itself. . The notion of disciplineas used by Foucault is a rathercoarse one: it refersto formsof social constraintthat are very external and adolescent revoltsrepresentsymbolicdénégations. a rationaland politically utopianism. laws and especiallyof of social a true of freedomafforded knowledge by The politicaltask of social science of validity. a side of Foucault's work which theorizes the revolt of the adolescent in trouble with his family and with the institutions that relay familypedagogy and impose "disciplines"and regulations(that is.especially Naturally. "A social law is a historical onlyas longas we let it to them)are in unbeknownst thatis. I believe that sociology does exert a disenchanting and political in myview. One can claimto positeternal of itsefficacy. effectbut this.theyare not disenchanted. more subtle than those that of social constraint and also of forms milieux.theyhave not done the kindof about-facethat mostof the people of mygeneration. resignation conscious use of the limits that is. sociologists of in theform morethanrecord. realismthatis the absolute antithesis the one I that a certain kind of sociology. marksa progresstowardsof formof scientific While it is true of naive utopianism. Bourdieu (1977) analysis and Punish. and perhaps particularly laws to the as submission inexorable can encourage sociologism practice.
To conclude.1985).INTERVIEW WITH BOURDIEU 25 is to stand up both against irresponsiblevoluntarismand fatalistic to contributeto defininga rational utopianismby using the scientism.i.. This argumentis also a way of disavowingan image of politics that is verydear to intellectuals.. it can becomethe stakeof struggles. are social conquests (Bourdieu and Schwibs.They must first opportunity be chairs there must to this with the fact that. it took the Dreyfustrial. insofar as an is oftentimes a mannerof erectingoneself a mausoleum autobiography whichis also a cenotaph. Rather.or herselfthroughthe exercise of free will and throughpolitical self-proclamation. the idea of a rational zoon politicón who constitutes him. sanctioned by the state.. Firstbecause it looks pettybourgeois. Extremesare always more chic and the aestheticdimensionof political conduct mattersa lot to intellectuals. the most unthinkable and in the is inscribed in the objectivity.. isn't Homo Académicas a manner of sociological biography?You writein the prefaceto the English translationthat the book "comprisesa considerable proportionof self-analysisby proxy"? I would rather say that it is an anti-biography. 1984). the rulesof the game in factand in law. grips of sociology(which impliesspecificforms of philosophyor departments of alienation). This book is both an attemptto test the outer boundaries of reflexivity in social science and an enterprise in I could sum thisup by sayingsomething self-knowledge. that philosophyor social science as officialdisciplines. Those who take up this position should heirsof a long line of men and women know that theyare the historical who have been placed in historicalconditionssuch that they had an come to to help freedomadvance a little.. Such a is veryunlikely among intellectuals. it took the Paris Commune. world.sociology wrong. Institutions of freedom. quite banal but little remarked: the most intimate truth of what we are.e.who feels compelled to speak intellectual as an efficacious myth on in South Africa. carry projectforward.such as social security. repressionin Chile and Romania or up apartheid gender inequality at home. ought to have been invented. knowledge of the probable to make the possible come true.that is. True political actionconsists of usingtheknowledge of the probableto increase the likelihood of the possible" 46).The of tendential lawsis thecondition of successof actions uncovering aimedat proving thesocial them Just as it'denaturalizes' 'de-fatalizes' it..it does not look radical enough. I would not quite put it thatway.In order for the to exist. (Bourdieu1980b: . unthought [impensé].it took Zola and manyothers(see Pinto. As soon as a law is stated. realistic. I argue that this project itselfis an historicalproject.. utopianism sociological.
determinations. Paris:Editions (Forthcoming and Stanford Press. Outline University Cambridge ofA Theory of Practice. of theconsciousness ifonlythrough the onlyone. Press. Oxford. 1964 HumanBehavior. French Since1968." See also Bourdieu's likea subject. Paris:Editions 1980c 1981a et l'histoire entrel'histoire "Le mort saisitle vif. concludes 24."Scolies 1: 7-26. Press. Young (ed. Illusion.1989).26 BERKELEY JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY of the social positionsthatwe have held in the past and thatwe history. Bourdieu opensThe socio-analytic preface (1980a:40-41) within us to discover with thosewords: internality.Les relations incorporée sociales32-33:3-14. Actesde la recherche politique. Knowledge 1974 1977 1979 1980a de sociologie15"Avenir de classeet causalité du probable. University Logic of Practice. 1980b Questions de sociologie." Actesde la recherche du champ "La représentation Eléments pour une théorie politique.  "Intellectual Fieldand Creative Pp. to contribute." and ControlLondon:Collicr-Macmillan. Steiner Berelson. 1981b "Men and Machines. of MicroPaul. Pierre Bourdieu. Polity de Minuit. Lemert (ed. 1971a "Champdu pouvoir. 1971c. I960. en sciences réifiée. concluding chapter 1982 that thelong.sociology thecommon of rarity. en sciences sociales37: 3-24."Pp." (1987g) "The Biographical something ." Pp." Revue française 1 (January-March): 3-42.). 161-188 Project. theillusion behind banality it also of narcissistic all the impostures of denouncing has not onlythe effect egotism. 257-292in CharlesC. 1981c of Fieldand the Social Conditions of the Scientific  "The Specificity the Progress of Reason.). presently occupy. Cambridge: Algeria Cambridge University as The in English Le senspratique. offers perhaps of of the world. externality forcing HBy LogicofPractice in thesearchforthe unique. Leçon surla leçon. New York: Harcourt BraceJovanovitch. Advances and Kegan Londonand Boston:Routledge and Macro-Sociologies. Paris:Editions (Forthcoming of In OtherWords). 304-317in KarenKnorr-Cetina an Integration Toward and Methodology: in Social Theory Cicourel. as the in English de Minuit. champintellectuel de sociologie12-3: 1971b "Genèseet structure du champreligieux. abandonedto the forces otherwise to theconstruction.24 References Bernard and G.A. et habitus de classe." Revue française 294-334. Cambridge: Press.D." and AaronV. de Minuit. a means. in MichaelF. New York: ColumbiaUniversity and Renewal Sociology: Rupture Press.
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