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Bourdieu's Theory of Social Fields: Concepts and Applications



This work aims to introduce the reader to Pierre Bourdieu's theory of fields, to evaluate it critically and, through case studies, to test its implementation in the analysis of new objects. While the use of Bourdieu's concept of the habitus has given rise to countless discussions, the literature strangely remains more silent on the theory of fields, although it lies at the heart of his work. A series published by Editions du Seuil, started and initially edited by Bourdieu, includes a number of monographs that apply the theory of fields;r some journals have devoted whole issues to explicitly mobilizing the theory in order to study specific areas, and a growing number of works make use of it. However, critical discussions that seek to give an account of this theory both in general terms and in particular areas remain rare. The aim of this work is to fill that gap. One of the hypotheses put forward in this book is that the theory of fields constitutes an adequate tool for explaining and understanding the social world but that its use must be rigorously circumscribed and correspond to certain methodological principles.
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... Meanwhile, the implementation of the test is a broader/macro scope. Domain produces a structure of rules binding to individuals within (Hilgers & Mangez 2014). Then, the rule affects teachers' preparation for APKGM. ...
... It originates from an individual's cognition as they develop schema to reconcile their value beliefs with external stimuli and response behaviours. As such, an individual may have many dispositions in different fields (Hilgers and Mangez, 2011). Research has found that temporal disposition influences goal-setting, decision-making and learning behaviours, and ultimately firm propensity for corporate entrepreneurship (Chen and Nadkarni, 2017). ...
Purpose The authors investigate the durability of international entrepreneurial cognitions. Specifically, they examine how advanced business education and the Covid-19 pandemic influence international entrepreneurial orientation disposition (IEOD), and subsequently entrepreneurial intentions (EIs), to better understand the psychological dynamics underpinning the drivers of international entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach Against the backdrop of emerging entrepreneurial cognition and international entrepreneurial orientation research, the authors theorize that both a planned business education intervention (voluntary) and an unforeseeable radical environmental (involuntary) change constitute cognitive shocks impacting the disposition and intention to engage in entrepreneurial efforts. The authors use pre- and post-Covid-19 panel data ( n = 233) and uniquely identify the idiosyncratic cognitive effects of Covid-19 through changes in the OCEAN personality assessment. Findings Findings demonstrate that when individuals' perceived psychological impact of Covid-19 is low, business education increases IEOD. Conversely, the effects of a strongly perceived Covid-19 impact reduce the risk-taking and proactiveness components of the IEOD scale. The authors trace the same effects forward to EIs. Research limitations/implications This paper contributes to a greater understanding of the resilience of entrepreneurial dispositions through an empirical test of the IEOD scale and shows its boundary conditions under planned intervention as well as unplanned externally induced shock. Practical implications The study offers a first benchmark to practitioners of the malleability of international entrepreneurial dispositions and discusses the potential to encourage international entrepreneurial behaviour and the individual-level dispositional risk posed by exogenous shocks. Originality/value The study uniquely employs a baseline measure of all our constructs pre-Covid-19 to discern and isolate the pandemic impact on entrepreneurial dispositions and intentions, responding to recent calls for more experimental designs in entrepreneurship research.
Communication is the invisible force that creates dynamics in every social field. Without communication, there is no dynamics; without dynamics, there is no social field. Social forces – social institutions, social networks, and cognitive frames – shape the social field. Actors can utilize these social forces in their communication strategies with the purpose to shape the public frame. The process of communication and the level of awareness of the communicators about the influence of social forces on the communication process is the subject of this article. That is how social forces influence communication and how communicating agents use them to shape the public? The article offers a theoretical model of communication, based on the SOFIA approach to the analysis of social fields. The model defines several categories in each social force that affect the communication process. It is a complex process in which the social forces influence each other, and at the same time, they exert a joint influence on the public. Formal actors (groups) are categorized into eight different segments, and each of them has its agent-communicator (person). In all positions in the text, the term "agent" refers to "agent-communicator" and by this term, we mean a representative of a group who communicates with the public on behalf of a particular group. Always the term agent - communicator, in our paper is associated with a group, with a formal actor, a formal agent.
