This study of the work of the influential French sociologist and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu places his work firmly in the context of developments both in the French post-war intellectual field an din post-war French society as a whole. Set against the background of rapid change and upheaval that has characterised post-war French society, culture and politics, Bourdieu's work can be seen as offering a peculiarly perceptive analysis of France's problematic transition to an era of late capitalism. Proceeding thematically, this study traces the development of Bourdieu's thought, elucidating the relationship between the anthropological and sociological aspects of his work, examining his debt to Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Bachelard, and highlighting his antagonistic relationship with a series of contemporary intellectual figures and movements - Barthes, Lefebvre, Touraine, Sartre, Fanon, Foucault, Derrida, structuralism and post-structuralism.
'This beautifully written and lucidly argued study is the most persuasive account of Bourdieu's work yet to be published. Lane illuminates much that can puzzle a foreign readership by expertly situating Bourdieu within a French context. At the same time he points to those aspects of Bourdieu's writing which are of particular relevance to contemporary debates on questions of citizenship and globalization. He gives a fascinating account of Bourdieu's astonishingly prescient analyses of the impact of the expansion of higher education, the influence of the mass media, the growth of the culture industries, and the changing nature of political and social elites, not just in France, but in the western world.' --Professor Jill Forbes, Queen Mary and Westfield, University of London