Continuing to work with, against and beyond Bourdieu
As we outlined in the fi rst chapter, this book is about the work of Pierre Bourdieu as applied to the fi eld of physical culture. As scholars and citizens there is much utility in working with others’ ideas and learning from past practices; in this case the ideas and practices from Pierre Bourdieu’s life work. He has provided us with a set of ideas that cohere in a way that captures some of the complexity of society and related social spaces and people’s lives. Within these spaces he has attempted to illustrate the simultaneity of people’s practices that constitute, and are constituted by, the social spaces they are positioned by, and positioned in, through their practices. We are the social spaces that also create us; at the same time we are not necessarily cognisant of the degree to which we do or do not have agency in that creation. Contemporary neoliberal times in many so-called ‘advanced’ societies and their educational institutions, such as universities, increasingly seem to be discouraging the production of new ideas, critique, refl ection, creativity and intellectual debate, instead preferring standardization, marketization, conformity, information consumption, instrumental rationalization, and a demonizing of intellectual critique as ‘leftist’ politics rather than the hallmark of an educated society and citizens. Nevertheless, while we debate the effi cacy of ideas as a way of summarizing and making sense of what is going on in our daily and cultural practices, and as a way of seeing our worlds differently in order to create new, different and better possibilities, learning to work with ideas through research is one of our challenges as academic workers and arguably as thoughtful citizens!
Pierre Bourdieu and Physical Culture
Sociological Methodology and Research Methods