Social theory and politics: Aron, Bourdieu and Passeron, and the events of May 1968

Book chapter


Robbins, Derek 2011. Social theory and politics: Aron, Bourdieu and Passeron, and the events of May 1968. in: The legacy of Pierre Bourdieu : critical essays London Anthem Press. pp. 301-327
AuthorsRobbins, Derek
Abstract

The purpose of this contribution is to explore historically the dialectical relationship between the social theory emerging in the Centre de Sociologie Européenne, Paris during the 1960s and the specifically Parisian events of May, 1968. Adopting the terminology of an article of 1981 by Pierre Bourdieu himself (“Décrire et prescrire. Note sur les conditions de possibilité et les limites de l’efficacité politique” [Describing and prescribing. A note on the conditions of possibility and the limits of political effectiveness] [Bourdieu, 1981]) my purpose is to consider in what ways the work of the Centre de Sociologie Européenne could be said to describe or prescribe the May ‘events’. This consideration is a vehicle for an assessment of the diverging positions of Aron, Bourdieu and Passeron at the time, particularly by reference to their responses to the work of Weber.
The Centre de sociologie européenne was established by Raymond Aron in 1960. I shall explore the development of Aron’s view of sociology in the context of his prior commitment to engaged historical observation and then consider his influence on Bourdieu and Passeron. My purpose is to ask what it meant and might still mean to regard objective phenomena or events as either social or political.

KeywordsBourdieu; Aron; Passeron; social theory
Book titleThe legacy of Pierre Bourdieu : critical essays
Page range301-327
Year2011
PublisherAnthem Press
Publication dates
PrintApr 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Feb 2012
Place of publicationLondon
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1459
Additional information

Citation:
Robbins, D. (2011) 'Social theory and politics: Aron, Bourdieu and Passeron, and the events of May 1968'. in Susen, S. and Turner, B.S. (eds.) The legacy of Pierre Bourdieu : critical essays. London; New York: Anthem Press, pp. 301-327..

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CC BY-ND
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