Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean-Claude Passeron

Reproduction in education, society and culture.

Tr. By R. Nice. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 1977 [1970]


4.1. Given that (1) an ES cannot fulfil its essential function of inculcating unless it produces and reproduces, by the means proper to the institution, the conditions for PW capable of reproducing, within the limits of the institution's means, i.e. continuously, at the least expense and in regular batches, a habitus as homogeneous and durable as possible in as many of the legitimate addressees as possible (including the reproducers of the institution); and given (2) that, in order to fulfil its external function of cultural and social reproduction, an ES must produce a habitus conforming as closely as possible to the principles of the cultural arbitrary which it is mandated to reproduce - the conditions for the exercise of institutionalized PW and for the institutional reproduction of such PW tend to coincide with the conditions favouring the function of reproduction, inasmuch as a permanent corps of specialized agents, equipped with the homogeneous training and standardized, standardizing instruments which are the precondition for the exercise of a specific, regulated process of PW i.e. the work of schooling (WSg), the institutionalized form of secondary PW is predisposed by the institutional conditions of its own reproduction to restrict its activity to the limits laid down by an institution mandated to reproduce a cultural arbitrary and not to decree it.

4.1.1. Given that it must produce the institutional conditions enabling interchangeable agents to carry on continuously, i.e. daily and over the widest possible territorial area, WSg reproducing the culture it is mandated to reproduce, the ES tends to ensure that the corps of agents recruited and trained to carry out inculcation operate within institutional conditions capable of both dispensing and preventing them from performing heterogeneous or heterodox WSg, i.e. those conditions most likely to exclude, without explicitly forbidding, any practice incompatible with the function of reproducing the intellectual and moral integration of the legitimate addressees. Given that it must ensure the institutional conditions for the homogeneity and orthodoxy of the WSg the ES tends to equip the agents appointed to inculcate with a standard training and standardized, standardizing instruments. Insofar as it must ensure the institutional conditions for the homogeneity and orthodoxy of the WSg, the ES tends to subject the information and training which it inculcates to a treatment the principle of which lies at once in the demands of the WSg and in the tendencies inherent in a corps of agents placed in these institutional conditions, i.e. tends to codify, standardize and systematize the school message (school culture as 'routinized' culture).

4.1.2. Given that it must reproduce through time the institutional conditions for the performance of the WSg, i.e. that it must reproduce itself as an institution (selfreproduction) in order to reproduce the culture it is mandated to reproduce (cultural and social reproduction), every ES necessarily monopolizes the production of the agents appointed to reproduce it, i.e. of the agents equipped with the durable training which enables them to perform WSg tending to reproduce the same training in new reproducers, and therefore contains a tendency towards perfect self-reproduction (inertia) which is realized within the limits of its relative autonomy. Given that it contains a tendency towards self-reproduction, the ES tends to reproduce the changes occurring in the cultural arbitrary that it is mandated to reproduce only after a time-lag commensurate with its relative autonomy (the cultural backwardness of school culture).

4.2. Given that it explicitly raises the question of its own legitimacy in setting up PA as such, i.e. as a specific action expressly exercised and undergone as such (school action) every ES must produce and reproduce, by the means proper to the institution, the institutional conditions for misrecognition of the symbolic violence which it exerts, i.e. recognition of its legitimacy as a pedagogic institution.

4.2.1. Insofar as it endows all its agents with a vicarious authority, i.e. school authority (SAu), the institutionalized form of PAu, by a twostep delegation reproducing within the institution the delegation of authority from which the institution benefits, the ES produces and reproduces the conditions necessary both for the exercise of an institutionalized PA and for the fulfilment of its external function of reproduction, since institutional legitimacy dispenses the agents of the institution from having endlessly to win and confirm their PAu. Any given pedagogic agency is characterized, depending on the degree of institutionalization of its PA, Le its degree of autonomization, by the position it occupies between (1) a system of education in which PA is not set up as a specific practice but falls to virtually all the educated members of a group or class (with only sporadic or partial specialization), and (2) an ES in which the PAu necessary for the exercise of PA is explicitly delegated to and juridically reserved for a corps of specialists, specifically recruited, trained and mandated to carry out PW in accordance with procedures controlled and regulated by the institution, at fixed times and in fixed places, using standardized controlled instruments.

4.2.2. Insofar as it produces a SAu, an institutional authority which, resting on a two-step delegation, seems to be based on nothing other than the agent's personal authority, the ES produces and reproduces the conditions for the performance of institutionalized PW since the fact of institutionalization is capable of setting up PW as such without either those who carry it out or those who undergo it ever ceasing to misrecognize its objective truth, i.e. to remain unaware of the ultimate basis of the delegated authority which makes the WSg possible. the objective truth of his task (e.g. the ideology of disinterestedness). Insofar as it allows the authority attached to the office (SAuJ to be deflected onto the person of the officeholder, i.e. insofar as it produces the conditions for the concealment and misrecognition of the institutional basis of SAu, the ES produces the conditions favouring the exercise of institutionalized WSg, since it deflects onto the institution and the groups or classes it serves, the effect of reinforcement produced by the illusion that WSg is carried on independently of its institutional conditions (the paradox of professorial charisma).

4.3. In any given social formation, the dominant ES is able to set up the dominant PW as the WSg without either those who exercise it or those who undergo it ever ceasing to misrecognize its dependence on the power relations making up the social formation in which it is carried on, because (1) by the means proper to the institution, it produces and reproduces the necessary conditions for the exercise of its internal function of inculcating, which are at the same time the sufficient conditions for the fulfilment of its external function of reproducing the legitimate culture and for its correlative contribution to wards reproducing the power relations; and because (2) by the mere fact of existing and persisting as an institution, it implies the in stitutional conditions for misrecognition of the symbolic violence it exerts, i. e. because the institutional means available to it as a relatively autonomous institution monopolizing the legitimate use of symbolic violence are predisposed to serve additionally, hence under the guise of neutrality, the groups or classes whose cultural arbitrary it reproduces (dependence through independence).