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Bourdieu and Literature

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John R. W. Speller

6. Literature and Cultural Policy

Texte intégral

  • 1 ’the trap of [suggesting] programmes (...) there are well enough parties and apparatuses for that’ (...)
  • 2 In the general discussions of Bourdieu’s work on cultural policy in this chapter, I draw extensive (...)

1Bourdieu usually avoided making ’normative’ proposals, especially in his ’scientific’ work. Even in his political interventions, he warns against ’le piège du programme’, arguing ’il y a bien assez de partis et d’appareils pour ça’ (CFI, 62).1 In Bourdieu’s view, researchers are better off keeping to what they are good at: providing information and analysis, rather than programmes and prescriptions. On several prominent occasions, Bourdieu did, however, engage directly in the cultural policy debate, most notably in two reports commissioned by the French government on the reform of education.2 This chapter examines the points at which Bourdieu’s cultural policy reflection impacts or intersects with cultural policy issues related to literature in education and society. Firstly, it tries to dispel the belief that Bourdieu reduces the value of literature to its uses in strategies of social distinction, which would hardly seem to justify State subsidy and protection, or literature’s place in a modern education system. Next, it explores the apparently contradictory role of the State within Bourdieu’s cultural policy reflection, which argues both for greater State support for literature and the arts and on cultural producers more actively to oppose undue State interference. The chapter closes with Bourdieu’s call, included as the post-script to Les Règles, ’Pour un corporatisme de l’universel’, in which he urged writers and intellectuals to pursue a Realpolitik de la raison in their own interests and in the general interest.

Reproduction and distinction

2Literature appears in Bourdieu’s sociological critiques of contemporary French society in his work on education and in his analysis of patterns in French cultural consumption and tastes. In this section, we will begin with Bourdieu’s critiques of how literature was effectively deployed within existing State educational/cultural policies, and then move on to consider how this meshes with its uses in more generally distributed strategies of cultural/social distinction. We will then see if Bourdieu, especially when he switches to an explicitly ’normative’ mode in his proposals for educational reform, indicates any more positive reasons for teaching or conserving noncommercial literary culture. To do this, we will need to distinguish between the intrinsic ’use value’ of literature and its ’exchange value’ within social fields as an instrument of cultural distinction.

  • 3 ’the pre-eminent value that the French system accords to literary aptitude, and, more precisely, t (...)
  • 4 ’The ideal place to study the action of cultural factors on inequality in the school’ (trans. J.S. (...)

3At the time of writing Les Héritiers and La Reproduction, published in 1964 and 1970 respectively, literary values were still dominant in the French education system. In La Reproduction, Bourdieu and Passeron describe ’la valeur éminente que le système française accorde à l’aptitude littéraire, et, plus précisément, à l’aptitude à transformer en discours littéraire toute expérience, à commencer par l’expérience littéraire, bref ce qui définit la manière française de vivre la vie littéraire – et parfois même scientifique – comme une vie parisienne’ (R, 143-44).3 In Les Héritiers, this situation is described as playing into the hands of students from privileged, especially Parisian, backgrounds. Such students were more familiar with the bookish language used in the classroom, because it was the language used in the home, meaning that they could follow and reproduce the lessons more easily. Even if there was no direct pressure from their families to read, they acquired from their parents habits and attitudes which were either of direct service in their school-work (linguistic competence, the capacity for quiet study and independent learning), or that were rewarded indirectly by the school (such as ’good taste’, ’proper’ diction, linguistic fluency and confidence, or simply a respectful disposition towards the school and teachers) (H, 30-33). The parents of these children were also more likely to take them to theatres, museums, concerts, etc. (a frequentation provided only sporadically by the school, or not at all), providing the background of cultural knowledge and experience demanded tacitly by literary studies. According to Les Héritiers, nowhere was the influence of social origin more manifest than in literature departments, making literary studies ’le terrain par excellence pour étudier l’action des facteurs culturels de l’inégalité devant l’Ecole’ (H, 19).4

  • 5 5 ’In other words, the system of euphemistic classification has the function of establishing a con (...)

4If the mechanisms by which the French school and university system contributed to social reproduction so often went unnoticed, it was because the social differences it ratified were transformed into academic categories, grades, and percentages, which disguised social differences behind apparently objective categories based on merit. A good example of this is a document Bourdieu discovered during his research into the Grandes écoles, in which a professor had written down the marks of his students and his appreciation of them, and their social origin. By a simple graph, Bourdieu was able to establish a correlation between scholastic success and social class. ’Autremement dit’, Bourdieu explains, ’le système de classement euphémistique a pour fonction d’établir la connexion entre la classe et la note, mais en la niant ou, mieux, en la déniant – comme dit la psychanalyse’ (I, 94).5

  • 6 In Méditations pascaliennes, Bourdieu extends this metaphor to the social world as a whole (MP, 27 (...)
  • 7 ’It’s a world that you enter in order to know what you are, and with all the more anxious expectat (...)
  • 8 ’these traumas of identity are undoubtedly one of the main pathogenic factors in our society’ (Pol (...)

5Bourdieu considered the resulting ’verdict effect’ (l’effet de verdict) to be one of the most important and, for many, damaging actions performed by the school. To give this point more force, Bourdieu draws an analogy with Kafka’s The Trial, which he reads as a metaphor for the education system.6 Like Josef K, who is condemned by a tribunal he is forced to recognise, but whose judgment he is unable to appeal nor even to understand, children ’internalise’ the verdicts of their teachers (often re-enforced by their families, in different ways according to their social origin), which become part of how the children in turn see themselves. ’C’est un univers dans lequel on entre pour savoir qui on est,’ Bourdieu explains, in an interview first published in 1985, ’et avec une attente d’autant plus anxieuse qu’on y est moins attendu. Il vous dira, de façon insidieuse ou brutale: ’tu n’est qu’un…’ – suivi généralement d’une insulte qui, dans ce cas là, est sanctionnée par une institution indiscutable, reconnue de tous’ (I, 205).7 Bourdieu describes the ’traumatismes de l’identité’ that can result from this verdict effect as ’sans doute un des grands facteurs pathogènes de notre société’ (I, 205).8 It leaves some children scarred with anxiety, insecurity, and poor self-esteem, while others are confirmed and legitimated in their way of being. We can notice how Bourdieu turns to literature to underline and make palpable a fundamental point, while it also helps him to put it into relief through a form of defamiliarisation (ostrenanie).

  • 9 Bourdieu borrows this phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone (...)
  • 10 ’Literature, in which, as Gide said in his Journal, ”only the personal has any value”, and the cel (...)

6The belief in natural talent, intelligence, or merit, was supported and upheld by the literary mythology of inspired geniuses or ’uncreated creators’. The ’charismatic ideology’ of the artist-as-prophet, graced with an artistic ’gift’, had its counterpart in ’the dogma of the immaculate perception’,9 which considered cultural reception also to be a matter of natural aptitude (D, 381). ’La littérature ”où, comme disait Gide dans son Journal, rien ne vaut que ce qui est personnel”’, Bourdieu writes in La Distinction, ’et la célébration dont elle fait l’objet dans le champ littéraire et dans les systèmes d’enseignement, sont évidemment au centre de ce culte du moi où la philosophie, souvent réduite à une affirmation hautaine de la distinction du penseur, chante aussi sa partie’ (D, 486).10 Just as literary works were supposed to be the ’unique’ expression of ’unique’ creators, so students were also expected to express their ’personal’ opinions and tastes, with little in fact done to provide the cultural knowledge and comparisons, or the words and concepts necessary to formulate such opinions to those who had not acquired these from their family milieu.

  • 11 ’the ideology of the natural gift and of the fresh eye’ (Love of Art, 54).
  • 12 ’cultural needs’ (Love of Art, 106).
  • 13 ’As if they believed that only the physical inaccessibility of the works of art prevented the grea (...)

7Importantly, Bourdieu also saw the ’charismatic ideology’ of art at work in official French cultural policy in the 1960s. The main targets of Bourdieu’s early cultural policy critiques were ’l’idéologie du don naturel et de l’oeil neuf’ (AA, 90-91),11 according to which responsiveness to works of high culture was supposed to be a matter of direct intuition, and the ’l’ideologie des ’besoins culturels’ (AA, 156),12 according to which individuals have an innate (just not always satisfied) need for high cultural stimulation. These presuppositions were behind, for instance, the ill-fated Maisons de Culture, brainchild of André Malraux (then Minister of Culture). As the survey results in L’Amour de l’art show (and as Bourdieu’s mathematical model, based on statistical probability, enabled him to predict), these flagship institutions catered primarily to people who engaged already in cultural practices, and failed in their mission to take high culture to the masses merely by opening these institutions in their locality: ’comme s’ils croyaient que la seule inaccessibilité physique des oeuvres empêche la grande majorité de les aborder, des les contempler et de les savourer’ (AA, 151).13 The downside to this purely formal accessibility, of course, was a tendency to blame the victims of cultural dispossession if they did not make use of the opportunities and facilities that were ostensibly available.

8It is no coincidence, perhaps, that André Malraux was himself a literary author, of works including La Voie royale (1930) and L’Espoir (1937). Malraux, who famously likened his Maisons de Culture to cathedrals, had a vested interest in the celebration of culture as a substitute or successor for religion, and in the image of cultural reception as a sort of mystical ’communion’, making him and other artists prophets for a godless age.

  • 14 Here we can see another example of literature being used by Bourdieu to illustrate and make a poin (...)

9The divisive effects of literary culture continued out into wider society. In La Distinction, Bourdieu describes the sense of exclusion and alienation, even revolt, experienced by members of the popular class, when confronted with works of high culture. One of his examples is avant-garde theatre, which appears to do everything possible to exclude the popular public by systematically disappointing normal expectations (D, 34). High culture defines itself in opposition to popular tastes, posing every possible obstacle to the participation the popular public demands, and finds in less ’formalised’ and ’euphemistic’ entertainments (D, 36). There is also an effect of peer pressure, which forbids any kind of ’pretentiousness’ in matters of culture, language, or clothing, especially among men – in whom interests, dispositions and mannerisms held to be characteristically ’bourgeois’ (against whom the working class male could only oppose his strength and ’virility’), were discouraged as ’effeminate’ (D, 443-44). In contrast, the apparently intuitive understanding that the cultivated had of literary works was seen as a sort of instinct: opposed not only to the ’bad taste’ of the popular class, but also to the ’cuistrerie’ of those (petit-bourgeois) individuals who had learned the grammar, and knew the literature, but who, having learned their competence in the school or later in life, still lacked the virtuoso’s flair or sens littéraire (D, 73) – a fact they gave away by their tense hypercorrection and lingering taste for less legitimate genres, such as comic books or fantasy and science fiction (like the ape in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Kreislerbuch, evoked by Bourdieu in La Distinction to make this same point, which had been taught to speak, read, write, and play instruments, but which betrayed its ’exotic origin’ by ’a few little details’, such as the ’inner movements’ that agitated him whenever he heard nuts being cracked (D, 105, n. 109)14).

