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September 06 , 2007

The Spatial Logic of Social Struggle

A Bourdieuian Topology


Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice is widely regarded as among the most innovative and illuminating fruits of recent social thought. As evidence mounts that the "spatial turn" in the social sciences and humanities is no mere theoretical fad, but rather an enduring paradigm of social and cultural research, Bourdieu's status as a profoundly spatial thinker takes on a renewed importance. The Spatial Logic of Social Struggle: A Bourdieuian Topology focuses on Bourdieu's philosophy of space, arguing that space is at once a condition for social knowledge, a methodological instrument, and a physical context for practice. By considering Bourdieu's theory of social space and fields alongside his several accounts of socially potent physical spaces, Nikolaus Fogle develops an understanding of the systematic co-determinations between social and physical space. He traces Bourdieu's ideas about the spatiality of social life through his investigations of Algerian peasant villages and Gothic cathedrals, as well as spaces of class, lifestyle and cultural creation, revealing that social and environmental struggles are only logical insofar as they are topological. He also demonstrates how a Bourdieuian dialectical understanding of social and physical space can be brought to bear on contemporary issues in architecture and urban development.

This book will be useful and accessible not only to philosophers, but also to architects, geographers, sociologists, and other scholars in the social sciences and humanities who take an interest in the social theory of space.
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