The Routledge Companion to Bourdieu's 'Distinction': 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Bourdieu's 'Distinction'

1st Edition

Edited by Philippe Coulangeon, Julien Duval


326 pages | 63 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415727273
pub: 2014-11-06
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pub: 2014-10-30
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This edited collection explores the genesis of Bourdieu's classical book Distinction and its international career in contemporary Social Sciences. It includes contributions from contemporary sociologists from diverse countries who question the theoretical legacy of this book in various fields and national contexts. Invited authors review and exemplify current controversies concerning the theses promoted in Distinction in the sociology of culture, lifestyles, social classes and stratification, with a specific attention dedicated to the emerging forms of cultural capital and the logics of distinction that occur in relation to material consumption or bodily practices. They also empirically illustrate the theoretical contribution of Distinction in relation with such notions as field or habitus, which fruitfulness is emphasized in relation with some methodological innovations of the book. In this respect, a special focus is put on the emerging stream of "distinction studies" and on the opportunities offered by the geometrical data analysis of social spaces.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From Distinction to distinction studies Part 1: The genesis and career of Distinction 1. Elements for the history of a research: Constructing social space, from «anatomie du goût» to «Distinction» by Monique de Saint-Martin 2. The international career of "Distinction" 3. The intellectual reception of Bourdieu in Australian social sciences and humanities Part 2: The legacy of Distinction in France 4. From « petit-bourgeois » to « petits-moyens », an invitation to explore short-range upward social mobility 5. Cultural intermediaries: reproduction strategies, resistance to social downgrading and self-fulfilment 6. Continuity and change: Cinematographic tastes in France 7. Culture at the individual level: Questioning the transferability of the habitus dispositions8. Cultural distinction and material consumption Part 3: Variations on Distinction 9. The Swedish social space of 1990: Investigating its structure and history 10. Constructing social spaces: Scandinavian experiences 11. Cultural Distinctions in an Egalitarian Society 12. Bourdieu's space revisited: The social structuring of lifestyles in Flanders (Belgium) 13. A carnal critique of the judgment of taste: Corpulence, class bodies and symbolic violence 14. The Australian space of lifestyles in comparative perspective 15. The space of cultural practices in Mexico 16. Emerging forms of cultural capital

About the Editors

Philippe Coulangeon is senior researcher at the CNRS. His areas of interest include sociology of culture, lifestyles and consumption, social stratification and class relations. He has published several papers and books in French and English, mainly about change and continuity in cultural inequalities

Julien Duval is junior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), where he is a member of the European Center for Sociology and Political Science, Paris. His publications in French deal with economic journalism, cinema, Welfare state and correspondence analysis. He has published in English "Economic journalism in France" in Rodney Benson and Erik Neveu (eds), Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field, Cambridge, Polity, 2005 and "A Heuristic Tool", in Mathieu Hilgers and Eric Mangez (eds), Bourdieu’s Theory of Social Field, London, Routlege, 2014

About the Series


Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General