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date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter abstract This chapter spotlights four transversal principles that undergird and animate Bourdieu’s research practice, and can fruitfully guide inquiry on any empirical front: the Bachelardian imperative of epistemological rupture and vigilance; the Weberian command to effect the triple historicization of the agent (habitus), the world (social space, of which field is but a subtype), and the categories of the analyst (epistemic reflexivity); the Leibnizian-Durkheimian invitation to deploy the topological mode of reasoning to track the mutual correspondences between symbolic space, social space, and physical space; and the Cassirer moment urging us to recognize the constitutive efficacy of symbolic structures. The chapter also flags three traps that Bourdieusian explorers of the social world should exercise special care to avoid: the fetishization of concepts, the seductions of “speaking Bourdieuse” while failing to carry out the research operations Bourdieu’s notions stipulate, and the forced imposition of his theoretical framework en bloc.

Keywords: Chapter, Bourdieu, Bachelard, Weber, Leibniz, Durkheim, Cassirer, social space, symbolic power, social topology, epistemological vigilance

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