Category Archives: Bourdieu

Bourdieu’s Class Theory

Before delving into the analysis, it is necessary to introduce Bourdieu’s basic terminology. Although it may seem abstract, it is, unfortunately, indispensable for understanding his work. There are four central concepts in Bourdieu’s sociology: capital, habitus, fields, and symbolic power.

Capital refers to resources. Bourdieu identifies three main varieties: economic (understood basically as income and ownership), social (basically understood as connections), and cultural (informal education, cultural objects, and credentials). These can be measured in two dimensions: quantity and structure. Thus, particular agents may possess more or less total amounts of capital, and this capital may be structured in different proportions. Accordingly, although two “agents” may have the same total overall amount of capital, one might have a greater proportion of cultural capital and the other of economic capital.6 Generally, the volume and structure of capital determines one’s “position in social space” or class position.

via Bourdieu’s Class Theory