10Reading habits were also part of what differentiated the dominant class, according to Bourdieu: from teachers who read the most overall, especially novels, but also books on philosophy, politics and economics, but who read relatively few detective novels or adventure stories, to business bosses who read the least, and when they did read the lowest proportion of novels (the most popular genre overall) and a comparatively higher number of adventure stories and detective novels (D, 132). In La Distinction, reading habits, like sporting practices, dress-sense, table manners, or tastes in food and drink, are seen as so many markers of social position defined by volume and ratio of economic and cultural capitals.

  • 15 Danièle Sallenave cited in Bernard Lahire, ’Présentation: Pour une sociologie à l’état vif’, in Le (...)
  • 16 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 41.

11Unsurprisingly, Bourdieu’s critique of the cultural game led some to question whether he saw anything beyond its ’segregative’ effects, and if the values attributed to cultural works were really reducible to their social uses and distinctiveness, as they appeared to be in Bourdieu’s analysis. ’Il est donc vain’, Danièle Sallenave writes, after citing a passage from La Distinction, ’d’opérer une distinction entre les grands livres et les autres, entre les bons films et les nanars, entre un Cremonini et les Poulbots de la Butte’.15 Although Bourdieu feigned indignation at such interpretations, they are not entirely without foundation. Jeremy Ahearne points to a tendency in Bourdieu to ’absolutize’ (detach from what he also holds to be true) certain lines of argument’,16 pointing, for instance, to his critique of the historically ’arbitrary’ nature of legitimate culture, which appears to offer little reason to privilege one particular culture over another:

  • 17 Ibid., p. 50.

With the repeated insistence throughout La Reproduction that legitimate culture simply ’is’ arbitrary, it is easy to forget the note (afterthought?) in its preface that the notion of pure arbitrariness is a logical construction without empirical referent that is necessary for the construction of the argument (somewhat like Rousseau’s ’state of nature’) (…) It is worthwhile, at the very least, to meditate on the extent to which the rites of culture are purely ’negative’ (i.e. segregational) and its pleasures ’vain’.17

  • 18 Jean-Pierre Salgas, ’Le Rapport du Collège de France: Pierre Bourdieu s’explique’, in La Quinzaine (...)
  • 19 Propositions pour l’enseignement de l’avenir élaborées à la demande de Monsieur le Président de la (...)

12Pierre Salgas put this question directly to Bourdieu, in an interview published in 198518 on the occasion of the publication of Propositions pour l’enseignement de l’avenir,19 a report commissioned by François Mitterrand from the professors of the Collège de France (where Bourdieu had held a chair since 1981). This report was not a policy critique, but policy proposal, and it is interesting that it leads Bourdieu to leave his pure critique of literature and culture and to indicate positive or ’intrinsic’ uses. Salgas took this opportunity to question Bourdieu over his attitude towards literary culture. Reading his early work, in particular La Reproduction and La Distinction, Salgas observes, one could get the impression that literary values are reducible to rarity value and distinctiveness. Did the sociologist then consider literary studies to have a place in a modern education system? What about Proust, whom Bourdieu clearly admired, should he be included on the school curriculum? Bourdieu responds emphatically:

  • 20 ’You get back here to the effect of ratification. It is a fact that cultural goods are subject to (...)

On retombe sur l’effet de ratification. C’est un fait que les biens culturels sont soumis à des usages sociaux de distinction qui n’ont rien à voir avec leur valeur intrinsèque. Suis-je pour ou contre Proust? La question n’a pas de great books and others, between good films and junk, between a Cremonini and Poulbots by la Butte’ (trans. J.S.). sens. Comment ne pas souhaiter que l’on puisse produire à l’infini des gens capables de faire ce qu’a fait Proust ou, du moins, de lire ce qu’il a écrit? Ceux qui m’attaquent sur ce point, ou qui prennent contre moi la ’défense’ de la philosophie sont des gens dont le point d’honneur intellectuel est plus lié à l’usage social des choses intellectuelles qu’à ces choses elles-mêmes (I, 209).20

13Clearly, Bourdieu saw value in literature beyond its social uses. Yet one needs to read his work quite carefully to discover just what its ’valeur intrinsèque’ might be. Bourdieu, as we have seen, was not one to worship literature for its own sake.

  • 21 ’Instruments of production, hence of invention and possible freedom’ (Rules, 392).
  • 22 James Joyce, Letter of 21 September 1920 to Carlo Linati, in Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. (...)

14There is a clue, however, in Bourdieu’s response to Salgas that what he really wanted to see cultivated by literary education was a certain linguistic competence and ’creative’ disposition – which has so long been one of the aims attributed to literary studies that it now almost goes without saying (and literary scholars, educators and policy makers can usefully be reminded of it for that reason). In the terms Bourdieu uses, literary works are ’instruments de production, donc d’invention et de liberté possible’ (RA, 495 n. 26).21 They are ’objectified’ or externalised linguistic ’resources’, like grammar books and dictionaries (or like an ’encyclopaedia’, as James Joyce once described Ulysses, which goes through the A to Z of literary styles and content, from ’elite’ literature, with allusions to Hamlet and the Odyssey, to glossy women’s magazines22) (cf. LPS, 88). These linguistic and stylistic instruments can be accumulated and concentrated in certain works, and fresh ones generated (Proust, with his Pastiches et Mélanges, and stylistic experiments in À la recherche du temps perdu, is again a good example). And they can be ’internalised’ again by readers, who are subsequently able to formulate certain ideas, and to express certain experiences, of their own.

  • 23 Lionel Gossman, ’Literature and Education’, New Literary History, 13 (1982), 341- 71 (p. 355). Dis (...)

15Despite the initial strangeness of Bourdieu’s terminology (and the fact that it runs counter to the general course of literary education since the late nineteenth century, which turned away from rhetoric and became ’an activity of appreciation and not primarily a way of learning how to produce fine speeches and essays oneself’),23 this conception of literature echoes in some ways that of the founders of literary education in the eighteenth century, whose literature programmes had as their goal the acquisition of rhetoric and the ’elevation of the mind’. The key purpose, of course, was not to produce cohorts of creative writers (although, as Bourdieu suggests, that would be no bad thing), but rather to furnish students with the linguistic and ideational resources to understand their own experiences – so freeing them from blind submission to doctrines and ideologies, and increasing their ability to express their own arguments and view points. Indeed, this recalls how Proust, again, called for his own book to be read, in a famous passage near the end of À la recherche du temps perdu:

  • 24 Marcel Proust, Le Temps retrouvé (Paris: Gallimard, 1954), pp. 424-25. ’I was thinking more modest (...)

Je pensais (…) à mon livre, et ce serait même inexact que de dire en pensant à ceux qui le liraient, à mes lecteurs. Car ils ne seraient pas, selon moi, mes lecteurs, mais les propres lecteurs d’eux-mêmes, mon livre n’étant qu’une sorte de ces verres grossissants comme ceux que tendait à un acheteur l’opticien de Combray; mon livre, grâce auquel je leur fournirais le moyen de lire en eux-mêmes. De sorte que je ne leur demanderais pas de me louer ou de me dénigrer, mais seulement de me dire si c’est bien cela, si les mots qu’ils lisent en eux-mêmes sont bien ceux que j’ai écrits.24

  • 25 Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, ’Les Intellectuels et le Pouvoir’, in Dits et Écrits 1954-1988 (...)

16As the philosopher Gilles Deleuze remarked, it is not without some surprise that we find Proust, an author often thought of as a pure intellectual, expressing this instrumentalist vision of literature, which valorises its usefulness as a means of knowledge and self-knowledge (and so of control and self-control), and which Deleuze – using a language of symbolic struggle that could almost be that of Bourdieu – paraphrases as follows: ’traitez mon livre comme une paire de lunettes dirigée sur le dehors, eh bien, si elles ne vous vont pas, prenez-en d’autres, trouvez vous-même votre appareil qui est forcément un appareil de combat’.25

  • 26 ’ideologies of PA as non-violent – whether Socratic myths or neo-Socratic myths of non-directive t (...)
  • 27 ’satisfied the deepest expectations and wishes of literary students, Parisian and bourgeois’ (tran (...)
  • 28 Bourdieu cited in Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 61.

17There is clearly a tension in Bourdieu’s work between literature’s social uses of distinction and domination (its ’exchange value’), and its ’use-value’ as an instrument of mental emancipation. As we might expect, Bourdieu did not believe that it was possible simply to separate the two. In the stark language of the first part of La Reproduction, there is no pedagogical action (AP) without ’symbolic violence’, and Bourdieu was sceptical of ’les idéologies de l’AP comme action non violente – qu’il s’agisse des mythes socratiques ou néo-socratiques d’un enseignement non directif, des mythes rousseauistes d’une éducation naturelle ou des mythes pseudofreudiens d’une éducation non répressive’ (R, 27).26 Every pedagogical action supposes the imposition of some historically ’arbitrary’ cultural content. Indeed, discipline and didacticism are necessary in order not to disadvantage the culturally dispossessed still further. The image of the free or ’autonomous’ learner, still prevalent especially in universities – and of which Bourdieu attributes the initial success, in Les Héritiers, to the fact that it ’venait combler les attentes les plus profondes et les plus vouées des étudiants littéraires, parisiens et bourgeois’ (H, 75),27 by assuming natural ability – presupposes that students intuitively understand what is expected of them, and already have the study skills, core knowledge, motivation, etc., required for intellectual work (cf. H, 113). Bourdieu nevertheless draws a distinction between ’abuses’ of symbolic power and ’emancipatory disciplines’ (we can notice the apparent oxymoron), by which, through patient repetition and exercise, ’habituses of invention, creation and liberty’ can be inculcated.28 This tension between imposition and empowerment can be felt clearly in the following passage from Les Héritiers, which takes as an example the case of literary studies:

  • 29 ’There is no doubt that certain aptitudes demanded by the School, such as the ability to speak and (...)

