Journal article

The Case of Kabylia: Explaining Elective Affinities in Bourdieu’s Mediterranean


Postcolonial Studies | Routledge | Published : 2016


A recurrent paradox accompanies Pierre Bourdieu's description of his relation to his earliest field site: the people of Kabylia are frequently evoked as ‘at once exotic and familiar’. In the present article I ask what conditions must prevail for such a depiction to be possible. Taking up work conducted in recent years concerning the details of Bourdieu's fieldwork, its theoretical presuppositions, and its place within the declining French empire, I propose that Bourdieu's depiction is predicated on what Herzfeld calls ‘practical Mediterraneanism’: an ideology of the Mediterranean as a cultural region that permits Bourdieu to negotiate his colonial position, by transmuting a power relation in..

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University of Melbourne Researchers