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Title: Bourdieusian political theory and social science : the field of war correspondence 1990-2003
Author: Markham, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0001 1493 8612
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the cogency of Bourdieusian political theory and social science on phenomenological, empirical and normative grounds. It investigates whether Bourdieu's philosophy of science leads logically to the political content of Bourdieusian theory, and concludes that the originary determinism which characterises Bourdieu's work is a normative commitment. Rather than characterising that which is bracketed out of Bourdieu's neo-Marxist phenomenology - that is, the level of determination accessible neither to the consciousness of the social agent nor the social scientist - as inherently coercive, the thesis argues that the Bourdieusian modeal can be defended on deontological grounds. Specifically, this entails a deontological acceptance of the cultural value of autonomy and accountability. The tension between these two in turn raises the problem of acceptable levels of exclusion and decontestation, and the thesis concludes that a qualified elitism is defensible and compatible with Boudieusian principles. The thesis incorporates a case study which serves two functions. First, it puts into empirical practice the principles of Bourdieusian philosophy of social science to ascertain what implications and normative commitments are built into Bourdieusian methodology. In this regard it concludes that while it is possible to produce constructive analysis of systematically misrecognised economies, it becomes necessary to delineate the point beyond which positing further levels of coercive determination is counter-productive - and this can only be done according to deontological criteria. Second, it assesses the merit of Bourdieusian sociologies relative to existing accounts of the journalistic field. It concludes that while Bourdieu is excessively dismissive of individual awareness of the conditions of their field, Bourdieusian field analysis produces significant insights into the processes of naturalisation, self-identification, esotericisation and disinterestedness.
Supervisor: Frazer, Liz ; Hodgson, Godfrey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science ; Social Sciences ; Bourdieusian political theory ; journalism ; war correspondence ; habitus ; practice ; field ; symbolic system