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Page 1

PhiliP S. GorSki, editor

Bourdieu and
Historical analysis

Page 2

POLITICS, HISTORY, AND CULTURE
A series from the International Institute at the University of Michigan

series editors

George Steinmetz and Julia Adams

series editorial advisory board

Fernando Coronil

Mamadou Diouf

Michael Dutton

Geo√ Eley

Fatma Müge Göcek

Nancy Rose Hunt

Andreas Kalyvas

Webb Keane

David Laitin

Lydia Liu

Julie Skurski

Margaret Somers

Ann Laura Stoler

Katherine Verdery

Elizabeth Wingrove

Sponsored by the International Institute at the University of Michigan and published

by Duke University Press, this series is centered around cultural and historical studies

of power, politics, and the state—a field that cuts across the disciplines of history, soci-

ology, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies. The focus on the relation-

ship between state and culture refers both to a methodological approach—the study

of politics and the state using culturalist methods—and to a substantive one that treats

signifying practices as an essential dimension of politics. The dialectic of politics, cul-

ture, and history figures prominently in all the books selected for the series.

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4 philip s. gorski

TABLE 1 Results of Searches for Bourdieu’s Works in the Social Science Citation Index, 1958–2010

Title Pub. Date
Fr./Eng.

Total
Citations

U.S. Eng. Fr.

Algerians 1958/1962 95 27 12 9

Uprooting 1964/2010 61 20% 20% 16%

Inheritors 1964/1979 367 27 11 25

Craft of Sociology 1968/1991 132 7% 10% 40%

Reproduction 1970/1977 1035 37 12 12

Outline of a Theory 1972/1977 4117 47 17 3

Algeria 1960 1977/1979 104 42% 21% 6%

Distinction 1979/1984 4608 34 21 5

Sociology in Question 1980/1993 459 13 26 13

Logic of Practice 1980/1990 2152 34 20 6

Lang and Sym. Power 1982/1991 1416 40 18 3

Homo Academicus 1984/1988 668 27 21 6

In Other Words 1987/1990 878 31 20 7

Pol. Ontol. of Martin H. 1988/1991 54 33 30 2

State Nobility 1989/1996 395 24 20 13

Rules of Art 1992/1996 263 28 20 12

On Television 1996/1998 111 42 11 7

Pascalian Meditns. 1997/2000 398 24 24 6

Firing Back 1998 83 20 30 7

Masculine Dom’n. 1998/2001 315 25 18 13

Soc. Struct’s. of Econ. 2000/2005 141 21 20 14

Bachelors’ Ball 2002/2007 24 21 25 17

Sketch for Self-Anal. 2004/2008 30 27 30 13

Source: Based on ‘‘cited reference’’ searches in the Social Science Citation Index for French original and English
translation of each work.

available in translation for a longer period of time? It is a fair question, but

that is not what the evidence suggests. Since its translation in 1979, Outline of a

Theory of Practice has been cited an average of 85 times per year in English

language social science articles. The equivalent figure for Distinction is 114.≤

This is many multiples more than the average citation rates for Homo Academ-

icus (17), The State Nobility (6.9), The Rules of Art (8.0), and The Political

Ontology of Martin Heidegger (1.4). The books on Algeria, meanwhile, average

less than 1 citation per year.

These averages could be misleading; influential books tend to receive in-

creasing numbers of citations per year and may reach their peak citation rates

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introduction 5

TABLE 2 Anglophone Citation Dominance of Selected Bourdieu Works in the Social Science Citation
Index during Their Initial Reception, 1964–1984

Title Pub. Date
Fr./Eng.

Total
Citations

U.S. Eng. Fr.

Inheritors 1964/1979 367 27 11 25

Reproduction 1970/1977 1035 37 12 12

Outline of a Theory 1972/1977 4117 47 17 3

Algeria 1960 1977/1979 104 42% 21% 6%

Distinction 1979/1984 4608 34 21 5

Source: Based on ‘‘cited reference’’ searches in the Social Science Citation Index for French original and English
translation of each work.

only after several decades. It could be that the more historical works of the

middle and later periods are simply further back on the trend lines. But that is

not what the evidence suggests. Figure 1 charts the number of English-language

citations for Distinction, Outline of a Theory of Practice, The Rules of Art and

Homo Academicus in the first fifteen years following translation. The Rules of

Art and Homo Academicus have indeed gradually trended upward, but the

trend lines are much, much flatter than those for Outline of a Theory of Practice

and Distinction.

