Conferência: "In Algeria. Pierre Bourdieu's self initiation into fieldwork in ethnography and sociology." - Prof. Dr. Franz Schultheis - 4/4/13


Sumário da palestra de 4 de abril:

"In Algeria. Pierre Bourdieu's self initiation into fieldwork in ethnography and sociology."


Today Pierre Bourdieu is well known as one of the most important sociologists of the 20th century. One of the most outstanding qualities of his work has been his innovative combination of different methods and research strategies as well as his analytical skills in interpreting the obtained data (his "sociological view"). 

We attempt to retrace the development of an extraordinary way of doing empirical social research and show the benefit of Bourdieu’s visual sociology for his empirical fieldwork and sociological theory. We will particularly stress the significance of his first steps into sociology, which has long time been the blind spot of the reception of Bourdieu’s work and especially the role of his visual anthropology and sociological photography. Only a few of these several hundreds of photos were published on the covers of some of Bourdieu’s works, albeit practically unnoticed by the public. However, studying Bourdieu's photography gives access to his œuvre in several ways: not only can we understand how Bourdieu became an non conventional sociologist, as he did not have any academic taskmasters but was thrown in at the deep end - we can also get an impression of the “comprehensive” dimension of his work. 

Bourdieus visual anthropology offers an insight into the status nascendi of Bourdieu’s sociology in all its elementary forms and contents. In many aspects Bourdieu’s ways to sociology can be characterized as “learning-by-doing”. His oeuvre, however, clearly promotes the possible advantages of a “cross-entry” into the field of the social sciences. Bourdieu’s urgent wish to understand what happened around him led him to use almost any tool available. Pursuing a research of his own1 and entering this new terrain unguided by any academic taskmaster whatsoever, he was free to move between and beyond disciplines: ignorant of schools or carved-out territories, by means of a constant radicalization of his own intellectual and political standards and incessant experimentation with all available quantitative and qualitative methods of social research, he managed to become, by way of self-training, what one could readily call an “undisciplined” researcher in the most positive sense. 



Bourdieu, P: Picturing Algeria, Franz Schultheis et Christine Frisinghelli (eds.), Columbia University Press, New York 2012. 

Franz Schultheis: Bourdieus Wege in die Soziologie, UVK, Konstanz, 2007.