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The Social Structures of the Economy
Much orthodox economic theory is based on assumptions which are treated as self-evident: supply and demand are regarded as independent entities, the individual is assumed to be a rational agent who knows his interests and how to make decisions corresponding to them, and so on. But one has only to examine an economic transaction closely, as Pierre Bourdieu does here for the ...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published April 22nd 2005 by Polity Press
(first published 2000)
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Apr 07, 2015 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars
I’ve come away from reading this book knowing far more about the French housing market than seems completely reasonable for someone living in Australia. But, in a sense, that is exactly the point that Bourdieu is making. This is a book that wants to show that homo economicus – the mythical being that makes economic decisions that are always consistent with its perceived economic best interests – is a fiction. To do this he provides an alternative model to explain the real actions and interaction ...more
Just years before the housing bubble disintegrated, Bourdieu published perhaps the best analysis of the home-ownership aspect that fuels housing crises before they occur: "By embarking upon projects that are often too large for them, because they are measured against their aspirations rather than their possibilities, they lock themselves into impossible constraints, with no option but to cope with the consequences of their decisions, at an extraordinary cost in tensions, and, at the same time, t ...more
Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location, and symbolic violence to reveal the dynamics of power relations in social life. His work emphasized the role of practice and embodiment or forms in social dynamics and worldview construction, often in opposition to universalized Western philo ...moreMore about Pierre Bourdieu...