Objects and materials: with, against and beyond Bourdieu

Silva, Elizabeth B. (2016). Objects and materials: with, against and beyond Bourdieu. In: Adkins, Lisa; Brosnan, Caragh and Threadgold, Steven eds. Bourdieusian Prospects. Routledge Advances in Sociology (210). London: Routledge, pp. 112–131.


Combining Bourdieu with other theoretical perspectives, this chapter brings the work of Bourdieu and Latour into dialogue. Long positioned as adversaries, not only did Bourdieu and Latour vociferously critique each other’s work, but Bourdieusians and actor network theorists have generally had little to say to each other. By analysing as a case study the history of the use and marketing of household cooking technologies, the paper begins the work of bridging these two paradigms, attempting to use the strengths of one to address the weaknesses of the other – also drawing partially from the new French pragmatics in this endeavour. The chapter addresses a neglect of the material aspects of sociality in Bourdieu – other than in relation to class – by highlighting the gendered properties of cooking technology.

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