By Terry Rey

Pierre Bourdieu used to be the most influential social theorists of our time. He constructed a sequence of strategies to discover the best way society works and to problem assumptions approximately what society is. His rules light up how members and teams locate worth and which means and so have swiftly become visible as highly effective in analysing how faith works in society. 'Bourdieu on faith' introduces scholars to Bourdieu's key recommendations: cultural, social and symbolic capital; habitus and box; and his problem to the constructions of social inequality. This learn should be important to any pupil drawn to the relationships among faith, classification and social energy.

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Sample text

The true freedom that sociology offers is to give us a small chance of knowing what game we play and of minimizing the ways in which we are manipulated by the forces in the field in which we evolve, as well as by the embodied social forces that operate within us. I am not saying that sociology solves all the problems of the world, far from it, but it allows us to discern the sites where we do enjoy a degree of freedom and those where we do not. Put otherwise, the chief purpose of sociology, for Bourdieu, lies in ‘[p]roducing awareness of these mechanisms that make life painful, even unlivable’.

The greatest challenge facing sociology, for Bourdieu, is to understand how such a ‘structure of class-based power and privilege’ is reproduced in human society. And in the end, the key to this challenge lies in identifying the social and epistemological processes of mediation implicating the individual perceiver and the social structures and mechanisms that produce everything in and about society that he or she perceives, and that strongly determine the ways in which he or she perceives them. The thinkers discussed here, among others, provide excellent thinking tools from which Bourdieu fashions his own to construct his theory of practice in order to take up this challenge in a powerful and compelling way.

38 Bourdieu on Religion Summary of Key Elements to Chapter 1 • • • • • Bourdieu’s upbringing in rural southern France (pp. 14–19); history of the ‘religious field’ of rural southern France (pp. 16–18); Bourdieu’s formal education (pp. 19–20); military experience and early fieldwork in Algeria (pp. 20–23); professional career, from University of Lille to the Collège de France (pp. 23–27); • chronological overview of Bourdieu’s scholarly work (pp. 27–31); • philosophical and sociological influences on Bourdieu (pp.

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