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Practice and symbolic power in Bourdieu: The view from Berkeley


In 2014–2015, Aksu Akçaoğlu was a visiting scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he had come to work with Loïc Wacquant on his research on “the conservative habitus” in contemporary Turkey (with the support of the TÜBİTAK Science Program). In this dialogue, he invites Wacquant to explicate the philosophy and pedagogy of his celebrated Berkeley seminar on Pierre Bourdieu. This provides an opportunity to revisit key conceptual nodes in Bourdieu’s work, to spotlight its anti-theoreticist cast as well as the influences of Bachelard and Cassirer; to clarify the relationships between social space, field, and symbolic power; and to warn against the seductions of “speaking Bourdieuese.”

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