Title

Unavoidable Idealizations and the Reality of Symbolic Power

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2013

Abstract

After the publication of Simon Susen's "Bourdieusian reflections on language: Unavoidable conditions of the real speech situation", there can be no doubt about the centrality of language for Bourdieu's reconstruction of practice. The crucial role of language should perhaps come as no surprise for a social theorist whose undeniable achievement consists in a rehabilitation of the role of culture within a post-Marxian framework. And yet, Susen's analysis opens up a new challenge and a set of new questions regarding how exactly the mediation of reflexive agency and power-defined social contexts is to be understood. My comments will (1) re-situate Bourdieu's language account in his overall theory, (2) reconstruct the failures of hermeneutic idealism, (3) revisit language after Bourdieu and Habermas and (4) suggest that attending to field-based dialogic practices can point towards a reconciliation of a normative with a power-oriented account of social agency. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Title

Social Epistemology

Volume

27

Issue

3-4

First Page

302

Last Page

314

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/02691728.2013.818741

ISSN

02691728

E-ISSN

14645297

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