The term social field has coined as an important component of its comprehensive theoretical Equipping people of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. The term field forms the counterpart to Bourdieu's concept of habitus: While the field in Bourdieu reified history, he describes the habitus as physical history.
Bourdieu used the French word champ (field) systematic theory, but partly also in everyday speech as a synonym for the field or area. This meaning is not described here.
Includes the social field
- The totality of social interactions and constellations,
- Fields, such as politics, economy, military, or the arts,
- Subfields, such as the field of literature, school, university, dividing among themselves in the field of education and in the cultural field.
Bourdieu's social field is between the Arrivierten as holders of the relevant power of definition of the field and the heretics as challengers and new arrivals in the field controversial and by the struggle for position and prestige to symbolic capital characterized. In the different social fields each specific constellations of the types of capital, economic capital, social capital, symbolic capital and cultural capital are relevant.
The respective incumbents have a good chance to protect their hegemony. In particular, if the limits of the social field are institutionalized and the field is thus closed socially, it will be hard for Emerging or dissenters to gain access to the field. The more open the box, the more likely it can take control in the field newcomers. In general, the fields are always marked by considerable momentum as more and held fights for dominance. Therefore, Bourdieu refers to the social fields as a "battle fields " or " scope " within the social space. Here, Bourdieu explicitly excluded from the rational choice theory, which he criticized for its economistic reduction. Though he speaks of action-guiding strategies of the actors in the fields, but it does bring this back to not deliberately calculated decisions, but to the unconscious acting habitus of the actors.
Bourdieu limits the number of fields is not one. Most important are the economic, cultural and political field for him.
- The economic field is caused by the emergence of market economies and obeyed as the other fields also to its own laws, which the profit calculus of competition and exploitation.
- The cultural field is caused by the spread of literacy and the establishment of educational systems. Unlike the Basic Law in the economic field does not obey the economic calculus, but their own laws the cultural field. The example of the cultural sub-field of art means: The purpose of art is the art - and only the art. The development of this subfield situates Bourdieu in the impressionist period, as an artist renounced the color rules and regulations of the authority figure. It is therefore problematic to use in the period before the era of Impressionism the term "artist".
- The political and governmental field is bound in its formation to the history of bureaucracies. The field-specific basic law requires the service to the public, in which the field - actors sacrifice their own interests to the public, the public sector and the general public.
Other fields are about the scientific field and the bureaucratic field.
"Maturity fields " have a high degree of autonomy in each field are different rules that are sufficiently during the fight or the game itself into question. There are boundaries between fields, and players in a field can provide the meaningfulness of the game in question, thereby bringing the field in danger. Conflicts between fields can arise if, for example, the policy seeks to intervene in the field of science and jeopardized their autonomy thereby.