CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The article seeks to analyze Pierre Bourdieu’s economic sociology, which consists in a critique of neoclassical economics on the basis of empirical research. In his studies on the Algerian economy it is possible to observe the genesis of the concepts of habitus and symbolic capital, and to examine their pertinence for an analysis of the capitalist economy. Bourdieu’s works are characterized by a relational mode of thinking, and by the concept of a “field” within which agents confront each other; agents which, far from being interchangeable, move within a socially constructed space and, endowed with differing resources, interact to transform or maintain the prevailing balance of power. As opposed to a universal economic rationality ascribed to human nature, Bourdieu foregrounds the historicity of the economy, and the history of a process of differentiation and autonomization which leads to the construction of a specific game, that of the economic field, with its own rules. Ultimately, far from being confined to marginal sectors of the economy, the symbolic is at the heart of the economy.


  • P. Bourdieu
  • economic sociology
  • markets
  • economic rationality
  • symbolic goods
Marie-France Garcia-Parpet
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
Distribution électronique pour La Découverte © La Découverte. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait