Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2014 - 7/31/2014

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Pierre Bourdieu and Social Space

FAIN: FT-61493-14

Deborah Ellen Reed-Danahay
SUNY Research Foundation, Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY 14222-1004)

With NEH support, I will complete a book manuscript that provides new insights on the work of French sociologist and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) by examining its relevance for the recent spatial turn in the humanities and social sciences. This project traces the centrality of the concept of social space across the span of Bourdieu's career, beginning with his early ethnographic research in Algeria and rural France. The relationship between social and physical space and the differences between field and space in Bourdieu’s work are explored. The lens of social space permits investigations of the ways in which people distant in physical space can feel socially close to each other, and vice versa, and of how ideas about social closeness and distance can shape processes of social inclusion and exclusion. This book relates to the BRIDGING CULTURES initiative and has relevance for critical issues in the humanities -- including those of global migration and civic engagement.

Associated Products

Bourdieu and Social Space: Mobilities,Trajectories, Emplacements (Book)
Title: Bourdieu and Social Space: Mobilities,Trajectories, Emplacements
Author: Deborah Reed-Danahay
Abstract: French sociologist and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu’s relevance for studies of spatiality and mobility has received less attention than other aspects of his work. Here, Deborah Reed-Danahay argues that the concept of social space, central to Bourdieu’s ideas, addresses the structured inequalities that prevail in spatial choices and practices. She provides an ethnographically informed interpretation of social space that demonstrates its potential for new directions in studies of mobility, immobility, and emplacement. This book traces the links between habitus and social space across the span of Bourdieu’s writings, and places his work in dialogue with historical and contemporary approaches to mobility.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: http://
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781789203530
Copy sent to NEH?: No

Bourdieu, Social Space, and the Nation-State: Implications for Migration Studies (Article)
Title: Bourdieu, Social Space, and the Nation-State: Implications for Migration Studies
Author: Deborah Reed-Danahay
Abstract: Pierre Bourdieu used the lens of social space to study the ways in which groups form and take shape in society, and to explore metaphors of social distance and proximity that are connected to processes of inequality and social domination. In order to better understand migrant belongings [Fortier 2000] and mplacements [Korac 2009], it is useful to take into consideration migrant “positionings” in social space, adapting the work of Pierre Bourdieu to the study of contemporary migration. In this article, I explore the ways in which Bourdieu’s concept of social space can be relevant to studies of migration, with a particular focus on the question of how we might better understand movements across social space, and also the permeability of the nation as social space – its thresholds and limits. Drawing upon Bourdieu’s insights on social space and the positionings of habitus, I suggest that a focus on national space does not need to imply a bounded view of people and territory.
Year: 2017
Primary URL:
Access Model: open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Socoiologica