Il est indiscutable que certaines aptitudes qu’exige l’École, comme l’habilité à parler ou à écrire et la multiplicité même des aptitudes, définissent et définiront toujours la culture savante. Mais le professeur de lettres n’est en droit d’attendre la virtuosité verbale et rhétorique qui lui apparaît, non sans raison, comme associée au contenu même de la culture qu’il transmet, qu’à la condition qu’il tienne cette vertu pour ce qu’elle est, c’est-à-dire une aptitude susceptible d’être acquise par l’exercice et qu’il s’impose de fournir à tous les moyens de l’acquérir (H, 110).29

  • 30 ’rational pedagogy’ (trans. J.S.).

18Here we can see Bourdieu insist, not that the school should cease to make demands on students, specifically in matters of literature and language (for instance, from a well-meaning but misplaced ’respect’ for cultural ’difference’ and ’diversity’), but that it should develop techniques and practices (what Bourdieu refers to, in the closing pages of Les Héritiers, as a ’pédagogie rationnelle’),30 which could transmit that culture more effectively and more universally. In the next section, we will explore Bourdieu’s own proposals for a restructuring and reform of education, with a specific focus on their impact on literary culture and education, both in terms of individual classroom practice and wider cultural policy contexts.

Proposals for the future of education

  • 31 ’One of the most serious vices of the current education system (…) the fact that it tends more and (...)

19By the time of the Collège de France report, published in 1985, the humanities were losing their pre-eminent place in the hierarchy of disciplines to science. On the basis of his earlier critiques of ’humanistic’ culture, we might have imagined that Bourdieu would have welcomed this development, which replaced the former ’voie royale’ through the série littéraire to the ENS with a route through maths and physics or sciences to one of the Grandes écoles d’ingénieurs in Paris. In fact, the Collège de France report deplores as ’un des vices les plus criants du système d’enseignement actuel (…) le fait qu’il tend de plus en plus à ne connaître et à ne reconnaître qu’une seule forme d’excellence intellectuelle, celle que représente la section C (ou S) des lycées et son prolongement dans les grandes écoles scientifiques’ (PPEA, 17).31 Rather than verbal prowess, mathematics was now being used as an instrument of selection and elimination, making students with other competences feel and appear inferior:

  • 32 ’The holders of these mutilated competences are thus doomed to a more or less unhappy experience b (...)

les détenteurs de ces compétences mutilées sont ainsi voués à une expérience plus ou moins malheureuse et de la culture qu’ils ont reçue et de la culture scolairement dominante (c’est là sans doute une des origines de l’irrationalisme qui fleurit actuellement). Quant aux détenteurs de la culture socialement considérée comme supérieure, ils sont de plus en plus souvent voués, sauf effort exceptionnel et conditions sociales très favorables, à la spécialisation prématurée, avec toutes les mutilations qui l’accompagnent (PPEA, 17).32

  • 33 Antoine Gaudemar, ’À quand un lycée Bernard Tapie?’, Libération, 4 December 1986.
  • 34 Bourdieu cites André Motte, a nineteenth-century industrialist: ’Je repète chaque jour à mes enfan (...)

20It is also useful to place this report in its broader social and political context. One year on, there were widespread student mobilisations against the ’Devaquet project’ (named after Alain Devaquet, the junior minister who had drawn up the policy paper), which had proposed reforms of the university system including raising enrolment costs and increasing selection into and competition between universities. The protest was sufficiently strong to force the withdrawal of the projected reform (see I, 145). During the strikes, Bourdieu came out in support of the students, describing the unrest as a reaction to a broader trend of ’neo-liberal’ educational policies, which were stoking competition between schools, disciplines and students, and aligning education with the needs of the economy. Bourdieu makes particular mention of the social devaluing of traditional humanities disciplines, which, because they were not directly ’vocational’, were described in a dominant discourse spread by the mainstream media that also found resonances with popular anti-intellectualism as superfluous (there was an ’overproduction’ of graduates, etc.). Indeed, in an interview with Antoine de Gaudemar, published during the strikes in Libération,33 Bourdieu describes the situation in terms strikingly similar to those that he later would employ in Les Règles to characterise the cultural climate under the Second Empire, when bourgeois fathers would warn their sons not to waste their time studying philosophy, history, or literature (RA, 87):34

  • 35 ’When a bourgeois or even petty-bourgeois mother talks of her son deciding to read history, you’d (...)

Quand une mère bourgeoise ou même petite-bourgeoise parle de son fils qui veut faire de l’histoire, on croirait qu’elle annonce une catastrophe. Et ne parlons pas de la philo ou des lettres classiques. Les étudiants en lettres sont devenus des bouches inutiles. Et pas seulement pour les ’milieux gouvernementaux’, de droite et de gauche: pour leur famille aussi, et souvent pour eux-mêmes (I, 214).35

  • 36 Guillory, Cultural Capital, p. 45.

21The result has been what John Guillory has described in the case of America as ’a large-scale ’capital flight’’ away from traditionally literaturebased humanities disciplines.36

  • 37 Principes pour une réflexion sur les contenus d’enseignement (Paris: Ministère de l’Education Nati (...)
  • 38 ’Quelques indications pour une politique de démocratisation’, Dossier no 1 du Centre de sociologie (...)

22Finally, it is necessary to mention that the Collège de France report was not a one-off, that he went on to participate in another process of policy prescription (also with implications for literature). In 1988, Lionel Jospin as Minister for National Education set up a commission Bourdieu co-presided with François Gros to study the contents of education. The resulting report, Principes pour une réflexion sur les contenus d’enseignement,37 published in 1989, restates many of the ideas expressed in the earlier Collège de France report, but provides useful elaborations on the application its general principles, including to the teaching of literature and languages. Nor was the Collège de France report Bourdieu’s first foray into the field of cultural/educational policy. In the wake of the événements of May 1968, Bourdieu contributed to the production of a series of collectively written thematically based documents issued by the Centre de sociologie européenne, including ’Quelques indications pour une politique de démocratisation’.38 In what follows, we will focus on how these explicitly ’normative’ policy proposals addressed contemporary issues and problems related to literary education in France.

  • 39 ’The Collège de France ”Proposals” do not talk in terms of hierarchies (though it is a mystificati (...)
  • 40 See the quotation from an interview carried out in Tokyo in 1989 in I, 186.
  • 41 On the question of how to minimise the effect of stigmatisation, the report suggests the instituti (...)

23The Collège de France report does not propose the simple abolition of academic hierarchies or the suppression of competition, which would seem from Bourdieu’s sociology to be constants in any social configuration. Indeed, as Bourdieu notes in his interview with Salgas, ’les Propositions du Collège de France ne parlent de hiérarchies (et c’est une mystification que d’en nier l’existence) que pour dire qu’il faut les multiplier, ce qui est la seule manière d’affaiblir les effets liés au monopole’ (I, 209).39 This is one of the words, along with ’reproduction’ and ’démocratisation’, which one would have expected in a document produced by Bourdieu, but which (as he also noted elsewhere) do not appear in the Collège de France report.40 Bourdieu did not want to make any unrealistic promises or proposals. The report does, however, recommend ’la diversification des formes d’excellence’ (PPEA, 17), so that competition between disciplines would be very much attenuated.41 Although the school does not entirely control the social value of the qualifications it distributes (which depends to a large degree on the value of the positions to which they provide access), it does wield a significant power of consecration, which can to a large extent guarantee the social value of the competences it teaches. It follows from what the report says that tackling hierarchies between subject areas within the school could contribute greatly to reducing their differential valorisation beyond it:

  • 42 ’To work to weaken or abolish hierarchies between different forms of aptitude, as much at the inst (...)

travailler à affaiblir ou à abolir les hiérarchies entre les différentes formes d’aptitude, cela tant dans le fonctionnement institutionnel (les coefficients par exemple) que dans l’esprit des maîtres et des élèves, serait un des moyens les plus efficaces (dans les limites du système d’enseignement) de contribuer à l’affaiblissement des hiérarchies purement sociales (PPEA, 17).42

24The Collège de France report suggests several ways in which the principle opposition and antagonism between literary and scientific disciplines, which split the French education system into different ’sections’ and faculties, could be resolved. Firstly, it calls for an abolition of the division between ’practical’ or ’applied’ and ’pure’ or ’theoretical’ disciplines: not only in name, but by reintroducing ’practical’ or ’theoretical’ components into disciplines from which they had been excluded. This means that students in every discipline should be placed, as far as possible, in the position of ’creator’ or ’discoverer’, where they could learn the ’formes générales de pensée’ (what are commonly called ’transferable skills’) of logic, experimentation, and invention, and where equal weight would be given both to practice and to the theory that informs it (PPEA, 18-19). Interestingly, the Collège de France report gives the humanities disciplines, re-cast as practical and creative arts, a prominent role in the inculcation of this ’creative’ or ’inventive’ disposition, and suggests this as one of the ways in which their educational role could be revalorised:

  • 43 ’While giving its proper place to theory which, in its exact definition, is neither identified wit (...)

Tout en faisant sa juste place à la théorie qui, dans sa définition exacte, n’est identifiée ni au formalisme ni au verbalisme, et aux méthode logiques de raisonnement qui, dans leur rigueur même, enferment une extraordinaire efficacité heuristique, l’enseignement doit se donner pour fin, dans tous les domaines, de faire faire des produits et de mettre l’apprenti en position de découvrir par lui-même. On peut produire une ’manipulation’ de chimie ou de physique au lieu de la recevoir toute montée et d’enregistrer les résultats; on peut produire une pièce de théâtre, un film, un opéra, mais aussi un discours, une critique de film, un compte-rendu d’ouvrage (de préférence à l’intention d’un vrai journal d’élèves ou d’étudiants) ou encore une lettre à la Sécurité sociale, un mode d’emploi ou un constat d’accident, au lieu de seulement disserter (…). Dans cet esprit, l’enseignement artistique conçu comme enseignement approfondi de l’une des pratiques artistiques (musique ou peinture ou cinéma, etc.), librement choisie (au lieu d’être, comme aujourd’hui, indirectement imposée), retrouverait une place éminente (PPEA, 19).43

  • 44 ’Education should privilege all teaching capable of offering modes of thought endowed with a gener (...)

