“UNDERSTANDING”, SAYS PIERRE BOURDIEU
I was a little late in reading “Understanding”, 23 pages that Pierre Bourdieu published at the end of The Weight of the World,1 for, I must admit, the book fell out of my hands long before page 903. In these final pages, Bourdieu sets out “the intentions and the principles of the procedures” that he and his (large) team applied in the research whose results are exposed in the preceding pages. In other words, he wants to teach us how to conduct an interview, which, according to him, “can be regarded as a form of spiritualexercise” (p. 912). These words made me want to stop reading. But I began again. I had to go on, and tell Bourdieu that he gives the same impression as a cyclist pedaling, and pedaling forever: he does not know when to put his foot on the ground.