Kampen om den symbolske orden. Pierre Bourdieu i samtale med Axel Honneth, Hermann Kocyba og Barnd Schwibs

  • Pierre Bourdieu


Pierre Bourdieu, Axel Honneth, Hermann Kocyba & Bernd Schwibs: The Struggle for Symbolic Order – An Interview with Pierre Bourdieu This interview with Bourdieu concerns six main topics: (1) the intellectual climate in France after the Second World War, (2) the ethnological turn, (3) overcoming structuralism, (4) the symbolic forms of domination, (5) problems of philosophical grounding, and finally (6) sociological research in relation to political practice. During the interview, Bourdieu describes his early dissatisfaction with the existentialist trend dominating France after the war and with the snobbish in¬tellectualism existing at the Ecole Normale Superieure. He also explains how his eth¬nological studies took form, namely as a moral and political reaction to the conflicts in Algeria, where he was on duty as a conscript. He explains how these studies developed into an analysis of the expectations and experiences of the proletariat and the lumpen proletariat. After rejecting structuralism, the interview focuses on important concepts such as “habitus“ and “rule-following“. It brings out the discrepancy between Honneth’s and Bourdieu’s position on the relation between the “living subject“ on the one hand and group-oriented, socially determined goals on the other. Next, Bourdieu’s main theory of the symbolic forms of domination is discussed, including the empirical research behind it and the “personal“ motives for adopting it. Despite many common ideas, however, the differences between the critical tradition, to which Honneth belongs, and Bourdieu’s thinking remain. Honneth sees an implicit “utilitarian“ premise in Bourdieu’s theory, an interpretation Bourdieu strongly rejects.