This short critical introduction to Pierre Bourdieu's thought is a model of clarity and insight. Where Bourdieu's own writings are often complex, even ambiguous, Richard Jenkins is direct, concise and to the point. He emphasizes Bourdieu's contributions to theory and methodology while also dealing in detail with his substantive studies of education, social stratification and culture. His book provides the best short English-language introduction to Bourdieu's work.
'As Jenkins points out in the final pages of his book, criticism can be the sincerest form of flattery. I particularly relished his critical approach to the work of Bourdieu and believe that he has written a timely introduction which both undergraduates and experienced teachers will find stimulating and enjoyable.'- Mike Hepworth, University of Aberdeen
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After reading Ghassan Hage's obliteration of this piece in "Pierre Bourdieu in the Nineties: Between the Church and Atelier" I felt Jenkins might provide some useful criticism of Bourdieu (especially given the adoration Bourdieu usually receives). Unfortunately Hage was correct in his judgment: this isn't a book about Bourdieu or his work, its a book about Jenkins. Useful only as a novelty.
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