CFP Dossier || Issue 4. The legacy of Pierre Bourdieu in education and culture: On his 20th anniversary.


The legacy of Pierre Bourdieu in education and culture: Twenty years after his death.



Deadline: September 30, 2021

Publication date: December 2021

Guest Editors:

Fernando Cisneros Padilla (Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México)

Sergio Lorenzo Sandoval Aragón (Universidad de Guadalajara)

Ramón C. Rocha Manilla (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla)

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Submissions should be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.



Pierre Bourdieu is undoubtedly an author whose work currently has a strong structuring effect on the field of social sciences, both in France and in the rest of the world (Santoro, Gallelli & Grüning, 2018). However, twenty years after his disappearance, it could be applied to his work what he himself affirmed in his Pascalian Meditations with respect to the work of other authors when he stated,


...the way in which the work is presented as a totalized and canonized opus operatum in the form of a 'complete work' [...] hides the way in which the work was elaborated and, above all, the modus operandi from which it is the fruit [...]. The specific logic of the process of the invention is thus ignored (1999, p. 76) [Translated by editors]


In other words, his work currently runs the risk of being "totalized" and therefore canonized.

Likewise, his death also invites his adversaries to try to "close" his work, even with the recourse of apparent tributes: a perceptive analyst of the obituary notes, through which he was able to reconstruct the "categories of the professorial judgment" (Bourdieu and de Saint-Martin, 1975), the relevance and meaning of Bourdieu himself are revealed through many of the supposedly "felt" statements that some made following his disappearance and which were nothing more than an almost immediate attempt at closure.

How has Bourdieu's legacy moved between the Charybdis of the canonization and the Scylla of the enclosure in these twenty years?

Bourdieu himself gives us a key to answering this question when he completes the passage quoted above with the statement that this logic of invention “is only discovered and understood when it reveals itself in the work in which it is carried out” (1999, p. 76). Bourdieu held that scientific communication (especially when written) could and should be elaborated and presented in such a way that, even though it is an opus operatum, it shows at the same time the modus operandi, which means not only making explicit the operations and data sources used in the research but also carrying out an analysis of their historical and social conditions, as well as the genesis of the cognitive categories and the instruments used. That is, ensuring that the scientific work incorporates a principle of reflexivity.

Reflexivity functions in the work of Pierre Bourdieu as an epistemological and ethical imperative and fulfills an essential function, which obliges us to adopt an active point of view in the face of his legacy, as a participant rather than a spectator, as an auctor rather than a reader (1999, pp. 113-122), since his work, when seen well, expresses more a process than a finished product. In other words: Pierre Bourdieu's legacy would not consist of a finished and, a fortiori, closed "system" or "theory", but rather of a "disciplinary matrix" (Kuhn, 1971, p. 279), generating sociological practices (as specific scientific practices) and, therefore, a sociological knowledge of an elevated level of generality. Bourdieu not only analyzed certain objects in certain places and moments, but he exemplified a way of doing social science that was at the same time innovative and founded on the previous achievements of that same science.

Based on all this, it is assumed that twenty years after Pierre Bourdieu's death, an analysis of his legacy is necessary, particularly in the case of Latin America, giving an account of how he has contributed to effective social research, regardless of canonizations, sacralizations or routinizations, as well as hasty closings and rejections.

Topics of special interest:

  • Health Education
  • Current developments in the sociology of education in Latin America
  • Educational practices, school, and community
  • Culture, ideologies, and mechanisms of social reproduction
  • Religion and symbolic power
  • Contributions of Pierre Bourdieu to gender studies.
  • Uses of the media and "social networks".
  • Political processes and social transformations.
  • Emerging issues in education and culture.



Bourdieu, P. (1999). Meditaciones pascalianas. Anagrama.

Bourideu, P. y de Saint-Martin, M.(1975). Les catégories de l’entendement professoral, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 1(3) 68-93.

Kuhn, T. S. (1971). La Estructura de las Revoluciones Científicas. Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Santoro, M., Gallelli, A., y Grüning, B. (2018). Bourdieu’s International Circulation: An Exercise in Intellectual Mapping. En, T. Medvetz y J. Sallaz (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Pierre Bourdieu. Oxford University Press.