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The Institutions of the MarketOrganizations, Social Systems, and Governance$
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Alexander Ebner and Nikolaus Beck

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231423.001.0001

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Pierre Bourdieu, a Theoretician of Change? The View from Régulation Theory

Pierre Bourdieu, a Theoretician of Change? The View from Régulation Theory

(p.348) 15 Pierre Bourdieu, a Theoretician of Change? The View from Régulation Theory
The Institutions of the Market

Robert Boyer

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relationship between regulation theory and Bourdieu's sociology. Bourdieu's detractors have often taken the titles of his works at face value. While these titles may effectively underline the permanent nature of the reproduction of social roles, Bourdieu's argument is not an attempt to reduce each field's logic to the purely economic level. Bourdieu's defenders have not given sufficient attention to the profoundly dynamic character of his research that effectively forms a totality: from his studies of the Béarn and Kabylia, to his analysis of the market for the single-family house, moving through similar analyses of literature, art, and state nobility. The chapter develops a theme that régulation theory and Bourdieu's sociology are related. On the one hand, regulationist research has turned to the concept of habitus, a term borrowed from Bourdieu, as an alternative to the theory of rational choice as found in economics and the social sciences. On the other hand, both programmes of research can be added to those analyses of contemporary society that set out from a critical evaluation of Marxian insights. They also share this basic hypothesis: that life in society is made possible by the way in which institutions are constructed, just as economic activity is organized by the mode of régulation.

Keywords:   regulation theory, sociology, Béarn, Kabylia, regulationist research, habitus

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