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The Social Structures of the Economy, Pierre Bourdieu, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005

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This paper is divided into two sections. The first section presents a concise survey of the intellectual itinerary of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in the French intellectual field. Then, after a short presentation of Bourdieu’s The Social Structures of the Economy, I proceed to a broader discussion of his economic sociology. After a presentation of Bourdieu’s key conceptual contributions, I question some aspects of Bourdieusian sociology with regard to its ambition of historicising the ‘economic field’. I identify the limitations of this historicising project in the extension of the metaphor of the market to virtually all fields of human activities and in a concept of capital which fails to grasp a social relation specific to the historical development of capitalism.

Affiliations: 1: Département de sociologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Email:


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