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Bourdieu Wacquant An Invitation To Reflexive Sociology Notes

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Pierre Bourdieu & Loic Wacquant - An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology Chapter One - Toward a Social Praxeology: The Structure and Logic of Bourdieu's Sociology (Wacquant)

Bourdieu sought to jettison a bunch of dichotomies that are recognised in social science
# objective/subjective
# structure/agency
# micro/macro-analysis
* but in order to understand his work it must be examined as a whole, and not compartmentalized

1. Beyond the Antimony of Social Physics and Social Phenomenology

For B, sociology must uncover buried structures that constitute the social universe, and the mechanisms that ensure their reproduction or transformation
* structures exist in two forms:
# the objectivity of the first order - the distribution of material resources, means of appropriation of goods/values etc (social physics e.g. structuralism)
* analysis on this axis reveals the determinate relations within which people produce their existence, explains regularities and conformity
* BUT without a principle of the generation of regularities, it slips from the model to reality; its structures are seen as autonomous, acting agents
* a scholastic vision of practice is imposed upon agents
* individuals/groups are seen as props of a mechanically determined system
# objectivity of the second order - systems of classification; mental and bodily schemata that function as templates for the practical activities of social agents (subjectivism/constructivism/ethnomethodology/rational choice)
* consciousness/interpretations of agents also constitute the reality of the social world - individuals have practical knowledge of the world
* mundane knowledge, subjective meaning and practical competency play a role in the production of society
* BUT this approach cannot account for the resilience or rejection of certain objective configurations
* nor can it explain according to what principles social reality is produced - i.e. the categories that agents use in its construction
# a science of society must account for both
* objective structures can be constructed independent of representation, with distributions of socially efficient resources defining the external constraints of interaction/representation
* this is prior - an agent's viewpoint will vary systematically with their position in objective structures
* the immediate, lived experience of agents explicates the categories of perception and appreciation that structure their action from the inside

2. Classification Struggles and the Dialectic of Social and Mental Structures

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