The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 22, Issue 1/4, 2006

Rolf-Dieter Hepp
Pages 55-68

The Relational Thinking of Pierre Bourdieu

The thinking of Pierre Bourdieu, even in its most subtle aspects, is characterized by a distrust of the “high” theory. He does not totally reject it, but it is questioned by his critical reflection upon it. By a resort to the functions of the social and the French epistemology, which examines and analyzes the scientific terms in connection to their constitution, Bourdieu’s theory aims to develop a “sociological thinking” in relations which integrates motives of the “social” into the theoretical reflection and works out their interaction in the form of significant chains. The range and the precision of this methodical reflection is illustrated and specified in this article also on the basis of examples.