25The idea that both literary and scientific disciplines can draw on and inculcate the same general ’modes of thought’ is repeated and elaborated in Principes pour une réflexion sur les contenus d’enseignement. The Bourdieu- Gros report identifies the aim of all teaching as to ’offrir des modes de pensée dotés d’une validité et d’une applicabilité générales’, three of which it lists as ’le mode de pensée déductif, le mode de pensée expérimental ou le mode de pensée historique’ – adding ’le mode de pensée réflexif et critique, qui devrait leur être toujours associé’ (I, 219).44 Again, the Bourdieu-Gros report suggests that certain broad subject areas (or the ’disciplines’ into which they have been more or less adequately divided) may be better suited to transmitting particular ’modes of thought’. It also however indicates a broad underlying unity with regard to the types of general skills they each require. Thus, for instance, the report reads:

  • 45 ’The teaching of languages can and must be, just as much as physics of biology, an opportunity for (...)

l’enseignement des langages peut et doit, tout autant que celui de la physique ou de la biologie, être l’occasion d’une initiation à la logique: l’enseignement des mathématiques ou de la physique, tout autant que celui de la philosophie ou de l’histoire, peut et doit permettre de préparer à l’histoire des idées, des sciences ou des techniques (I, 225).45

  • 46 ’Unity of science and plurality of cultures’ (trans. J.S.).
  • 47 ’Unification of transmitted knowledge’ (trans. J.S.).
  • 48 ’One of the unifying principles of culture and education [could be] the social history of cultural (...)

26Learning a language, students are learning how to manipulate complex logical structures, no less than they are in mathematics; while, for reasons that, as we will see, are inseparably social and scientific, each discipline should study its own history, as part of a broader social and cultural process, which also opens out onto broader historical enquiry. This last point is made prominently in the Collège de France report, under both the first principle, ’L’unité de la science et la pluralité des cultures’ (PPEA, 13-14),46 and the sixth, ’L’unification des savoirs transmis’ (PPEA, 33-34).47 ’Un des principes unificateurs de la culture et de l’enseignement’, the report suggests, could be ’l’histoire sociale des oeuvres culturelles (des sciences, de la philosophie, du droit, des arts, de la littérature, etc.), liant de manière à la fois logique et historique l’ensemble des acquis culturels et scientifiques’ (PPEA, 33).48 An awareness of the common genesis and historical process of differentiation and autonomisation (such as that out-lined in Chapter 3 of the present study with a particular focus on literature) would integrate the different subject areas – most notably literary and scientific cultures – within a shared social and intellectual history, reducing their opposition and antagonism.

  • 49 ’against both the old and new forms of irrationalism and rationalist fanaticism’ by fostering ’a r (...)
  • 50 ’to unite the universalism of reason which is inherent to the scientific project and the relativis (...)

27The purpose of instilling the historical mode of thought across the faculties would not only be the social integration of the academic and student bodies. There were also scientific reasons to study scientific and cultural history. An awareness of the social conditions and historical process and of scientific progress would give scientists both a more realistic understanding of their own enterprise, and serve as an antidote ’contre les formes anciennes ou nouvelles d’irrationalisme ou de fanatisme de la raison’, by fostering ’un respect sans fétichisme de la science comme forme accomplie de l’activité rationnelle’ (PPEA, 13-14).49 By showing the social and historical rootedness of scientific knowledge as one field among many, science would cease to hold the status of the final or unique source of truth, and students would gain an improved appreciation and understanding of the different forms of research and knowledge (including literary and artistic). The report thus indicates a subtle path, which would seek to ’réunir l’universalisme de la raison qui est inhérent à l’intention scientifique et le relativisme qu’enseignent les sciences historiques, attentives à la pluralité des sagesses et des sensibilités culturelles’ (PPEA, 15).50

  • 51 ’throughout secondary education a culture integrating scientific culture and historical culture, t (...)
  • 52 the innumerable exchanges of techniques and instruments between the different civilisations’ (tran (...)
  • 53 ’notably the progress assured by the comparative method’ (trans. J.S.).
  • 54 ’the discovery of difference, but also of the solidarity between civilisations’ (trans. J.S.).

28The Collège de France report recommends therefore teaching, ’tout au long de l’enseignement secondaire, une culture intégrant la culture scientifique et la culture historique, c’est-à-dire non seulement l’histoire de la littérature ou même des arts et de la philosophie, mais aussi l’histoire des sciences et des techniques’ (PPEA, 33).51 This history should be taught also in its international, notably European, dimension (PPEA, 34), in order to take account of ’les innombrables emprunts de techniques et d’instruments à travers les différentes civilisations’ (PPEA, 15). 52 Again, this educational practice would have both scientific and social benefits: ’notamment les progrès assurés par la méthode comparative’, 53 which is a potent method of learning; and ’la découverte de la différence, mais aussi de la solidarité entre les civilisations’,54 which is particularly important in today’s world, in which people from different cultural backgrounds are more likely than ever to live alongside each other, develop trade, etc. (PPEA, 14). To this end, the report also calls for the production of histories and anthologies of European culture and civilisation, to foster greater collaboration between literature and languages teachers (who appear to be the obvious choices for this sort of work) in different specialisms and nations (PPEA, 34).

  • 55 ’the same general skills are required for the reading of scientific texts, technical notices and a (...)

29The call for greater collaboration and coordination between subjects and specialisms is again echoed and amplified in the Bourdieu-Gros report. ’Tout devrait être fait pour encourager les professeurs à coordiner leurs actions’ (I, 223), the report urges, including by organising regular staff meetings, encouraging teachers to explore beyond their subject specialism, and by programming joint classes (which should be given equal value to single teacher lessons, in terms of pay and the number of hours for which they count). To give a clearer picture of what this last proposal might look like in practice, the Bourdieu-Gros report suggests that we imagine a class taught jointly by a professor of languages (or philosophy) and a professor of mathematics (or physics), in which it would be demonstrated, for example, ’que les mêmes compétences générales sont exigées par la lecture de textes scientifiques, de notices techniques, de discours argumentatifs’ (I, 225).55 The skills of interpretation and close reading (which literature and language studies currently provide) are no less useful in deciphering complex scientific texts than they are for analysing literary works. Again, this is also presented as one of the ways in which the harmful social schism could be healed between scientific and literary cultures:

  • 56 ’The opposition between ’science’ and ’humanities’ that still dominates the organization of teachi (...)

L’opposition entre les ’lettres’ et les ’sciences’, qui domine encore aujourd’hui l’organisation de l’enseignement et les ’mentalités’ des maîtres et des parents d’élèves, peut et doit être surmonté par un enseignement capable de professer à la fois la science et l’histoire des sciences ou l’épistémologie, d’initier aussi bien à l’art ou à la littérature qu’à la réflexion esthétique ou logique sur ces objets, d’enseigner non seulement la maîtrise de la langue et des discours littéraire, philosophique, scientifique, mais aussi la maîtrise des procédures logiques ou rhétoriques qui y sont engagés (I, 225).56

  • 57 ’common minimum of knowledge’ (Political Interventions, 178).
  • 58 ’those who are deprived of this minimum are unaware that they can and should claim it, in the same (...)
  • 59 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 58.

30Bourdieu’s thought had moved on from his earlier reflections in ’Quelques indications pour une politique de démocratisation’. There, he had put his name to a proposal for the establishment of a common basic curriculum up to sixth-form level, to delay as far as possible the choice between ’humanities’ and ’sciences’ and enable everyone to acquire both cultures (I, 71). Both of the later reports counsel against the temptation towards ’encyclopaedism’ this appears to suggest (i.e., trying to pack as much as possible onto the curriculum), concentrating instead on the transmission of the ’general forms of thought’, and of what the reports refer to as a ’minimum culturel commun’ (PPEA, 27) or ’minimum commun de connaissances’ (I, 222),57 by analogy with the national minimum wage (the difference being, as Bourdieu explains, that ’ceux qui sont dépourvus de ce minimum ne savent pas qu’ils peuvent et doivent le revendiquer comme ils le savent lorsqu’il s’agit du salaire minimum’ (I, 208).58 Unlike economic poverty, cultural dispossession tends to exclude awareness of one’s own state of deprivation. As Ahearne observes, Bourdieu’s early critique of ’l’ideologie des ’besoins culturels’ did not lead him, therefore, to turn his back on the project of providing universal access to ’high’ culture, but rather to insist that this state of unconscious deprivation was an important factor that any cultural policy aimed at democratising culture should take into account.59

  • 60 ’A mastery of the common language in written and spoken form’ (trans. J.S.).
  • 61 ’the us of modern technologies of diffusion’ (trans. J.S.).

31As part of this core competence, the Collège de France report specifies ’une maîtrise réelle de la langue commune, écrite et parlée’ (PPEA, 30)60 as one of the main conditions that make learning possible. The cultural minimum also includes the background knowledge and experience that, as we have seen, is necessary to appropriate cultural (including literary) works. In order more effectively to transmit this cultural minimum, the Collège de France report encourages ’l’usage des techniques modernes de diffusion’, especially video and television (PPEA, 37).61 The ’Démocratisation’ dossier had mentioned previously the need to provide students with experiences which pupils from favoured classes receive from their families (museum trips, trips to historical and geographical locations, theatre outings, listening to records, etc.), or with substitutes for these (I, 69).

  • 62 ’the development of modern means of communication (in particular television), capable of competing (...)
  • 63 The Franco-German cultural channel LA SEPT, later to become ARTE. See also Ahearne, Between Cultur (...)

32This proposed use of modern media to teach traditional ’literary’ disciplines is a response to the rise of new media, which have displaced written communication, and which threaten the school itself as the main authoritative source of information. One of the most serious challenges to the school, the report observes, has come from ’le développement des moyens de communication modernes (en particulier la télévision), capables de concurrencer ou de contrecarrer l’action scolaire’ (PPEA, 9).62 Now, no doubt, the internet has become the greater threat. The report proposes therefore putting these modern instruments to pedagogical use – recommending for instance the creation of a dedicated State ’cultural channel’, which indeed soon after came into existence (PPEA, 27; 46).63 Cultural programmes, created with the participation of teachers and specialists, and recorded onto video-tape for use in the classroom, offer, the report argues, powerful ’instruments de transmission des savoirs et des savoir-faire élémentaires, c’est-à-dire fondamentaux’ (PPEA, 37), including in the case of literary studies:

  • 64 ’It is not to be doubted, for example, that in the case of art and literature, and especially of t (...)

Il n’est pas douteux, par exemple, qu’en matière d’art et de littérature, et tout spécialement de théâtre, et aussi de géographie ou de langues vivantes, l’image pourrait contribuer à ôter à l’enseignement le caractère assez irréel qu’il revêt pour les enfants ou les adolescents dépourvus de l’expérience directe du spectacle ou du voyage à l’étranger (PPEA, 37-38).64

  • 65 ’The school system must be prevented from becoming a separate and sacred universe, proposing a cul (...)
  • 66 ’to remember the distinction, which is no doubt partially irreducible, between culture and scholas (...)

