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 Hochschule Darmstadt



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


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.


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Author Biography

Maja Suderland, Hochschule Darmstadt

Maja SUDERLAND lehrt am Fachbereich Soziale Arbeit der Hochschule Darmstadt soziologische Grundlagen der Sozialen Arbeit sowie Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung. Ihre Forschungs- und Arbeitsgebiete sind: Praktiken und Strategien sozialer Differenzierung; die Bedeutung zeitlicher Aspekte in der sozialen Welt; Sozioanalyse fiktionaler Literatur als Methode der Soziologie; soziologische Theorien, insbesondere die Soziologie Pierre BOURDIEUs; Soziologie und Nationalsozialismus sowie Holocaust und Verfolgung; Bildung und soziale Ungleichheit; gesellschaftliche Facetten von Gewalt.



How to Cite

Suderland, M. (2020). Foundation for a Sociological Theory of Temporality? Bourdieu’s Theoretical Thinking Tools as Potential for Insight in the Context of Qualitative Social Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2).



Challenging Times—Qualitative Methods and Methodological Approaches