A sociologist in the field of social work: Pierre Bourdieu’s theory and its relevance for social work practice

Michal Wolinak, Stan Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The literature considering Bourdieu’s social theory and its relevance for social work is multifaceted and growing. An evaluation of this body of work is now pressing. This critical literature review explores 34 published works on this subject. Six themes emerged from a thematic analysis of the corpus: (1) the intersection between class and poverty; (2) power and symbolic domination; (3) neoliberalism and the state; (4) reflexivity; (5) relations between social workers and other professionals; and (6) the critique of Bourdieu’s thinking and its relevance for social work. The findings show that Bourdieu’s social theory can augment critical and radical social work, especially when the concepts of habitus, capital, field and reflexivity are embraced. Significantly, though, it was discovered that the ‘symbolic’ part of Bourdieu’s theory had been incompletely covered and required much more attention, as it is integral to the understanding of oppression in society.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalCritical and Radical Social Work
Early online date04 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Apr 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A sociologist in the field of social work: Pierre Bourdieu’s theory and its relevance for social work practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this