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Bourdieusian Reflections on Language: Unavoidable Conditions of the Real Speech Situation

Susen, S. (2013). Bourdieusian Reflections on Language: Unavoidable Conditions of the Real Speech Situation. Social Epistemology, 27(3-4), pp. 199-246. doi: 10.1080/02691728.2013.818733


The main purpose of this paper is to shed light on Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of language. Although he has dedicated a significant part of his work to the study of language and even though his analysis of language has been extensively discussed in the literature, almost no attention has been paid to the factthat Bourdieu’s account of language is based on a number of ontological presuppositions, that is, on a set of universal assumptions about the very nature of language. This article aims to fill this gap in the literature by offering a detailed overview of 10 key features which, from a Bourdieusian point of view, can be regarded as inherent in language. On the basis of this enquiry,the study seeks todemonstrate that——contraryto commonbelief——there is not only a Bourdieusian sociology of language but also a Bourdieusian philosophy of language, which provides a useful theoretical framework for examining the unavoidable conditions of the real speech situation. The paper draws to a close by reflecting on the flaws and limitations of Bourdieu’s approach to language.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Epistemology on 21st November 2013, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 21d. CRO (Accepted Version) Simon Susen (2013) ‘Bourdieusian Reflections on Language. Unav Cond of the RSS’.pdf]
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