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On Bourdieu and Gramsci

Jackson, RP (2016) On Bourdieu and Gramsci. Gramsciana: Rivista internazionale di studi su Antonio Gramsci, 2. pp. 141-176. ISSN 2421-3799

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The theoretical confrontations between Pierre Bourdieu and Antonio Gramsci staged by Michael Burawoy in Conversations with Bourdieu (2012) and in the journal Sociology (2012) make an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between these thinkers. As part of his wider project of ‘Sociological Marxism’, Burawoy juxtaposes the historicity of Gramsci’s notion of hegemony with the durable nature of symbolic domination based on misrecognition in Bourdieu. While this contrast is illuminating, I argue that Burawoy’s portrayal of Gramsci primarily as a theorist of consent is limited, and suffers from a lack of engagement with Gramsci scholarship drawing on the critical edition of his writings. I consider some of the opportunities presented by wider articulations of Bourdieu’s work from a Marxist perspective, aiming to outline the terms within which a more sustained comparative study of Bourdieu and Gramsci might be attempted.

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