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The Weight of the World By Pierre Bourdieu

The Weight of the World by Pierre Bourdieu

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A major new work by Pierre Bourdieu and his associates: Bourdieu is one of the leading sociologists in the world today. This book documents the accounts of ordinary people as they struggle to survive and to make ends meet, describing the forms of social suffering, hopelessness and despair which are pervasive features of life on the margins.

The Weight of the World Summary

The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society by Pierre Bourdieu

This book can be read like a series of short stories - the story of a steel worker who was laid off after twenty years in the same factory and who now struggles to support his family on unemployment benefits and a part-time job; the story of a trade unionist who finds his goals undermined by the changing nature of work; the story of a family from Algeria living in a housing estate in the outskirts of Paris whose members have to cope with pervasive, everyday forms of racism; the story of a school teacher confronted with urban violence; and many others as well. Reading these stories enables one to understand these people's lives and the forms of social suffering which are part of them. And the reader will see that this book offers not only a distinctive method for analysing social life, but also another way of practising politics.

The Weight of the World Reviews

'A monumental study of social exclusion. It is not a dry academic tome, but includes photographs and first-hand accounts ... it captures the complexity of social exclusion and how it becomes fixed.' Geoff Mulgan, The New Statesman and Society I was immediately taken with the richness and depth of this analysis of the social suffering of the lives or ordinary men and women, and I felt this introduced me to a Bourdieu that I had not come across before ... This collection of ethnographic writing masterfully captures the realities of our social world, and provides what feels like a refreshingly realistic representation of people's lived experiences ... The Weight of the World is essential reading for anyone, sociologically inclined or otherwise, who is interested in reading others' accounts of their lives and who is also ready to reflect on these and on the politics of life more generally. Network, Researcher's Choice for Desert Island Discourse 'It cannot fail to be provocative.' Derek Robbins, University of East London, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'This book on the masses certainly has the potential to be a book for the masses ... The Weight of the World shows that a critical sociology of suffering does not have to indulge in miserabilism to be effective.' European Journal of Social Theory 'The Weight of the World is a bracing tonic if you've drunk too much New Labour champagne. Our masters insist that all will be well if only people get jobs, take risks, and behave well as husbands and wives. Pierre Bourdieu and his colleagues show how hard it is to do so ... it teaches an important lesson in humanity.' The Independent

About Pierre Bourdieu

Pierre Bourdieu was Professor of Sociology at the College de France.

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface. To The Reader: Pierre Bourdieu. The Space of Points of View: Pierre Bourdieu. Jonquil Street: Pierre Bourdieu. A Displaced Family: Abdelmalek Sayad. Everyone in a Place of their Own: Rosine Christin. The View from the Media: Patrick Champagne. The Order of Things: Pierre Bourdieu. An Integrated Family: Patrick Champagne. A Bad Investment: Gabrielle Balazs. Renovation: Gabrielle Balazs. The Last Difference: Patrick Champagne. Site Effects: Pierre Bourdieu. America as Social Dystopia: The Politics of Urban Disintegration: Loic Wacquant. Inside The Zone: the Social Art of the Hustler in the American Ghetto: Loic Wacquant. Homeless in El Barrio: Philippe Bougois. The Abdication of the State: Pierre Bourdieu. An Impossible Mission: Pierre Bourdieu. Institutional Bad Faith: Pierre Bourdieu. Double Binds: Pierre Bourdieu and Gabrielle Balasz. The View from the State: Patrick Champagne. 'Costs' and 'Benefits' of Immigration: Abdelmalek Sayad. Disorder Amongst Agents of Order: Remi Lenoir. Woman and Cop: Remi Lenoir. A Living Reproach: Remi Lenoir. On the Way Down. Permanent and Temporary Workers: Michel Pialoux and Stephane Beaud. The Old Worker and the New Plant: Michel Pialoux. The Temp's Dream: Stephane Beaud. Working Nights: Rosine Christin. Possession: Rosine Christin. The End of a World: Pierre Bourdieu. The Shop Steward's World in Disarray: Michel Pialoux. The Stolen Work: Sandrine Garcia. A Silent Witness: Rosine Christin. Such a Fragile Equilibrium: Pierre Bourdieu and Gabrielle Balazs. Hanging by a Thread: Pierre Bourdieu. A Life Wasted: Pierre Bourdieu. On the Way Down: Patrick Champagne. Broken Careers: Louis Pinto. Outcasts on the Inside: Pierre Bourdieu and Patrick Champagne. Those Were the Days: Pierre Bourdieu. Paradise Lost: Sylvain Broccolichi. Cogs in the Machine: Sylvain Broccolichi and Francoise Ouvrard. A Double Life: Rosine Christin. French Class: Rosine Christin. The Upper Hand: Sylvain Broccolichi. Institutional Violence: Gabrielle Balazs and Abdelmalek Sayad. The Contradictions of Inheritance: Pierre Bourdieu. Academic Destiny: Alain Accardo. A Compromising Success: Charles Soulie. The Spirit of Contradiction: Emmanuel Bourdieu and Denis Podalydes. Wife and Collaborator: Jean-Pierre Faguer. The Curse: Abdelmalek Sayad. Emancipation: Abdelmalek Sayad. The Sick Person as Object: Francois Bonvin. Solitude: Gabrielle Balazs. Understanding: Pierre Bourdieu. PostScriptum: Pierre Bourdieu. Glossary.

Additional information

The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society by Pierre Bourdieu
Polity Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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