The intellectual reception of Bourdieu in Australian Social Sciences and Humanities

Woodward, Ian and Emmison, Michael (2009) The intellectual reception of Bourdieu in Australian Social Sciences and Humanities. Sociologica, 2-3/2009 1-22. doi:10.2383/31370

Author Woodward, Ian
Emmison, Michael
Title The intellectual reception of Bourdieu in Australian Social Sciences and Humanities
Journal name Sociologica
ISSN 1971-8853
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2383/31370
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2-3/2009
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Editor Anna Carola Freschi
Yuri Kazepov
Marco Santoro
Place of publication Bologna
Publisher Societa Editrice il Mulino
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Abstract In this paper we have chronicled the affordances – and repudiations – of Bourdieu’s sociology in the context of Australian social sciences and humanities. The story of Bourdieu’s incorporation is slow and patchy. It is characterised by indifference or lack of appreciation, as much as it is by adoption or even serious consideration. Few, if any, Australian scholars demonstrate that they had seriously considered Bourdieu’s oeuvre in the 1970s and 1980s. This is despite fertile ground for appreciation of his work in this era, given the extent of research into matters of class, education, and social reproduction within sociology and also the burgeoning discipline of cultural studies. The dominant Australian paradigms in these fields took principally from neo-Marxist models of class developed predominantly in America at the time, while the field of cultural studies was dominated by a mix of the British tradition, semiotics and post-structuralism. We show this pattern to be a function of intellectual networks within and across institutions, of the scholarly training and trajectories of key players within these disciplines and of the traditional historical concerns of scholarship within these fields. All of these things meant that Bourdieu’s oeuvre was likely perceived as exotic, drawing upon relatively arcane traditions such as structuralism, or based upon the deployment of idiosyncratic methods and models which held little resemblance to the US and UK-centric worldview of Australian scholars. Our analysis shows, however, a belated appreciation of Bourdieu’s work across the social sciences and humanities beginning in the late 1990s and beyond, especially within educational studies and investigations into cultural consumption.
Keyword Bourdieu
Academic discipline
Cultural studies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Created: Fri, 09 Apr 2010, 13:48:24 EST by Debbie Lim on behalf of School of Social Science