Pierre Bourdieu: Transformation Societies and the Middle Class

Eva Barlösius

Abstract


This article reconstructs Pierre Bourdieu’s œuvre from his interest in transformation societies. The focus is on fundamental change in the objective structure of societies, a common characteristic of all three he treated in depth—Algerian in the 1950s and French in the 1960s and late 1900s. Bourdieu asked what uncertainties and miseries people feel when their habitus is overtaken by rapid change in objective structure. He concluded that their experience often results in a hysteresis effect and a split habitus and that members of the middle class in particular, because of their uncertain position in the social structure, suffer from both phenomena.

Keywords


Bourdieu; Algerian Society; Habitus; Middle Class; Trajectory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2014.2.1312

Eva Barlösius is Professor of Sociology with a focus on social inequality and social structural analysis at the Leibniz University of Hanover. For several years she has been working on and with Bourdieu's theory of habitus and social space. Her current research interests include the sociology of food, social science studies and the sociological conception of public services and infrastructure. She is the coordinator of the Master’s Program on “Science and Society” at the Leibniz University.
email: e.barloesius@ish.uni-hannover.de