Differentiated modern society is commonly viewed as an aggregation of various fields, yet the question of their boundaries is often a silent one. This article builds on this lacuna to argue that cultural globalization should be acknowledged and added to the equation. Drawing from two distinct branches of the sociology of knowledge, Bourdieusian field theory and Meyer’s world society, an integrative approach is presented here. It rests on three propositions: scriptwriting is related to fields; script may be diffused into other fields; and a global taken for granted can emerge. With an eye toward the humanitarian‐development nexus, the article examines the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (established in 1950). Utilizing archival materials, changes the organization underwent, and the transfer of knowledge from the development field are documented. The article argues that resistance to the diffusion of social knowledge may occur, but some shared understanding is nonetheless gained.
Bourdieu’s concept of habitus claims to solve the problem of the individual/society duality. However, the concept of habitus appears to be inadequate to explain the idiosyncratic features of individual field actors’ practices. In this article, I argue that to explain the particularity of individual habitus, we must appreciate the operationalization of relational logic in field theory. I further argue that individuals learn to prediscursively identify certain types of practices as meaningful for a given field position (and not others) because of their embodied experiences of movements within the historically specific relational structure of the field. Thus, the same individual can exhibit multiple and even contradictory practices depending on the person’s relational position in the field. I illustrate this insight by discussing the political habitus of the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.
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Pierre Bourdieu, ses getiren çalışmaları ile 21. yüzyılın önemli düşünürleri arasında yer almaktadır. Sosyoloji pratiğine radikal şüpheyle başlayan Bourdieu‟nun nihai hedefi, sürekli ve yeniden üretilen iktidar ilişkilerini gün yüzüne çıkartacak eleştirel bir sosyoloji anlayışı geliştirmektir. Söz konusu inşa sürecinde; mevcut sosyolojik gelenekteki epistemolojik ve metodolojik rakip anlayışlarla karşı karşıya gelmiş, mevcut düaliteleri diyalektik bir ilişkiye tabi tutmuştur. Sosyal alanda var olan mücadeleleri ve tahakküm ilişkilerini deşifre etmek amacıyla kendisine has metodolojik araçlarla toplumsal pratikleri merkeze alan bir “toplumsal praksis bilimi” inşa etmeye çalışmıştır. Söz konusu bu çalışmada merkeze alınan tema: “Bourdieu, yaşantısal ve entelektüel etkilerle birlikte pratik kuramını nasıl ortaya çıkarmıştır ve pratik kuramı bağlamında sosyal alanı ve sosyal alanın bir alt dalı olarak dinsel alanı nasıl açıklamaktadır?” sorusudur. Bu kapsamda ilk olarak Bourdieu‟nun zihinsel habitusunun oluşumundaki entelektüel ve sosyal etkiler, Bourdieu sosyolojisinin temel postülatları ele alınmıştır. Müteakiben pratik kuramının; “alan, habitus, sermaye, sembolik iktidar ve sembolik şiddet” şeklindeki temel kavramları üzerinde durulmuştur. Pratik kuramının söz konusu bu temel kavramları çerçevesinde de sosyal alanın önemli bir alt alanı haline gelen dinsel alan teorisi incelenmiş; bu kapsamda “dinsel alan, dini aktörler, dinsel habitus, dinsel sermaye ve dinsel sembolik şiddet” temalarına değinilmiştir. Kavramların açıklayıcılığına dair; İslam toplumları ve Türk toplumu bağlamında yer yer çeşitli sosyolojik çözümlemeler geliştirilmiştir. Bourdieu ve pratik kuramının geniş ve sistematik bir şekilde ele alınması nedeniyle; bu çalışmanın hem bilim sosyolojisi, hem sosyolojik teori hem de din sosyoloji bağlamında Türk bilim literatürüne katkı yapacağı düşünülmektedir.
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In this theoretical paper, I argue that organizational network theory is incomplete and lacks an important social dimension. There is a need for a more nuanced view where the social is added back onto the mathematical framework. I find that the concept of the field is the best theoretical representation of this social dimension. Unfortunately, the field concept is too complex to integrate with network theory. Therefore, I attempt to reduce the complexity by focusing on one important aspect of this complexity: field boundaries. Instead of defining walls as unconnected structure, we shift the focus onto field boundaries across which network connections can be established. Connectedness might temporarily weaken boundaries, but behind many newly-built network connections lie more solid institutional barriers. Without understanding these hidden field boundaries, it is difficult to understand the benefits and constraints of networking. I propose that these hidden boundaries impact traditional network effects such as the positive benefits of cohesion or the brokerage benefits of structural hole spanning and play an intricate role in network flows and evolution. Instead of applying the concept of networks to fields, this paper applies the concept of fields to networks and opens up a new frontier in network research.
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