Finding Bourdieu

I thought I would just make a note that I have now found where Bourdieu (and Foucault) were hiding. Population health and urban planning do use them, and this seems to be the case particularly in work critiquing the concept of social capital (e.g. Carpiano’s work). There does not seem to be any explicit mention of ‘practice theory’.

Returning to ‘practice’. I think I have found the link with work using ‘practice’ in sociology and it is Susan White. However, the idea that sociology has anything much to say to social work research is not to be taken for granted (see Sheppard 1998 for evidence of this). Work in social work research does not seem to speak directly to the work related to community development (my initial starting point, although the articles are mostly lamenting the confusion around the concept of ‘social capital (Evans and Syrett 2007, Flint and Rowlands 2003, Moulaert and Nussbaumer 2005, Fraser and Lepofsky et al 2003, etc!)). The reason for this could simply be that the work I have been reading in social work research focuses on case management, not community development. It is also interesting that the social work research I have been finding that is interested in research that looks at actual practice has been nearly completely British.

In conclusion, there is a lot of work out there that does explore the fact that the real world is not necessarily represented by loaded terms such as ‘social capital’. It is, however, rather boring to read and so it is a great motivator to get my ethics application in as soon as possible so I can get out there in the real world.

Carpiano, R. M. (2006). “Toward a neighborhood resource-based theory of social capital for health: Can Bourdieu and sociology help?”  62(1): 165-175.
Carpiano, R. M. and D. M. Daley (2006). “A guide and glossary on postpositivist theory building for population health.” Journal of epidemiology and community health 60(7): 564.
Evans, M. and S. Syrett (2007). “Generating Social Capital?: The Social Economy and Local Economic Development.” European Urban and Regional Studies 14(1): 55-74.
Flint, J. and R. Rowlands (2003). “Commodification, normalisation and intervention: Cultural, social and symbolic capital in housing consumption and governance.” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 18(3): 213-232.
Fraser, J. C., J. Lepofsky, et al. (2003). “The construction of the local and the limits of contemporary community building in the United States.” Urban Affairs Review 38(3): 417.
Moulaert, F. and J. Nussbaumer (2005). “Defining the social economy and its governance at the neighbourhood level: A methodological reflection.” Urban Studies (Routledge) 42(11): 2071-2088.
Taylor, C. and S. White (2006). “Knowledge and Reasoning in Social Work: Educating for Humane Judgement.” Br J Soc Work 36(6): 937-954.
White, S., K. Broadhurst, et al. (2009). “Whither practice-near research in the modernization programme? Policy blunders in children’s services.” Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community 23(4): 401 – 411.


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