2 thoughts on “Symbolic Interactionism for Dorks

  1. Christine, would you also place Pierre Bourdieu together with the Symbolic Interactionist school? For years, I’ve naturally placed him the Marxist/social-conflict school, put lately after intense discussions with students about some of his ideas on “Distinction” and “Symbolic capital” , I think he sometimes tends to swing towards a symbolic interaction approach. What do you think?

    Ever read his book, “On Television”?

    • I wouldn’t place Bourdieu with the SI school. The structuralist and post-structuralist components of his work is too strong for that.

      However, Bourdieu was a fan of symbolic interactionist work (hence his getting Goffman translated in French) and he was smart enough to understand the value of the SI / ethnomethodological approach.

      What he was trying to do, I think, in his research, through his concepts of habitus and fields was to highlight the continuum of domination from the most macro to the most micro-levels.

      Yes, I did read “On Television”. His latter work was more polemical and political than analytical but it was interesting and caused quite a kerfuffle in the media in France. Like here, the MSM talking heads have a high opinion of themselves and do not like to be questioned.

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