Foundation for a Sociological Theory of Temporality? Bourdieu's Theoretical Thinking Tools as Potential for Insight in the Context of Qualitative Social Research

Maja Suderland


The aspect of temporality in BOURDIEU's sociology has rarely been systematically evaluated. As forgotten history and anticipation of the future, temporality is particularly inherent in BOURDIEU's habitus concept and is thus closely intertwined with the social practices of actors in the present. However, his other theoretical concepts also implicate fundamental temporal aspects at their core. Therefore, temporality can be considered a linkage that connects BOURDIEU's theoretical concepts and could also be understood as a foundation for a sociological theory of temporality. My aim in this contribution is to work out aspects of temporality in some of BOURDIEU' s central theoretical concepts. Using selected empirical data taken from a qualitative study on the context of political opportunity structures and educational climbing, I would like to demonstrate how this approach provides a specific way of understanding implicit time references in social situations.


Bourdieu; theory of temporality; habitus; sense of investment; kairos; hysteresis; educational climbing


Copyright (c) 2020 Maja Suderland

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