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Sketch for a Self-Analysis

Overview

Over the past four decades, French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu produced one of the most imaginative and subtle bodies of social theory of the postwar era. When he died in 2002, he was considered to be the most influential sociologist in the world and a thinker on a par with Foucault and Lévi-Strauss—a public intellectual as important to his generation as Sartre was to his.

Sketch for a Self-Analysis is the ultimate outcome of Bourdieu’s lifelong preoccupation with ...

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Overview

Over the past four decades, French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu produced one of the most imaginative and subtle bodies of social theory of the postwar era. When he died in 2002, he was considered to be the most influential sociologist in the world and a thinker on a par with Foucault and Lévi-Strauss—a public intellectual as important to his generation as Sartre was to his.

Sketch for a Self-Analysis is the ultimate outcome of Bourdieu’s lifelong preoccupation with reflexivity. Vehemently not an autobiography, this unique book is instead an application of Bourdieu’s theories to his own life and intellectual trajectory; along the way it offers compelling and intimate insights into the most important French intellectuals of the time—including Foucault, Sartre, Aron, Althusser, and de Beauvoir—as well as Bourdieu’s own formative experiences at boarding school and his moral outrage at the colonial war in Algeria.

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Editorial Reviews

Books & Culture

"Reading Bourdieu's self-analysis forces the reader into a similar state of reflection. . . . His entire oeuvre was committed to learning what determines the self, to understanding how we are shaped to think in certain ways. Hence, it is fitting that in this final work Pierre Bourdieu holds up a sociological two-way mirror in which we see not only him but also our own reflection."

— D. Michael Lindsay

Canadian Journal of Sociology
To what will be a long debate over the meaning and legacy of Bourdieu's work . . . the Sketch is a useful contribution.

— Jesse Carlson

American Journal of Sociology
A graceful overview of Bourdieu's life and career. It can profitably be assigned as an introduction to Bourdieu in graduate seminars. From a sociological perspective, it is especially useful as a case study in reflective socioanalysis. A remarkable window onto one of our very greatest social thinkers, it also exemplifies wonderfully his distinctive sociological approach in action.

— Mustafa Emirbayer

Canadian Journal of Sociology - Jesse Carlson
"To what will be a long debate over the meaning and legacy of Bourdieu's work . . . the Sketch is a useful contribution."
American Journal of Sociology - Mustafa Emirbayer
"A graceful overview of Bourdieu's life and career. It can profitably be assigned as an introduction to Bourdieu in graduate seminars. From a sociological perspective, it is especially useful as a case study in reflective socioanalysis. A remarkable window onto one of our very greatest social thinkers, it also exemplifies wonderfully his distinctive sociological approach in action."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226067513
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,320,857
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) was professor of sociology at the Collège de France. He is the author or coauthor of more than twenty works, including Distinction, Homo Academicus, Pascalian Meditations, On Television, State Nobility, Acts of Resistance, An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology, and Science of Science and Reflexivity, the last two also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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