Bourdieu and Social Capital
This chapter provides an overview of the key theories relating to social capital, focusing on Putnam, Coleman and particularly Bourdieu. In doing so, this chapter shows the flexibility and versatility of Bourdieu’s version of social capital, illustrating how the underpinning concepts of field and habitus allow sight of the power differentials that are often neglected in broader analyses of society.
The chapter illustrates how Bourdieu’s ideas allow us to examine the relationship between structure and agency, highlighting how individual factors may be constrained by larger structural ones such as law and policy.
This chapter also considers the idea of the linguistic habitus, showing how it is not just about what is said, but how it is said and in what context. The linguistic habitus shows how individuals may have their speech restricted or limited in some way, depending upon the context of that speech.
The chapter concludes by arguing that analysing the relationship between field, habitus and capital can illustrate hidden structures that facilitate or inhibit an individual’s life.
KeywordsField Habitus Social networks Social capital Structures Power relations Economic capital
- Bourdieu, P. (1979). The Inheritors: French Students and Their Relations to Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The Forms of Capital. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (pp. 241–258). London: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and Symbolic Power (J. B. Thompson, Ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1992). The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1993). The Field of Cultural Production. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.-C. (1990). Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1992). An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Coleman, J. (1994). Foundations of Social Theory. New York: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Field, J. (2008). Social Capital. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Gaventa, J. (2003). Power after Lukes: A Review of the Literature. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
- Halsey, A. H., Heath, A. F., & Ridge, J. M. (1980). Origins and Destinations: Family, Class and Education in Modern Britain. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
- Haynes, P. (2009). Before Going Any Further with Social Capital: Eight Key Criticisms to Address. Ingenio Working Paper Series. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/14203/1/Before_Going_Any_Further_With_Social_Capital__Eight_Key_Criticisms_to_Address%5B1%5D.pdf.
- Maton, K. (2008). Habitus. In M. Grenfell (Ed.), Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts (pp. 49–65). London: Acumen.Google Scholar
- Misztal, B. A. (2000). Informality: Social Theory and Contemporary Practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Murdock, G. (2000). Class Stratification and Cultural Consumption: Some Motifs in the Work of Pierre Bourdieu. In D. Robbins (Ed.), Pierre Bourdieu (pp. 133–159). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Portes, A. (1998). Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 24(1).Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (1996). The Strange Disappearance of Civic America. American Prospect, 7(24), 34–48.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. London: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Thomson, P. (2008). Field. In M. Grenfell (Ed.), Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts (pp. 67–81). London: Acumen.Google Scholar
- Wacquant, L. J. D. (1996). Reading Bourdieu’s “Capital”. International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, 33(2), 150–170.Google Scholar
- Webb, J., Schirato, T., & Danaher, G. (2002). Understanding Bourdieu. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar