Outline of a Theory of Practice
Outline of a Theory of Practice is recognized as a major theoretical text on the foundations of anthropology and sociology. Pierre Bourdieu, a distinguished French anthropologist, develops a theory of practice which is simultaneously a critique of the methods and postures of social science and a general account of how human action should be understood. With his central concept of the habitus, the principle which negotiates between objective structures and practices, Bourdieu is able to transcend the dichotomies which have shaped theoretical thinking about the social world. The author draws on his fieldwork in Kabylia (Algeria) to illustrate his theoretical propositions. With detailed study of matrimonial strategies and the role of rite and myth, he analyses the dialectical process of the 'incorporation of structures' and the objectification of habitus, whereby social formations tend to reproduce themselves. A rigorous consistent materialist approach lays the foundations for a theory of symbolic capital and, through analysis of the different modes of domination, a theory of symbolic power.
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action agents agnatic analysis anthropologist azal Berber berkukes biological reproduction bridewealth bring brothers challenge classiﬁcation collective conﬂict constituted constructed couscous cousin marriage cross cousin cultural daughter deﬁned deﬁnition difﬁculties discourse dispositions division domination economic efﬁcacy endogamy example exchange fact father fecundity female ﬁeld ﬁgs ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst day ﬂock fulﬁl function genealogical gift give habitus hence homology husum individual inﬁnite interests Kabyle Kabylia khammes kinship labour land language lineage logic lyali male man’s marabout marry material and symbolic matrimonial means mechanisms nature objectiﬁcation objective structures objectivism objectivist ofﬁcial one’s opposed opposition parallel cousin parallel-cousin marriage particular period ploughing political position possible prestige principle reﬂection relations relationship representation reproduction rites ritual rule sacriﬁce schemes scientiﬁc sense signiﬁcance situation social world speciﬁc strategies sufﬁcient symbolic capital symbolic violence tends theoretical tradition universe village wheatcake woman women