33A related proposal is the notion that cultural ’creators’ (researchers, artists, writers) and intermediaries (publishers, journalists, curators) should be brought into schools; and that schools should also co-ordinate their actions with those of other cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums, orchestras, etc. This proposal is again designed to combat the school’s tendency towards insularity and ’irreality’. In a comment that (if we know Bourdieu’s work) can be assumed to have been directed at the humanities, the Collège de France report specifies that ’il faut éviter que le système scolaire ne se constitue en univers séparé, sacré, proposant une culture elle-même sacrée et coupée de l’existence ordinaire’ (PPEA, 41).65 It was important therefore to reintroduce the social contexts to the school’s activity as one of several instances of transmission, in order to raise students’ awareness of its (and their own) role and contribution in cultural life, and to ’rappeler la distinction, sans doute partiellement irréductible, entre la culture et la culture scolaire’ (PPEA, 42).66

  • 67 On this point, see also Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, pp. 63-64.

34In this way, the report aimed to strengthen the relations between the different agents and institutions of cultural production and diffusion, with the school at their centre (PPEA, 44). The report does not ignore the ’résistances psychologiques’ to active cooperation between cultural agents Ahearne, and institutions who more often compete against each other?, and which rank alongside other bureaucratic, legal, and financial obstacles to the participation of figures from the artistic, literary, and professional worlds in education (PPEA, 42). On the one hand, their presence is likely to be viewed as an invasion and threat by teaching professionals. On the other hand, cultural producers may resent what could appear to be pedagogical demands being placed upon their artistic projects. The report specifies however that such exchanges could be organised ’non dans la logique d’un contrôle qui ne peut que susciter des réactions de fermeture et de défense corporatiste, mais dans la logique de la participation aux responsabilités, même financières, à l’inspiration et à l’incitation’ (PPEA, 41).67 Building mutually beneficial relations between the school and other cultural institutions, through which each would reinforce and prolong the actions of the other, could contribute not only to the success of the educational enterprise, but also to that of the cultural environment around it.

  • 68 ’unity within pluralism, openness in and through autonomy, and periodic revision of the subjects t (...)
  • 69 For further detail, see Jeremy Ahearne, Intellectuals, Culture and Public Policy in France: Approa (...)
  • 70 Apostrophes (Paris: Antenne 2), 10 May 1985. At

35Admittedly, the reports met with mixed success. Of the nine principles set out in the Collège de France report, President Mitterrand retained only three: ’l’unité dans le pluralisme, l’ouverture dans et par l’autonomie, la révision périodique des savoirs enseignés’ (I, 199),68 and the last of these was only acted on after it was repeated in the Bourdieu-Gros report, when Jospin set up, as a direct response to it, the ’Conseil national des programmes d’enseignement’ to oversee the ongoing revision of national subject curricula.69 Yet as Bourdieu admitted during an appearance on Apostrophes, many of the propositions had been made and even tried before, here and there; what was new was that they had never been brought together and implemented as a whole, across the education system – especially as some of its proposals appeared contradictory.70 (For instance, the report does not rule out competition between secondary schools (it existed already, more or less overtly), but also calls for measures to be put into place that would place limits on that competition.) Twenty years later, the proposals have hardly dated, and continue to be read as valuable and suggestive resources in their own right, for individual classroom practice as much as for wider policy contexts.

  • 71 ’the question of the contents and ends of education cannot be satisfied with responses that are ge (...)

36Finally, although they were co-authored and co-signed, the reports discussed in this section do express Bourdieu’s own views. Bourdieu placed great store on the fact that the Collège de France report, especially, was a collective work, and expressed the consensus of some forty specialists across a range of fields, as this gave force to the proposals, as the expression of a collective body. It was also important to him that this consensus had been achieved not simply over the minimum (for instance, that students should be taught to read, write, and count), or at the expense of detail (PPEA, 9).71 Nevertheless, Bourdieu does seem to have been the main, if not sole, author of both reports which are written in his characteristic style, and are included in his compilation of political writings, Interventions. It seems reasonable therefore to use these two reports to support our central thesis that, far from an enemy of literary culture who sought to reduce literature to an instrument of cultural distinction, Bourdieu saw its positive value and uses, as is shown as evidence in the proposals made in these reports regarding literary education.

Between the state and the free market

  • 72 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Une Révolution conservatrice dans l’édition’, Actes de la recherche en sciences (...)

37Bourdieu also provides cultural policy indications targeted at the cultural field around the school, although these generally take the form of asides, given informally in interviews or more directly political speeches, or are implied by his research findings. The main context for these interventions was what Bourdieu saw as the increasing commercialisation and concentration of the cultural field, which was in his view cutting off more challenging writers, artists, and filmmakers from the public space, where they would need to create their own markets, in favour of more conventional works, for which there was pre-existing demand. Bourdieu studied this context in his last major piece of empirical research, ’Une Révolution conservatrice dans l’édition’,72 in which Bourdieu and his co-workers had shown that editorial policies vary as publishers go up and down in size, and as a factor of competition. It followed that, as publishers and booksellers were bought out or merged, their editorial policies would become more conservative and oriented towards profit.

  • 73 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Maîtres du monde, savez-vous ce que vous faites?’, published in L’Humanité, 13 O (...)
  • 74 ’No one is bad by choice’ (Political Interventions, 340).
  • 75 ’to the idea of the extraordinary diversification of supply, we could oppose the extraordinary uni (...)

38This was a case Bourdieu put before a meeting of the Conseil international du musée de la télévision et de la radio (MTR) on Monday 11 October 1999, in a paper entitled, forthrightly, ’Maîtres du monde, savez-vous ce que vous faites?’73 Among those present were Peter Chenin, the president of Fox, Greg Dyke, the director-general of the BBC, Rémy Satter, president of CLTUFA, Patrick Le Lay, CEO of TF1, as well as business leaders from Hollinger, Bertelsmann, Mediaset, etc., representatives from American pension funds, and the European Commissioner for culture, Viviane Reding. Citing Plato’s (dubious) dictum, ’nul n’est méchant volontairement’,74 Bourdieu began by trying to dispel certain ’false ideas’ or ’myths’, which were obscuring the real effects of concentration and the quest for short-term profit maximisation. Against the idea that commercial competition leads to a diversification of supply, for instance, Bourdieu points to the fact of increasing homogenisation of cultural products. His examples are television programmes – ’le fait que les multiples réseaux de communication tendent de plus en plus à diffuser, souvent à la même heure le même type de produits, jeux, soap operas, musique commerciale, romans sentimentaux du type telenovela’, etc. – but he could equally have mentioned bestsellers and paperbacks that could have been published by indifferent imprints: ’autant de produits issus de la recherche des profits maximaux pour des coûts minimaux’ (I, 419).75

  • 76 ’I could cite the example of Thomas Middlehoff, president of Bertelsmann, as reported in La Tribun (...)

39Referring directly to the publishing industry, Bourdieu cites the example of Thomas Midlehoff, then chief executive of the transnational media corporation Bertelsmann which had in 1998 acquired Random House (already the largest general trade book publisher in the Anglophone world), as an example of the sort of commercial pressures editors were under from their managers and parent companies: ’Selon le journal La Tribune, ’il a donné deux ans aux 350 centres de profit pour remplir les exigences. (…) D’ici à la fin 2000, tous les secteurs doivent assurer plus de 10% de rentabilité sur le capital investi’ (I, 419-20).76 The result was that editors were forced to compete for commercial bestsellers, especially when publishers were integrated with big multimedia groups, re-orienting the entire field towards commercial production, meaning that writers that did not fit the business model would have more difficulty making it into print. We can imagine that his audience did not welcome such criticism. Conscious, perhaps, that appealing to the better nature of the ’Maîtres du monde’ might not be the most successful strategy, Bourdieu tried next to excite their interest in profit:

  • 77 ’Since we know that, in all the developed countries at least, the length of school attendance is s (...)

Si l’on sait que, au moins dans tous les pays développés, la durée de la scolarisation ne cesse de croître, ainsi que le niveau d’instruction moyen, comme croissent du même coup toutes les pratiques fortement corrélées avec le niveau d’instruction (fréquentation des musées ou des théâtres, lecture, etc.), on peut penser qu’une politique d’investissement économique dans des producteurs et des produits dits ’de qualité’ peut, au moins à terme moyen, être rentable, même économiquement (à condition toutefois de pouvoir compter sur les services d’un système éducatif efficace) (I, 422).77

  • 78 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 72.
  • 79 ’to turn back against the dominant economy its own weapons, and point out that, according to the l (...)

40As Ahearne writes, ’this may well be casuistry’ (subtle but unsound reasoning, with a view to promoting a given point of view): ’such harmony between the interests of media entrepreneurs and autonomous cultural producers seems improbable’.78 Bourdieu’s argument was coherent, however, with his ruse (discussed above) of using economic arguments against economic arguments – ’retourner contre l’économie dominante ses propres armes, et rappeler, que, dans la logique de l’intérêt bien compris, la politique strictement économique n’est pas nécessairement économique’ (CF1, 45).79

  • 80 ’The moral of the story’ (trans. J.S.).

41In the final instance, it was to the State that Bourdieu looked to protect the interests of cultural producers. Of course, the French literary field already receives an enviable package of State support, from the famous ’Loi Lang’, to the ’Fonds d’intervention pour les services, l’artisanat et le commerce’ (FISAC), and a reduced rate of value added tax on books. In the conclusion to ’Une Révolution conservatrice dans l’édition’, entitled (and signalling another ’normative’ shift) ’La morale de l’histoire’,80 Bourdieu suggests however that the contemporary distribution of State subsidies, which went primarily to the oldest and most prestigious publishers (such as Gallimard and Seuil), should have been be re-directed toward small and often fledgling publishers, which are the main conduits for the newest and most innovative writers (cf. RC, 45). Even if these measures have not been as effective or efficient as they might have been, however, they have still helped undeniably to maintain a diverse book market in France, which has few equivalents in other countries.

  • 81 ’Le mandat de la négotiation est ambitieux: supprimer les restrictions sur le commerce des service (...)
  • 82 ’the negotiations under way (…) cover services such as the entire range of audiovisual material, l (...)
  • 83 ’to promote (…) full and equal opportunities for education for all, in the unrestricted pursuit of (...)

