Bourdieu’s contribution to psychoanalytic thinking in the context of research

Beckler, Lydia Ephraim and Forbes, David (2021) Bourdieu’s contribution to psychoanalytic thinking in the context of research. Journal of Social Work Practice, 35 (2). pp. 205-217. ISSN 0265-0533

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This article explores the added value that the application of the conceptual tools of French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002), has the potential to bring to psychoanalytic thinking. Drawing on evidence derived from our individual studies, we aim to demonstrate how Bourdieu’s theories can contribute to our understanding of workers’ occupational choices and add to our knowledge of the way organisational cultures combine with personal attributes to either sustain people in their jobs or drive them out. Given we have practice backgrounds informed by psychoanalytic and psychosocial theory and undertook our Professional Doctorates in Social Work at the Tavistock Centre in London, which strongly promotes psychoanalytic ideas, it may seem surprising that we chose to utilise sociological concepts with which we were largely unfamiliar. However, upon studying Bourdieu’s key concepts of habitus, field, capital and practice we recognised their relevance and ability to bring fresh insights to our research findings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bourdieu, Probation service, Residential child-care, Socioanalysis, Psycho-social
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Research, Tests, Assessments > Social Study & Research Methodologies
Department/People: Research Students

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