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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909


BOURDIEU, Pierre. In praise of Sociology: acceptance speech for the Gold Medal of the CNRS. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2013, vol.28, n.83, pp.25-31. ISSN 0102-6909.

The text is a transcription of Pierre Bourdieu's speech by occasion of the reception of the Gold Medal awarded by the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the most important scientific distinction in France. Bourdieu develops here a discourse in praise of sociology, discussing its status as science, always subjected to controversy. According to Bourdieu, In order to be effectively an autonomous and cumulative form of knowledge, sociology must be necessarily reflexive, taking itself as an object and employing the instruments of knowledge in view of revealing the social effects generated by its own production. Hence, the importance of sociology for the understanding of the other sciences, for it draws forth the repressed unconscious in the social logic of any scientific knowledge. In analyzing the social mechanisms that govern the functioning of the world of science, sociologists and historians can contribute to a collective control able to confront the arrogance of scientism. Without succumbing to prophetic pretensions, the sociologist has the right to claim for the function exerted by the other scientists, in the sense of giving precise and verifiable answers in the restraint domains in which he works. But he should not assume the role of an expert at the service of the powers. On the contrary, according to Bourdieu, sociology should always be a critical counter-power, in opposition to the powers based on sciences -real or supposed - in order to carry out its existence or legitimize it.

Palavras-chave : Sociology of Science; Reflexive Sociology; Consecration; Power; Science and Politics.

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