42We can understand Bourdieu’s concern, then, when the ability of independent States to protect the cultural and public sectors of their economies seemed threatened by neo-liberal reforms in the 1990s, aiming to ’open’ national markets even further to global capital. In an open letter the director-general of UNESCO published in 2000, Bourdieu cites a memo from within the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which states its intention to extend free market rules to education, health, and culture.81 This last category includes ’des services comme l’audiovisuel dans sa totalité, les bibliothèques, archives et musées, les jardins botaniques et zoologiques, tous les services liés aux divertissements (arts, théâtre, services radiophoniques et télévisuels, parcs d’attractions, parcs récréatifs, services sportifs’ (I, 453).82 The result, Bourdieu warns, would be disastrous – and totally counter to UNESCO’s mission to ’assurer à tous le plein et égal accès à l’éducation, la libre poursuite de la vérité objective et le libre échange des idées et des connaissances’ (I, 454).83 States would give up their powers (treated as so many ’obstacles to commerce’) to protect their national identities, and citizens exercising a right to free education, libraries, museums, etc., would be turned into simple consumers. Bourdieu and his co-signatories called therefore on the director-general to join their opposition to the GATT agreement (a call which went unheeded).

  • 84 84 ’the destruction of all the defence systems that protect the most precious social and cultural (...)
  • 85 ’The customs union has had the effect of dispossessing the dominated society of all economic and c (...)

43Bourdieu made a similar case in an address to anti-globalisation protestors in Québec in 2001. The policy of globalisation, he argued, was leading to the destruction of ’tous les systèmes de défense qui protègent les plus précieuses conquêtes sociales et culturelles des sociétés avancées’ (I, 461),84 such as domestic regulations, subsidies, licences, etc. The Canadians were well placed, as it were, to observe the effects of ’free trade’ between unequal partners, including to their publishing industry: ’L’union douanière n’a-t-elle pas eu pour effet de déposséder la société dominée de toute indépendence économique et culturelle à l’égard de la puissance dominante, avec la fuite des cerveaux, la concentration de la presse, de l’édition, etc. au profit des États-Unis?’ (I, 463).85 Bourdieu’s well-publicised support for the anti-globalisation movement was therefore closely allied with his defence of cultural and so also literary autonomy.

  • 86 ’exploited the weaknesses and flaws of the literary and artistic fields, that is, the least autono (...)
  • 87 See Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 124.

44Yet State protection was not without its own dangers. State support did not necessarily go to the most autonomous and competent but, as it had under the Second Empire, to the most conventional and compliant producers. It could also influence the direction taken by research, whether by inspiring a cynical search for symbolic profits or by more insidious co-optation (giving recognition to recognition, as it were). In this context, Bourdieu even criticises the apparently pro-intellectual socialist government in France in the 1980s and 1990s, for having ’appuyé sur les faiblesses et les failles des champs littéraires et artistiques, c’est-à-dire sur les moins autonomes (et les moins compétents) des créateurs, pour imposer ses sollicitations et ses séductions’ (LE, 23).86 This is a reference, no doubt, to the Mitterrand government’s attempts to woo famous authors, artists, film stars, and intellectuals, and through them the electorate, with invitations to well-publicised working lunches and ministerial receptions, discussion groups and committees, etc.87 Bourdieu also writes of the constraints imposed b

  • 88 ’state sponsorship – even though it seems to escape the direct pressures of the market – whether t (...)

le mécénat d’Etat, bien qu’il permette d’échapper en apparence aux pressions directes du marché, (…) soit à travers la reconnaissance qu’il accorde spontanément à ceux qui le reconnaissent parce qu’ils ont besoin de lui pour obtenir une forme de reconnaissance qu’ils ne peuvent s’assurer par leur oeuvre même, soit, plus subtilement, à travers le mécanisme des commissions et comités, lieux d’une cooptatation négative qui aboutit le plus souvent à une véritable normalisation de la recherche, qu’elle soit scientifique ou artistique (RA, 554).88

45Bourdieu’s solution to this antinomy (autonomous producers need State protection, which puts them in a position of dependence on the State) was, as we might expect, to assert it as such. Cultural producers at once can claim the resources they need from the State, and control over how such resources are used. Bourdieu put this point strongly to Hans Haacke, as he explained the apparent contradiction between his defence of the possibility of State intervention in culture, and his vigorous critiques of its cultural policy:

  • 89 ’They must work simultaneously, without scruples or a guilty conscience, to increase the state’s i (...)

Il faut qu’ils travaillent simultanément, sans scrupule ni mauvaise conscience, à accroître l’engagement de l’Etat et la vigilance à l’égard de l’Etat. Par exemple, s’agissant de l’aide de l’Etat à la création culturelle, il faut lutter à la fois pour l’accroissement de cette aide aux entreprises culturelles non commerciales et pour l’accroissement du contrôle sur l’usage de cette aide (…) C’est à la condition de renforcer à la fois l’aide de l’Etat et les contrôles sur les usages de cette aide (…), que l’on pourra échapper pratiquement à l’alternative de l’étatisme et du libéralisme dans laquelle les idéologues du libéralisme veulent nous enfermer (LE, 77-78).89

  • 90 ’Radical liberalism is evidently the death of free cultural production because censorship is exert (...)

46Only the State, Bourdieu argued, is capable of guaranteeing the existence of a culture without a market, just as it alone is able to provide public services, hospitals, transport, schools, etc. which are not run simply for profit. Without such state assistance, writers and researchers would have to rely on the good will of rich patrons, as they did in the seventeenth century, with the result that it is unlikely that some types of work would ever be written. Bourdieu offers himself as an example: if he had to find sponsors for his work, he admits, he would have a lot of difficulty. For this reason, he writes, ’le libéralisme radical, c’est évidemment la mort de la production culturelle libre parce que la censure s’exerce à travers l’argent’ (LE, 75).90

For a corporatism of the universal

47Yet Bourdieu’s solution to the problem of how to maintain an autonomous cultural sector left important questions unanswered. Why should the State relinquish control over the use of public funds? And why should public money be used to support minority – and elite – interests, such as avantgarde literature? Convincing the State that it should do these things (or justifying their continuation) may sound as impossible as managing to convince the commercial pole of literary production to hand back market share to independent bookshops and publishers. What it has in its favour, however, particularly in France, is the State’s historical commitment to ’universal’ values (freedom, truth, beauty, justice, and so on). According to Bourdieu, the claim to ’universality’ could be used as a way to win support for cultural practices that were now in a process of decline:

  • 91 ’It is in the name of this ideal or myth that we can still seek to mobilize today against the ente (...)

C’est au nom de cet idéal, ou de ce mythe que l’on peut encore, aujourd’hui, tenter de mobiliser contre les entreprises de restauration qui sont apparues, un peu partout dans le monde, au sein même des champs de production culturelle; c’est au nom de la force symbolique qu’il peut donner, malgré tout, aux ’idées vraies’ que l’on peut tenter de s’opposer avec quelques chances de succès aux forces de régression intellectuelle, morale, et politique (I, 288).91

48The reason for Bourdieu’s cautious wording is, of course, that (as he had spent the first part of his career demonstrating) the dispositions informed by values which we sometimes think of as ’universal’ (they are, for many, the sign of our ’humanity’) are far from being universally distributed. We are not spontaneously moral, rational, or disinterested beings. These may be universal anthropological possibilities, but they can be realised fully only under particular social and economic conditions, which, Bourdieu points out, are by no means universally satisfied. It follows that works of great art and literature, which are held for a time to be universal, and even eternal, are no such things. They are the preserve of a privileged few, who have the desire and competence (both acquired through socialisation and education) required to appropriate them.

  • 92 ’the privilege of fighting for the monopoly of the universal’ (Practical Reason, 135).
  • 93 People may object to this as elitism, a simple defence of he besieged citadel of big science and h (...)
  • 94 ’mandatories of universality’ (Political Interventions, 236).
  • 95 ’right of entry’ (On Television, 65).

49Yet if universal values are no more than a ’myth’ or a strategic ploy, Bourdieu’s position of defending ’legitimate’ culture is exposed to the most elementary anti-intellectualist attack. Why should State money be used to subsidise the ’happy few’, who, in Bourdieu’s own words, enjoy ’le privilège de lutter pour le monopole de l’universel’ (RP, 224)?92 From facing charges of barbarism in the early days of his career, Bourdieu now found himself, in its later phase, accused of elitism. ’On objectera que je suis en train de tenir des propos élitistes’, Bourdieu anticipated in Sur la télévision, ’de défendre la citadelle assiégée de la grande science et de la grande culture, ou même de l’interdire au peuple’ (T, 76).93 Yet, Bourdieu argued, there was not necessarily a contradiction between defending the conditions necessary for the production of specific, specialised works, and a concern to democratic culture. The way past this problem (and the way for the ’mandataires de l’universel’ (I, 287)94 to earn their privilege and status), is for the creators and custodians of culture to work simultaneously both to protect the social and economic conditions necessary to sustain such culture (including the ’droit d’entrée’95 which excludes non-specialists from participation), and to promote the conditions under which more people could acquire the competences and resources necessary to engage in the cultural game (implying a ’devoir de sortie’, to leave the ivory tower and participate actively in society). Bourdieu writes

  • 96 ’In fact, I am defending the conditions necessary for the production and diffusion of the highest (...)

En fait, je défends les conditions nécessaires à la production et à la diffusion des créations les plus hautes de l’humanité. (…) Il faut défendre à la fois l’ésotérisme inhérent (par définition) à toute recherche d’avant-garde et la nécessité d’exotériser l’ésotérique et de lutter pour obtenir les moyens de le faire dans de bonnes conditions. En d’autres termes, il faut défendre les conditions de production qui sont nécessaires pour faire progresser l’universel et en même temps, il faut travailler à généraliser les conditions d’accès à l’universel, de sorte que de plus en plus de gens remplissent les conditions nécessaires pour s’approprier l’universel (T, 77).96

50In reality, the two sides of this coin turn into each other. By working to universalise the conditions of access to works which are of potentially ’universal’ value (whether in science, literature, or art), the custodians of culture can win greater recognition and support for what they do, and more symbolic and material resources to continue doing it. Meanwhile, by helping to make the ’universal’ progress by making works of potentially universal value, and by working simultaneously on their particularly skilled and creative habitus, producers can also make themselves more useful to society. This is how Bourdieu concludes Les Règles, with a call ’pour un corporatisme de l’universel’: a sort of politico-ethical project or Realpolitik de la raison, in which intellectuals would put their symbolic capital and specific skills at the service of ’universal’ causes. Despite his repeated insistence on the ’modesty’ of this programme, its scope is clearly massive: almost too huge to be meaningful. Unlike the limited aims of the ’intellectuel spécifique’ embodied by Foucault, it is not restricted to a specific area of expertise, but expands to take account of social and economic factors. Yet it is also clearly more targeted than the scatter-gun approach of Sartre’s ’intellectuel total’, who would try to solve the totality of the world’s problems. It provides, perhaps, as the French expect from public intellectuals, a framework within which to inscribe and make sense of more localised actions (such as, for example, the publishing or teaching of non-commercial forms of literature).

