Occidentalism: Images of the West

By James G. Carrier | Go to book overview

2
The Kabyle and the French: Occidentalism
in Bourdieu's Theory of Practice

Deborah Reed-Danahay

The division of labour between those who study the West and those who study the Rest is rarely so strikingly found to reside within the work of a single person as it does in the case of Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu has done ethnographic research among the Kabyle peoples of Algeria, but has also contributed to the sociological analysis of Western Europe (most notably, by studying those renowned producers of High Culture--the French bourgeoisie). For several decades, Bourdieu has been developing an influential theory of the relationship between culture and power, through an examination of cultural practices and 'common-sense' understandings of the world. His approach, particularly with the concept of 'habitus' (the internalized predispositions of one's social group), claims to privilege neither structure nor individual agency in social analysis, and, indeed, seeks to break down such dualisms ( Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992: 178-9). My argument in this chapter will be that Bourdieu has none the less used, and thereby perpetuated, a different kind of dualism in his work.

I shall compare two of Bourdieu's most famous books, produced at approximately the same moment in his career, and suggest that they illustrate the use of a paired occidentalism and orientalism in their analyses of French and Kabyle society. My discussion will centre on the texts of Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, co-written with JeanClaude Passeron and based upon a sociological study of secondary education in France, and Outline of a Theory of Practice, drawn from ethnographic research among the Kabyle peoples of Algeria. These books are significant in establishing Bourdieu's career and, as Richard Jenkins has recently written, it was through them that he 'acquired his international reputation--as a social theorist, an ethnographer of Algeria and a sociological observer of Modern France' ( Jenkins 1993: 617). The French version of Reproduction was first published in 1970 and that of Outline in

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Occidentalism: Images of the West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Acknowledgements 29
  • Notes 29
  • Notes 30
  • 1: Cargoism and Occidentalism 33
  • References 57
  • 2: The Kabyle and the French: Occidentalism in Bourdieu's Theory of Practice 61
  • Acknowledgements 81
  • Notes 81
  • Notes 82
  • 3: Maussian Occidentalism: Gift and Commodity Systems 85
  • Acknowledgements 103
  • Notes 103
  • References 104
  • 4: Occidentalism as a Cottage Industry: Representing the Autochthonous 'Other' in British and Irish Rural Studies 109
  • Notes 128
  • Notes 130
  • 5: Imaging the Other in Japanese Advertising Campaigns 135
  • Acknowledgements 157
  • Acknowledgements 158
  • Acknowledgements 158
  • 6: Duelling Currencies in East New Britain: The Construction of Shell Money as National Cultural Property 161
  • Acknowledgements 182
  • Acknowledgements 183
  • References 187
  • 7: The Colonial, the Imperial, and the Creation of the 'European' in Southern Africa 192
  • Notes 214
  • Notes 215
  • 8: Hellenism and Occidentalism: The Permutations of Performance in Greek Bourgeois Identity 218
  • Notes 230
  • Notes 232
  • 9: Occidentalism in the East: The Uses of the West in the Politics and Anthropology of South Asia 234
  • Notes 254
  • Notes 255
  • Notes on Contributors 258
  • Index 261
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