Bourdieu, Marx, and Capital Journal Article uri icon



  • It has been claimed that in extending its critical problematic to the cultural sphere, Pierre Bourdieu transcends the economism of Marx’s concept of capital. I argue that this claim must be rejected. First, I show that Marx’s concept of capital was not economistic. Second, I trace Bourdieu’s changing understanding of capital, showing how it became less compatible with Marx’s over time. Third, I point out ambiguities in Bourdieu’s concept of capital that, despite gestures toward a Marxist understanding of capital, further distance him from Marx. Fourth, I argue that Bourdieu tends to take the economic field and economic capital for granted, unlike Marx. I conclude that if different forms of capital are but extended forms of economic capital, the notion of economic capital that they extend is not a Marxist one.

publication date

  • December 1, 2013

Full Author List

  • Desan MH

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 318

end page

  • 342


  • 31


  • 4