  • 97 ’The universal is the object of universal recognition and the sacrifice of selfish (especially eco (...)
  • 98 ’This Realpolitik of reason will undoubtedly be suspected of corporatism. But it will be part of i (...)

51This project would not be entirely altruistic. ’Il y a une reconnaissance universelle de la reconnaissance de l’universel’(RP, 165), 97Bourdieu writes: a symbolic profit that goes to those who work for the benefit of the group, and which, he hypothesises, is a sort of anthropological constant, observable in every culture and society. If cultural producers could generate more demand for their products, they would also be better paid. We can notice how Bourdieu’s Realpolitik feeds back into his cultural policy proposals (discussed above) to foster stronger relations between the school and cultural institutions, including with the literary and publishing fields, and intersects with his support for the anti-globalisation movement and defence of the State. For these reasons, Bourdieu admits in Les Règles’s final lines, ’cette Realpolitik de la raison sera sans nul doute exposée au soupçon de corporatisme’, the meshing of particular interests. ’Mais il lui appartiendra de montrer, par les fins au service desquelles elle mettra les moyens, durement conquis, de son autonomie, qu’il s’agit d’un corporatisme de l’universel’ (RA, 558).98

Notes

1 ’the trap of [suggesting] programmes (...) there are well enough parties and apparatuses for that’ (trans. J.S.).

2 In the general discussions of Bourdieu’s work on cultural policy in this chapter, I draw extensively on Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, especially chapters one and two.

3 ’the pre-eminent value that the French system accords to literary aptitude, and, more precisely, to the aptitude to transform all experience into literary discourse, beginning with the literary experience, in short what defines the French manner of living literary – and sometimes scientific – life like a Parisian life’ (trans. J.S.).

4 ’The ideal place to study the action of cultural factors on inequality in the school’ (trans. J.S.).

5 5 ’In other words, the system of euphemistic classification has the function of establishing a connection between class and marks, but precisely by denying such a connection – by denegating it, in the psychoanalytic sense’ (Political Interventions, 67).

6 In Méditations pascaliennes, Bourdieu extends this metaphor to the social world as a whole (MP, 279-83).

7 ’It’s a world that you enter in order to know what you are, and with all the more anxious expectation, the less you are expected there. It says to you, in an insidious or brutal fashion: ”You are just a…” – generally followed by an insult that, in cases such as this, is sanctioned by an institution beyond discussion and recognized by all’ (Political Interventions, 162).

8 ’these traumas of identity are undoubtedly one of the main pathogenic factors in our society’ (Political Interventions, 162).

9 Bourdieu borrows this phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One, trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), Chapter 37.

10 ’Literature, in which, as Gide said in his Journal, ”only the personal has any value”, and the celebration which surrounds it in the literary field and in the educational system, are clearly central to this cult of the self, in which philosophy, often reduced to a lofty assertion of the thinker’s distinction, also has a part to play’ (Distinction, 52).

11 ’the ideology of the natural gift and of the fresh eye’ (Love of Art, 54).

12 ’cultural needs’ (Love of Art, 106).

13 ’As if they believed that only the physical inaccessibility of the works of art prevented the great majority from approaching, contemplating and enjoying them’ (Love of Art, 103)

14 Here we can see another example of literature being used by Bourdieu to illustrate and make a point palpable.

15 Danièle Sallenave cited in Bernard Lahire, ’Présentation: Pour une sociologie à l’état vif’, in Le Travail sociologique de Pierre Bourdieu, ed. Bernard Lahire (Paris: la Découvert, 1999), pp. 5-20 (p. 12 n. 7). ’It is therefore vain to distinguish between great books and others, between good films and junk, between a Cremonini and

Poulbots by la Butte’ (trans. J.S.).

16 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 41.

17 Ibid., p. 50.

18 Jean-Pierre Salgas, ’Le Rapport du Collège de France: Pierre Bourdieu s’explique’, in La Quinzaine Littéraire, 445 (1985), 8-10, included in Interventions 1961-2001, pp. 203-10.

19 Propositions pour l’enseignement de l’avenir élaborées à la demande de Monsieur le Président de la République par les professeurs du Collège de France (Paris: Collège de France, 1985), referred to hereafter as PPEA. This report will be examined more closely in the next section.

20 ’You get back here to the effect of ratification. It is a fact that cultural goods are subject to social uses of distinction that heve nothing to do with their intrinsic value. Am I for or against Proust? How can one not want there to be countless people able to do what Proust did, or at least read what he wrote? Those who attack me on this point, or use against me the ’defence’ of philosophy, are people whose intellectual pride is more bound up with the social use of intellectual things than with these things themselves’ (Political Interventions, 165).

21 ’Instruments of production, hence of invention and possible freedom’ (Rules, 392).

22 James Joyce, Letter of 21 September 1920 to Carlo Linati, in Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann (New York: Viking, 1975), p. 270.

23 Lionel Gossman, ’Literature and Education’, New Literary History, 13 (1982), 341- 71 (p. 355). Discussed and cited by Bourdieu in RA, 497-98.

24 Marcel Proust, Le Temps retrouvé (Paris: Gallimard, 1954), pp. 424-25. ’I was thinking more modestly about my book and it would not even be true to say that I was thinking of those who would read it as my readers. For, as I have already shown, they would not be my readers, but the readers of themselves, my book being only a sort of magnifying-glass like those offered by the optician of Combray to a purchaser. So that I should ask neither their praise nor their blame but only that they should tell me if it was right or not, whether the words they were reading within themselves were those I wrote’. Time Regained (Vol. 8 of Remembrance of Things Past), trans. Stephen Hudson (eBooks@Adelaide, 2010) at http://ebooks. adelaide.edu.au/p/proust/marcel/p96t/ consulted on 23/07/11.

25 Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, ’Les Intellectuels et le Pouvoir’, in Dits et Écrits 1954-1988, 306-15 (p. 309). ’Treat my book as a pair of glasses directed to the outside; if they don’t suit you, find another pair; I leave it to you to find your own instrument, which is necessarily an investment for combat’, trans. in ’Intellectuals and Power: A Conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’, in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault, ed. Donald F. Bouchard (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977), pp. 205-17 (p. 208).

26 ’ideologies of PA as non-violent – whether Socratic myths or neo-Socratic myths of non-directive teaching, Rousseauist myths of natural education or pseudo- Freudian myths of non-repressive education’ (trans. J.S.).

27 ’satisfied the deepest expectations and wishes of literary students, Parisian and bourgeois’ (trans. J.S.).

28 Bourdieu cited in Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 61.

29 ’There is no doubt that certain aptitudes demanded by the School, such as the ability to speak and write and the multiplicity itself of aptitudes, define and will always define scholarly culture. But the teacher of literature is justified in demanding the verbal and rhetorical virtuosity which appears to him, and not without reason, to be associated with the content itself of the culture he transmits, only if he recognises this virtue for what it is, which is to say an aptitude acquired through practice, and that he is responsible to provide everyone with the means to acquire it’ (trans. J.S.).

30 ’rational pedagogy’ (trans. J.S.).

31 ’One of the most serious vices of the current education system (…) the fact that it tends more and more to recognise and understand only one form of intellectual excellence, represented by the section C (or S) of the colleges and its extension in the scientific Grandes Écoles’ (trans. J.S.).

32 ’The holders of these mutilated competences are thus doomed to a more or less unhappy experience both of the culture they have received and of the dominant intellectual culture (this is no doubt one of the origins of the irrationalism that is currently flourishing). As for the holds of the culture considered socially as superior, they are increasingly doomed, unless there is an exceptional effort and very favourable social conditions, to premature specialisation, with all the mutilations which accompany it’ (trans. J.S.).

33 Antoine Gaudemar, ’À quand un lycée Bernard Tapie?’, Libération, 4 December 1986.

34 Bourdieu cites André Motte, a nineteenth-century industrialist: ’Je repète chaque jour à mes enfants que le titre de bachelier ne leur donnera jamais un morceau de pain à croquer; que je les ai mis au collège pour leur permettre de goûter les plaisirs de l’intelligence; pour les mettre en garde contre toutes les fausses doctrines, soit en littérature, soit en philosophie, soit en histoire. Mais j’ajoute qu’il y aurait pour eux grand danger à trop s’adonner aux plaisirs de l’esprit’ (RA, 87). ’I repeat each day to my children that the title of bachelier [high school graduate] will never put a piece of bread into their mouths; that I sent them to school to allow them to taste the pleasures of intelligence, and to put them on their guard against all false doctrines, whether in literature, philosophy or history. But I add that it would be very dangerous for them to give themselves over to the pleasures of the mind’ (Rules, 48).

35 ’When a bourgeois or even petty-bourgeois mother talks of her son deciding to read history, you’d think she was announcing a catastrophe. Not to mention philosophy or literature. Students in the humanities have become useless mouths. And not only for ’government circles’ of both right and left, but for their families as well, and often even for themselves’ (Political Interventions, 170).

36 Guillory, Cultural Capital, p. 45.

37 Principes pour une réflexion sur les contenus d’enseignement (Paris: Ministère de l’Education Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports, March 1989). The text of the report can be found in Bourdieu, Political Interventions, pp. 217-26.

38 ’Quelques indications pour une politique de démocratisation’, Dossier no 1 du Centre de sociologie européenne, 6 rue de Tournon, Paris, included in Political Interventions, pp. 69-72.

39 ’The Collège de France ”Proposals” do not talk in terms of hierarchies (though it is a mystification to deny their existence) except to say that there should be a large number of these, which is the only way of wakening the effects bound up with the existing monopoly’ (Political Interventions, 165).

40 See the quotation from an interview carried out in Tokyo in 1989 in I, 186.

41 On the question of how to minimise the effect of stigmatisation, the report suggests the institution of new forms of competition, such as between ’teams’ bringing together students and teachers in joint projects, which would reduce ’l’atomisation du groupe et l’humiliation ou le découragement de quelques-uns’ (PPEA, 23-24), ’the atomisation of the group and the humiliation and discouragement of certain individuals’ (trans. J.S.).

42 ’To work to weaken or abolish hierarchies between different forms of aptitude, as much at the institutional level (ratios for example) as in the minds of teachers and students, would be one of the most effective measures (within the limits of the education system) to contribute to the weakening of purely social hierarchies’ (trans. J.S.).