It could also be that the stature of Outline of a Theory of Practice and

Distinction is owing to their universally recognized quality and originality. If

so, we would not expect to find any significant di√erences in the English and

French citation patterns. On the other hand, if the pattern of English transla-

tion and reception did play a role, we would expect these citation patterns to

be very di√erent. Tables 3 and 4 provide some support for both hypotheses.

While the rankings are slightly di√erent, the top four works are the same.

This suggests that quality and originality do go some distance toward explain-

ing which works are cited most. But they do not go the whole distance. For

there are at least two notable di√erences between the French and English

citation patterns. The first is that the French citations are much more evenly

distributed across Bourdieu’s works. The standard deviation for the English-

language distribution is 13.4, while that for the French-language distribution

is 5.4. A second and related di√erence is that the books on Algeria and the

three other historically oriented works noted above account for over 13 per-

cent of all French citations, but only about 6 percent of the English citations.

So while Bourdieu’s works on reproduction are the most influential in both

the Anglophone and Francophone worlds, his works on transformation ap-

pear to have been less influential in the former than the latter.

In sum, if we imagine a two-dimensional space of possible Bourdieus, with

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introduction 15

can be used to track and explain social transformation, in both objectivizing

and subjectivizing modes.

I have chosen to arrange the contributions in this way in the hope that it

will enable the reader to evaluate more easily the fruitfulness of the Bourdieu-

sian program for themselves. But this is certainly not the only way in which

the contributions could have been arranged—or might be read; they could

also have been arranged thematically, and readers interested in how Bour-

dieu’s approach can be applied to a particular topic might prefer to read the

volume in this way. Some of these thematic groupings are not immediately

obvious from the chapter titles, so it may be useful to indicate them here. For

example, those curious about what a Bourdieusian style of political sociology

might look like will be interested not only in the essays by Goldberg and me,

which deal, respectively, with the symbolic moment of political struggles over

social policy and the politics of nationalism and nationalist movements; they

may also wish to read Ermako√’s discussion of parliamentary abdications in

France and Germany between the wars, Steinmetz’s analysis of German colo-

nialism in China and Africa (Steinmetz 2007b, 2008), or Sapiro’s discussion of

the synchronization of the French literary and political fields during the Nazi

occupation. Those interested in the relationship between social class and bod-

ily habitus, by contrast, will find much material in Defrance’s analysis of the

role of competitive sports in the formation of bodily habitus in modern

France and in Steinmetz’s insights about how colonial administrators’ evalua-

tion and appropriation of native culture were shaped by their class location

and social trajectory. Those working on the sociology of intellectuals or the

production of culture will naturally want to read Sapiro’s piece on French

literature alongside the chapters by Camic and by Emirbayer and Schneider-

han. No doubt still other constellations are possible.

Notes

1. All of the figures given in this paragraph are based on a ‘‘cited references’’ search for

the French original and English translation of each book in Web of Science in late

August, 2010, including the Social Sciences Citation Index, the Humanities Index,

and Social Science and Humanities Conference Proceedings.

2. Based on a ‘‘cited reference’’ search in the Social Sciences Citation Index from the

year of translation through the end of 2009.

Page 23

Philip S. Gorski is professor of sociology and religious studies

and co-director of the Center for Comparative Research at Yale

University.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bourdieu and historical analysis / Philip S. Gorski, ed.

p. cm. — (Politics, history, and culture)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

isbn 978-0-8223-5255-6 (cloth : alk. paper)

isbn 978-0-8223-5273-0 (pbk. : alk. paper)

1. Bourdieu, Pierre, 1930–2002—Political and social views.

2. Political sociology. I. Gorski, Philip S. II. Series: Politics,

history, and culture.

hm479.b68 b66 2012

306.2—dc23 2012011601

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