capital conversion across fields

A long time ago (like in the 1990s), I remember reading that a major question among Bourdieu folks was the issue of how capital developed in one field was deployed in other fields They key issue was how economic capital could be converted into cultural capital in non-commercial social domains. I asked Brother O about this, and he provided a few citations to recent stuff. I think there is more out there, buried in the European social theory literature, but I am not sure where to start. Is Brother O right in that this wasn’t discussed much, or is my memory correct and there is a discussion of cross-field capital conversion out there?

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Written by fabiorojas

July 18, 2012 at 12:06 am

Posted in fabio, just theory

9 Responses

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  1. Out of curiosity, has the issue of whether or not practices conducive to garnering prestige or status (i.e. symbolic capital) in a restricted field prove problematic for an actor when said actor attempts to traverse fields ever arose in said uncited literature? I’m posting from a phone so forgive my vagueness / brevity.



    July 18, 2012 at 6:11 am

  2. My very bad memory suggests that the discussion was mainly about status (i.e., how much does wealth lead to status in other fields?), not so much about the habitus side of things.



    July 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

  3. I’m looking forward to more comments coming in because I am turning in my area exam on cultural sociology in 10 days *faints*.

    Anyways – this might sound dumb in light of the above, but who is Brother O?



    July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

  4. “Who is Brother O” — I think Fabio was mixing together the names Brouzer Mouzone and Omar Little? I was wondering how he got confused too.



    July 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

  5. Brother Mouzone, that is.



    July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

  6. but who is Brother O?

    A semi-mythical figure who roams the plains of the Midwest, a copy of Landau & Lifshtiz in one hand and a specially-modified version of Stata in the other. His variables are latent, but real. His concepts are intuitive, but require knowledge of Lie groups. They say he can instrument the wind itself. That’s all I know.



    July 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

  7. He knows Lie group theory? Sh******t! Should’ve included him in my math 261A study group.



    July 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  8. I guess that if you are looking for the “economic –> social” conversion, you might not find anything really relevant (probably because it would not occur to people working in a bourdieusian fashion post 80s that it is really worth going at that level of general abstraction — too composite). Most of the works carried out dealing with the question of the “conversion of capitals” in this vein tend to look at the links between more specified field (e.g. Sapiro’s work on authors literary political fields; Lebaron economICs political fields).



    July 19, 2012 at 3:46 am

  9. I remember reading a Gil Eyal paper a few years back called “Are there spaces between fields?” (or something along those lines) that dealt with this question and reviewed a bunch of the literature. I’m sure some skilled googling will turn it up. Or contact him directly.



    July 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

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