43 ’While giving its proper place to theory which, in its exact definition, is neither identified with formalism or verbalism, and to the logical methods of reasoning which, through their very rigour, hold extraordinary heuristic power, the aim of education, in every domain, should be to enable the apprentice to produce things and put him in a position to discover for himself. One can perform an ’experiment’ in physics or chemistry instead of encountering it all set up and registering the results; one can produce a theatrical play, a film, an opera, but also a discourse, a film review, a synthesis of a work (preferably for a real student journal) or else a letter to Social Security, an instruction manual or an accident report, instead of only writing essays (…). In this spirit, artistic education conceived of as in-depth training in one of the artistic crafts (music, painting, cinema, etc.), freely chosen (instead of being, as it is today, imposed indirectly), would rediscover its eminent place’ (trans. J.S.).

44 ’Education should privilege all teaching capable of offering modes of thought endowed with a general validity and applicability (…). Decisive privilege must be given to teaching charged with ensuring the considered and critical assimilation of fundamental ways of thinking (such as deduction, experiment, and the historical approach, as well as reflective and critical thinking, which should always be combined with the foregoing’ (Political Interventions, 175).

45 ’The teaching of languages can and must be, just as much as physics of biology, an opportunity for initiation into logic: the teaching of mathematics or physics, just as much as that of philosophy or history, can and must prepare students for the history of ideas, science and technology’ (Political Interventions, 180).

46 ’Unity of science and plurality of cultures’ (trans. J.S.).

47 ’Unification of transmitted knowledge’ (trans. J.S.).

48 ’One of the unifying principles of culture and education [could be] the social history of cultural works (science, philosophy, law, the arts, literature, etc.), relating at once in a logical and historical manner the ensemble of cultural and scientific achievements’ (trans. J.S.).

49 ’against both the old and new forms of irrationalism and rationalist fanaticism’ by fostering ’a respect without fetishism for science as the most accomplished form of rational activity’ (trans. J.S.).

50 ’to unite the universalism of reason which is inherent to the scientific project and the relativism taught by the historical sciences, attentive to the plurality of wisdoms and cultural sensibilities’ (trans. J.S.).

51 ’throughout secondary education a culture integrating scientific culture and historical culture, that is, not only literary history or even the history of the arts or philosophy, but also the history of sciences and technology’ (trans. J.S.).

52 the innumerable exchanges of techniques and instruments between the different civilisations’ (trans. J.S.).

53 ’notably the progress assured by the comparative method’ (trans. J.S.).

54 ’the discovery of difference, but also of the solidarity between civilisations’ (trans. J.S.).

55 ’the same general skills are required for the reading of scientific texts, technical notices and arguments’ (Political Interventions, 180).

56 ’The opposition between ’science’ and ’humanities’ that still dominates the organization of teaching today, as well as the mentalities of teachers and parents, can and must be overcome by a teaching able to profess both science and the history of sciences or epistemology, to induct students into art and literature as well as asthetic or logical consideration of these subjects, to teach not only mastery of language and litearture, philosophical and scientific discourse, but also active mastery of the logical and rhetorical procedures that these involve’ (Political Interventions, 180).

57 ’common minimum of knowledge’ (Political Interventions, 178).

58 ’those who are deprived of this minimum are unaware that they can and should claim it, in the same way that they might claim the minimum wage’ (Political Interventions, 164).

59 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 58.

60 ’A mastery of the common language in written and spoken form’ (trans. J.S.).

61 ’the us of modern technologies of diffusion’ (trans. J.S.).

62 ’the development of modern means of communication (in particular television), capable of competing with or counteract the action of the school’ (trans. J.S.).

63 The Franco-German cultural channel LA SEPT, later to become ARTE. See also Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 64.

64 ’It is not to be doubted, for example, that in the case of art and literature, and especially of theatre, and also of geography or modern languages, the image could contribute to release education from its rather unrealistic character which it has for children or adolescents who lack direct experience of spectacles or trips abroad’ (trans. J.S.).

65 ’The school system must be prevented from becoming a separate and sacred universe, proposing a culture which is itself sacred and cut off from ordinary existence’ (trans. J.S.).

66 ’to remember the distinction, which is no doubt partially irreducible, between culture and scholastic culture’ (trans. J.S.).

67 On this point, see also Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, pp. 63-64.

68 ’unity within pluralism, openness in and through autonomy, and periodic revision of the subjects taught’ (Political Interventions, 156).

69 For further detail, see Jeremy Ahearne, Intellectuals, Culture and Public Policy in France: Approaches from the Left (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010).

70 Apostrophes (Paris: Antenne 2), 10 May 1985. At

http://www.ina.fr/video/I00002866/p-bourdieufait-une-proposition-pour-l-enseignement-du-futur.fr.html consulted on 12/12/09.

71 ’the question of the contents and ends of education cannot be satisfied with responses that are general but vague, and which achieve unanimity too easily’ (trans. J.S.).

72 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Une Révolution conservatrice dans l’édition’, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 126 (1999), 3-28.

73 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Maîtres du monde, savez-vous ce que vous faites?’, published in L’Humanité, 13 October 1999, Le Monde, 14 October 1999, and Libération 13 October 1999. Included in Political Interventions under the title ’Questions aux vrais maîtres du monde’, pp. 417-24. ’Masters of the world, do you know what you are doing?’ (trans. J.S.).

74 ’No one is bad by choice’ (Political Interventions, 340).

75 ’to the idea of the extraordinary diversification of supply, we could oppose the extraordinary uniformity of television programmes, the fact that the various communications networks increasingly tend to broadcast the same type of product at the same time – games, soaps, commercial music, sentimental ”telenovelas, police series that are no better for being French, like Navarro, or German, like Derrick. So many products issuing from the quest for maximum profit for minimum cost’ (Political Interventions, 341).

76 ’I could cite the example of Thomas Middlehoff, president of Bertelsmann, as reported in La Tribune: ’He gave the 350 profit centres two years to meet their targets. (…) Between now and the end of 2000, each sector must ensure a profit of more than 10 per cent on the capital invested’ (Political Interventions, 342).

77 ’Since we know that, in all the developed countries at least, the length of school attendance is still steadily growing, as well as the average educational level, and all those practices strongly correlated with it such as museum or theatre attendance, reading, etc., we can imagine that a policy of economic investment in producers and products described as ”quality” could even be economically profitable at least in the medium term, on condition however that this could count on the services of an effective educational system’ (Political Interventions, 344).

78 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 72.

79 ’to turn back against the dominant economy its own weapons, and point out that, according to the logic of well-understood interest, strictly economic policies are not necessarily economical’ (trans. J.S.).

80 ’The moral of the story’ (trans. J.S.).

81 ’Le mandat de la négotiation est ambitieux: supprimer les restrictions sur le commerce des services et procurer un accès réel à un marché soumis à des limitations spécifiques. Notre défi est d’accomplir une suppression significative de ces restrictions à travers tous les secteurs de services, abordant les dispsitions nationales déjà soumises aux règles de l’AGCS et ensuite les dispositions qui ne sont pas actuellement soumises aux règles de l’AGCS et couvrant toutes les possibilités de fournir des services’ (I, 451). ’The mandate of this negotiation is ambitious: to suppress restrictions on trade in services and obtain real access to a market subject to specific limitations. Our challenge is to accomplish a significant suppression of these restrictions across all sectors of services, tackling the national mechanisms already subject to GATT rules and covering all possibilities of providing services’ (Political Interventions, 370).

82 ’the negotiations under way (…) cover services such as the entire range of audiovisual material, libraries, archives and museums, botanical and zoological gardens, all services associated with entertainment (arts, theatre, radio and television services, fun fairs, recreational and sports facilities)’ (Political Interventions, 372).

83 ’to promote (…) full and equal opportunities for education for all, in the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth, and in the free exchange of ideas and knowledge’ (Political Interventions, 372).

84 84 ’the destruction of all the defence systems that protect the most precious social and cultural conquests of the advanced societies’ (Political Interventions, 377).

85 ’The customs union has had the effect of dispossessing the dominated society of all economic and cultural independence from the dominant power, with the brain drain, the concentration of press and publishing, etc. to the benefit of the United States’ (Political Interventions, 378).

86 ’exploited the weaknesses and flaws of the literary and artistic fields, that is, the least autonomous (and least competent) creators – to impose its solicitations and enticements’ (Free Exchange, 13; trans. modified J.S).

87 See Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 124.

88 ’state sponsorship – even though it seems to escape the direct pressures of the market – whether through the recognition it grants spontaneously to those who recognize it because they need it in order to obtain a form of recognition which they cannot get by their work alone, or whether, more subtly, through the mechanism of commissions and committees – places of negative co-optation which often result in a thorough standardization of the avant-garde’ (Rules, 345).

89 ’They must work simultaneously, without scruples or a guilty conscience, to increase the state’s involvement as well as their vigilance in relation to the state’s influence. For example, with regard to state support of cultural production, it is necessary to struggle both for the increase of support for non-commercial cultural enterprises as well as for greater controls on he use of that assistance (…). It is only by reinforcing both state assistance and controls on the uses of that assistance (…) that we can practically escape the alternative of statism and liberalism in which the ideologues of liberalism want to enclose us’ (Free Exchange, 73).

90 ’Radical liberalism is evidently the death of free cultural production because censorship is exerted through money’ (Free Exchange, 70).

91 ’It is in the name of this ideal or myth that we can still seek to mobilize today against the enterprises of restoration that have sprung up almost everywhere in the world, even within the fields of cultural production themselves; it is in the name of the symbolic force that it can give, despite everything, to ’true ideas’, that we can seek to oppose with some chance of success the forces of intellectual regression’ (Political Interventions, 236).

92 ’the privilege of fighting for the monopoly of the universal’ (Practical Reason, 135).

93 People may object to this as elitism, a simple defence of he besieged citadel of big science and high culture, or even, an attempt to close out ordinary people’ (On Television, 65).

94 ’mandatories of universality’ (Political Interventions, 236).

95 ’right of entry’ (On Television, 65).

96 ’In fact, I am defending the conditions necessary for the production and diffusion of the highest human creations. (…) It is essential to defend both the inherent esotericism of all cutting-edge research and the necessity of de-esotericizing the esoteric. We must struggle to achieve both these goals under good conditions. In other words, we have to defend the conditions of production necessary for the progress of the universal, while working to generalize the conditions of access to that universality’ (On Television, 65-66).

97 ’The universal is the object of universal recognition and the sacrifice of selfish (especially economic) interest is universally recognized as legitimate’ (Practical Reason, 59).

98 ’This Realpolitik of reason will undoubtedly be suspected of corporatism. But it will be part of its task to prove, by the ends to which it puts the sorely won means of its autonomy, that it is a corporatism of the universal’ (Rules, 348).

Acheter