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Bourdieu and Data Analysis

Methodological Principles and Practice

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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The contributors to this volume first came together as part of the International Classification Conference that was held in St Andrews, Scotland in the summer of 2011.

I would like to thank Prof. Fionn Murtagh of the British Classification Society who welcomed the Bourdieu strand into the conference, and indeed was so helpful in the planning stages for both the workshop and papers presentation.

I would also acknowledge with thanks the support of Dr David Wishard, President of the BCS.

In Paris, Brigitte Le Roux (Université Paris Descartes and CEVIPOF/CNRS, Sciences-Po) was tremendously helpful in putting together the programme of speakers, and indeed contributing at the conference.

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