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The Art of Self-Reflecting


Among all the objects Bourdieu devoted himself to study, art and literature have a particularily ambiguous status, his reflection regarding them not being without ambiguity as well. Indeed, Bourdieu has suggest, within a few interviews, that beyond being simple objects to sociology, art and literature could become veritable allies to the researches of the sociologist, that it might actually inspire him unsuspected problematics and help him reflecting the terms of his own scientific discourse in a critical way. Bourdieu did not develop this argument any further, while his own sociology is only dealing with reflexivity and the importance, for a science willing to be critical, to locate a permanent critique of itself at its foundation. In order to construct that « self critique », Bourdieu has mostly advise the sociologist to rely on the weapons of science only. Relocating, as he is telling so, art and literature next to the objects of the sociologist and not among his tools. This is the double-discourse Bourdieu has sometimes hold on art and literature that this article intends to explore at first, before addressing the reflection some other french sociologist have been able to develop, going into the details of what Bourdieu has left aside. Indeed, these sociologists have been wondering about the possibility of making art and literature to become actual epistemological partners to sociology, thus opening a new way of thinking reflexivity within the social sciences.
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halshs-03203948 , version 1 (21-04-2021)


  • HAL Id : halshs-03203948 , version 1


Cécile Léonardi. The Art of Self-Reflecting. Brill. Bourdieu in Question : New Directions in French Sociology of Art, p. 382-400, 2017, International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology, ISBN : 978-90-04-31005-6. ⟨halshs-03203948⟩


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