A tool kit for practice theory

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148 Scopus citations


This is a study in the analysis of correspondences. I consider a quantitative technique frequently used by Pierre Bourdieu and the mathematics developed by James Coleman for the foundations of his social theory, with respect to each other, from the respective analysts' points of view, and from my concern with developing more sturdy relations among the methodological tools in a practice theorist's kit. Specifically, I treat both frameworks as implementing in innovative ways the concept of 'duality', the co-constitution of elements at one level and relations at another (higher or lower) level of social action. I show that there is a remarkable homology, at the level of their formal practices, between the mathematical techniques of Bourdieu and those of Coleman. New ways to implement Galois lattice analysis are among the gains of this inquiry. Applications are to relations among the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. I identify and discuss several of the larger questions that this study raises about practical methods and methodological practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-115
Number of pages25
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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