Methodological Principles and Practice
Edited By Michael Grenfell and Frédéric Lebaron
Bourdieu and Data Analysis
Those who classify themselves or others, by appropriating or classifying practices or properties that are classified and classifying, cannot be unaware that, through distinctive objects or practices in which their powers are expressed and which, being appropriated by and appropriate to classes, classify those who appropriate them, they classify themselves in the eyes of other classifying (but also classifiable) subjects, endowed with classificatory schemes analogous to those which enable them more or less adequately to anticipate their own classification.
— BOURDIEU 1984a: 484
This chapter offers a conceptual introduction to Bourdieu and data analysis. It sets out key stages in approaching any research topic from a perspective developed from his theory of practice. Behind this perspective lay Bourdieu’s vision to build a ‘new social gaze’ on the social world, what he referred to as a metanoia. Key components in this approach are how we construct the research object and the place that participant objectivation plays in research. The chapter considers these as elements in a three-stage methodology, which also includes at its core Field Analysis, itself explicated in terms of three levels – of a field with respect to the field of power, the structure of the field itself, and the habitus of those occupying positions within that field. These stages and levels are discussed later in the chapter. First, however, we consider Bourdieu’s conceptual thinking tools; not so much in terms of their full range and meaning, which is already accomplished ← 7...
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