Bourdieusian Field Analysis Training: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Applications

Bourdieusian field analysis continues to make a key contribution to both the theory and methodology of cultural sociology. The approach not only utilizes a relational sociological analysis of complex cultural patterns of cultural participation, it also enables researchers to develop national and cross-national analyses of power dynamics among different actors and institutions. Bourdieu defines fields as “structured spaces of positions’ and ‘the network of objective relations between positions’. Field analysis offers an alternative to “variable based” approaches to social life and helps researchers to illustrate the links between actors’ volume and composition of capital and their interests, strategies and beliefs.

This course offers an introduction to Bourdieusian Field Analysis. Different from ‘hypothesis testing’ and regression modelling, field analysis uses multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), a geometric analysis to inspect and visualize the main cleavages, coalitions and clusters within the sample. This method allows researchers to observe horizontal and hierarchical patterns of oppositions within a field and to analyze topics such as culture and consumption, political and economic power, the academic field or dynamics of internationalization. The first day of the course will give you a general introduction to fields and multiple correspondence analysis, the second is dedicated to the practical application of the method to your own data (or data that will be made available to you) with the statistical software R.

This course is useful for:

  • PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academic staff in the social sciences,
  • Those interested in learning about the methods used by Pierre Bourdieu for the analysis of cultural fields and social relations
  • Those interested in elite networks, power in the political, economic or academic domain and dynamics of internationalization in these fields
  • Market researchers, other commercial researchers, and public sector professionals wishing to learn MCA as a means of clustering complex data sets, and presenting attractive and intuitive visualisations.

Course Schedule

Day 1: 31st May 2017- Introduction to Field Analysis and MCA

The first day of the course will provide you with a theoretical and historical introduction of field analyses, illustrated by a series of examples from cultural sociology, sociology of professions, sociology of elites and the field of power. In the second part of the day, we will focus on multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) as a method, by showing its heuristic principles, its functionalities and requirements (in comparison with other statistical techniques such as regression modelling) with exercises dedicated to practical application of the method.

Day 2: 1st June 2017 – The second day of the course is dedicated to a more practical application of the method. The goal is to show you, on the basis of a simple data-set (or based on your own data), how MCA works and how it can be used practically in the framework of the R package All important steps of an MCA will be demonstrated and the main analytical decisions will be discussed.

Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC), Aston University, Birmingham-UK.

Teaching faculty:
Dr. Felix.Bühlmann (University of Lausanne)

For further information:
Dr. Ebru Soytemel (CCISC-Sociology and Policy, Aston University- Birmingham)

Dr. Gary Fooks (CCISC-Sociology and Policy, Aston University- Birmingham)

Course Fees:
The course will run for two days. Participants can attend only Day 1 or alternatively Day 1 and Day 2.

  1 day course (+ VAT)
2 day course (+ VAT)
Student £75 £150
Academic £100 £200
Industry/other £150 £300

To book your place please click here to visit our Eventbrite page.

Limited places available, please reserve your place soon to avoid disappointment.