Gisele Sapiro. The Meaning of Bourdieu--His Reception in Different Countries

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

The Meaning of Bourdieu: his reception in different countries

Pierre Bourdieu is the most important sociologist of the second half of the 20th Century. His work has been translated in many countries since the 1970s, which is an indicator of his international reputation or symbolic capital, confirmed by the very high number of citations of his work. This worldwide circulation can be mapped in time and in space through a comparison of the rhythm and order of translation of his books in different languages and countries. The paper will then focus more specifically on the reception of Bourdieu’s work in the United States, and on the impact of Distinction, which promoted him from the position of a recognized specialist in different areas to that of a social theorist. Finally, it will raise the question of the effects of the international reception on Bourdieu’s own approach, from his growing interest in comparison to his engagement against neoliberalism, which turned him into a “global intellectual”. More generally, the paper addresses the issue of the construction of an international reputation in the social science.

Gisèle Sapirois Professor of sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Research director at the CNRS. She has been visiting professor in the United States (NYU), Germany, Canada, Spain, Israel and Romania. Her interests include the sociology of intellectuals, of literature, of translation and the history of the human and social sciences.  She is the author of La Guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953(1999; English transl.: French Writers’ War, Duke UP, 2014) and ofLa Responsabilité de l’écrivain (2011), she has also (co)edited Pour une histoire des sciences sociales (2004), Pierre Bourdieu, sociologue (2004), Translatio. Le marché de la traduction en France à l’heure de la mondialisation(2008), Les Contradictions de la globalisation éditoriale (2009), L’Espace intellectuel en Europe (2009), Traduire la littérature et les sciences humaines (2012). She is currently editing the Dictionnaire international Pierre Bourdieu (forthcoming) and running the European Project INTERCO-SSH (International Cooperation in the SSH). From 2010 to 2013, she was the director of the Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique.