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Bourdieu and Data Analysis

Methodological Principles and Practice

Edited By Michael Grenfell and Frédéric Lebaron

Uniquely amongst the numerous publications to appear on the work of the French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu, this book deals with data analysis, examining a range of techniques and instruments. After an introductory chapter outlining the key principles of Bourdieu’s theory, the book presents detailed examples of data being collected and analysed in a Bourdieusian way across various social science contexts. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are addressed, including analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each method, as are common data collection procedures such as interview, observation and questionnaire. Examples of Multiple Correspondence Analysis are an important feature of the book, since this was an approach particularly favoured by Bourdieu. In each case study, the pros and cons of different approaches are highlighted and the qualitative/quantitative debate is thoroughly explored. Overall, the book offers readers a blueprint to develop their own methodological plans for using Bourdieu in research practice.
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About the editors


Michael Grenfell is Professor of Education at Trinity College Dublin. His background is in French Studies and his research interests lie in education, language teaching and sociology, focusing particularly on the application of Pierre Bourdieu’s work to a range of research topics. He knew and collaborated with Bourdieu for over twenty years and was three times ‘visiting scholar’ at the École des Hautes Études in Paris. He is the author of Bourdieu and Education: Acts of Practical Theory (with David James, 1998), Bourdieu: Agent Provocateur (2004), Bourdieu, Education and Training (2007), Arts Rules: Bourdieu and the Visual Arts (with Cheryl Hardy, 2007), Bourdieu, Language and Linguistics (2007) and Bourdieu: Key Concepts (2012).

Frédéric Lebaron has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UMR Professions-Institutions- Temporalités) since September 2013, following sixteen years at the University of Picardie-Jules Verne in Amiens, where he directed the Centre Universitaire de Recherches sur l’Action publique et le Politique, Epistémologie et Sciences Sociales. He specializes in social sciences methodology, economic sociology, political sociology and social inequality. His books include Lectures de Pierre Bourdieu (with Gérard Mauger), Les indicateurs sociaux au XXIème siècle, La crise de la croyance économique and Le savant, le politique et la mondialisation.

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