Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1930-) Social science professor at the Collège de France.

Bourdieu's sociological approach may be described as "structural constructivism," starting from the objectivity of social structures but taking the subjective experience of these structures into account. This is expressed in his core concepts, habitus and fields , which stress the objectivity of dispositions, practices, and spaces of positions but allow for recombinations and innovations. He critically analyzed Weber's theory of religious power using his notion of field, that is, differentiating categories of laypersons in relation to various religious agents. He also analyzed the domestication of those dominated by religion, and in the field of symbolic power, he made a study of the French bishops.

Karel Dobbelaere


P. Bourdieu, "Une interpretation de la théorie de la religion selon Max Weber," Archives Européennes de Sociologie 12(1971a):3-21

P. Bourdieu, "Genèse et structure du champ religieux," Revue Française de Sociologie 12(1971b):295-334

P. Bourdieu and M. de Saint Martin, "La sainte famille," Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 44-45(1982):2-53.

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