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Journal ArticleDOI

Luc Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology: A Bourdieusian critique:

01 Aug 2020-European Journal of Social Theory (SAGE Publications Ltd)-Vol. 23, Iss: 3, pp 310-327

AbstractLuc Boltanski’s programme of pragmatic sociology, now gaining substantial attention among English-speaking sociologists, was forged in opposition to the supposed excesses and blind spots of Pierre ... more

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15 Jan 1995

184 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article seeks to revisit the French social space 30 years after Pierre Bourdieu first mapped it in Distinction. Using data from the International Social Survey Programme, it deploys geometric ...

5 citations

Cites background or methods from "Luc Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology..."

  • ...…constructed models of the social spaces of Sweden, Germany and the US, among many others, using the same data source, variables and methods as here (Atkinson, 2020b), and then had the opportunity to construct fresh models of the same three spaces using detailed bespoke surveys (Atkinson,…...


  • ...…of social differentiation and distance, so they are all in tune with Bourdieu’s multidimensional, topological brand of relationalism – all that differs is the type(s) of variable they can array (see further Atkinson, 2020b; Blasius & Greenacre, 2006, 2014; DiFranco, 2016; Joye et al., 2020)....


  • ...The ordinal structure of the variables was re-confirmed in the CatPCA using transformation plots (see Atkinson, 2020b)....


  • ...Whatever the misreadings underpinning that perspective (see Atkinson, 2020a), it still raises the empirical question of whether belief in the myth of merit outweighs denunciation of the system and how exactly it corresponds with the social space....


  • ...…of France, i.e. the proliferation of credentials and the growth of low-paid service work since the 1970s, therefore, and unlike in other countries (Atkinson, 2020b), the dominated class seems to remain almost as homogeneous in terms of capital composition in 2009 as it did three decades earlier....


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to highlight the interest of using diverse sociological approaches and models for studying anti-doping (developed outside the epistemic community of researchers working on doping) and to point out the sociological interest of the doping issue for social sciences. First, we will present a model developed by pragmatic sociologists for describing social issues in society that could assist researchers in describing the complex reality of the anti-doping issue. The model proposes to examine the ways in which axiology, devices and realities are articulated in anti-doping related criticism and the existing circulation between the six social logics described in it. Its use could allow researchers to apprehend local and global transformations in the system and the articulations between these two levels. Second, we will resume the most relevant results of a research that analysed the prevention activity using an approach of work sociologists. A part of this research sought to identify the meaning that people working in prevention gave to their activity. The received answers were manifold; five ways of “doing prevention” were identified, to which institutions were committed differently. The described panorama showed a dispute where the debate as such was not tabled and nobody seemed able to definitively close the dispute, not even the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Finally, an ongoing research will be presented. It focuses on the procedures-based management implemented by WADA and aims to compare its development with the implementation of similar management systems by other institutions. The research could allow us identifying possible related risks, for example, the loss of the pleasure of working, the emergence of fear or the increasing work pressure. We hope the paper will encourage other social researchers to renew the usual theoretical approaches.

3 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Critical, and in particular Bourdieusian, sociology of education is often suspicious about educators when they describe their ideal students. It tends to see these descriptions as euphemisations, s...

2 citations

Posted ContentDOI
20 Jul 2021
Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of Luc Boltanski’s account of the multifaceted relationship between mysteries, conspiracies, and inquiries in modern societies. It is striking that, although this important aspect of Boltanski’s oeuvre has been commented on by several scholars, his principal contributions to this area of investigation have been largely overlooked and received hardly any serious attention by researchers in the humanities and social sciences. This paper is an attempt to fill this noticeable gap in the literature. Thus, rather than covering the entire breadth and depth of Boltanski’s writings, the paper will focus on the valuable insights his work offers into the relationship between mysteries, conspiracies, and inquiries. To this end, the analysis is divided into two parts. The first part comprises an overview of Boltanski’s central theoretical contributions to our understanding of mysteries, conspiracies, and inquiries. The second part offers some critical reflections on important issues arising from Boltanski’s examination of the relationship between mysteries, conspiracies, and inquiries – especially with regard to its limitations and shortcomings.

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TL;DR: The Morphogenetic Cycle: the basis of the morphogenetic approach 7. Structural and cultural conditioning 8. The morphogenesis of agency 9. Social elaboration.
Abstract: Building on her seminal contribution to social theory in Culture and Agency, in this 1995 book Margaret Archer develops her morphogenetic approach, applying it to the problem of structure and agency. Since structure and agency constitute different levels of stratified social reality, each possesses distinctive emergent properties which are real and causally efficacious but irreducible to one another. The problem, therefore, is shown to be how to link the two rather than conflate them, as has been common theoretical practice. Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach not only rejects methodological individualism and holism, but argues that the debate between them has been replaced by a new one, between elisionary theorising and emergentist theories based on a realist ontology of the social world. The morphogenetic approach is the sociological complement of transcendental realism, and together they provide a basis for non-conflationary theorizing which is also of direct utility to the practising social analyst.

2,841 citations

01 Jan 2005
Abstract: A century after the publication of Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism, a major new work examines network-based organization, employee autonomy and post-Fordist horizontal work structures.

2,724 citations

01 Jan 1995

1,678 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article argues that many situations in social life can be analyzed by their requirement for the justification of action. It is in particular in situations of dispute that a need arises to explicate the grounds on which responsibility for errors is distributed and on which new agreement can be reached. Since a plurality of mutually incompatible modes of justification exists, disputes can be understood as disagreements either about whether the accepted rule of justification has not been violated or about which mode of justification to apply at all. The article develops a grammar of such modes of justification, called orders of worth (grandeur), and argues that the human capacity for criticism becomes visible in the daily occurrence of disputes over criteria for justification. At the same time, it is underlined that not all social situations can be interpreted with the help of such a sense of justice, which resides on a notion of equivalence. Regimes of love, of violence or of familiarity are systematic...

872 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Feb 2008-Poetics
Abstract: Based on Danish survey data subjected to correspondence analysis, this article aims at carrying out a critical assessment of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social differentiation in advanced societies as a multi-dimensional phenomenon. As his theory goes, capital volume (economic + cultural capital) and capital composition (the relative weight of the two) are the main dimensions of social differentiation, which structure the space of social positions as well as the space of lifestyles. The central discussion of the article concerns the character of cultural capital, and the role it plays in the formation of social divisions. This leads to a discussion of four core questions: first, are there signs of a strong individualism and, correspondingly, a weak social structuring of lifestyles? The study does not find support for this view. Second, does classical highbrow culture play a central role as a marker of distinction? Cultural capital in a contemporary Danish context appears to be less related to traditional highbrow cultural consumption than in Bourdieu's studies in France some decades ago. Third, is there a rise in the omnivorousness and tolerant taste within the cultural elite? This study answers negatively, as those adhering to the preferences that are most typical for the cultural elite tend to simultaneously avoid or mark distance to popular expressions of taste. Fourth, are there traces of new forms of cultural capital? The study uncovers a cleavage between a global orientation or a form of cosmopolitanism or “connectedness”, on the one hand, and a local and traditional orientation on the other. The conceptualisation of such differences are questioned, however, as current sociology appears to conceptualise social divisions rather systematically in ways that automatically euphemise the orientation of intellectuals towards the world.

206 citations