One of Pierre Bourdieu’s great skills and gifts to organizational researchers is his ability to reveal and make manifest the hidden mechanisms of social stratification that often remain invisible in organizational and social life. In this chapter, we explore Bourdieu’s contribution to the study of elites, power and domination. We apply his ideas and concepts illustratively to four specific areas of research: class domination and cultural reproduction in big business; the importance of reflexivity for social mobility; the transactional nature and legitimizing function of entrepreneurial philanthropy and the discerning processes of taste formation, indicative of underlying status distinctions, serving as another means of exercising power. The conceptual arsenal provided by Bourdieu is far from exhausted by management and organization studies. We need it most of all to continue exploring the activities of elites in the global field of power as, largely unobserved, they tighten their stranglehold on global wealth and resources.
|Title of host publication||Management, Organizations and Contemporary Social Theory|
|Editors||Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel Pina e Cunha|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||17|
|ISBN (Print)||9780367233778, 9780815365846|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 2019|
- Bourdieu, domination, elites, inequality, power, social mobility
Maclean, M., & Harvey, C. (2019). Pierre Bourdieu and elites: Making the hidden visible. In S. R. Clegg, & M. Pina e Cunha (Eds.), Management, Organizations and Contemporary Social Theory (1 ed., pp. 98-114). London: Routledge.