Ian Coller

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Hot up your habitus

In Online Resources on May 7, 2010 at 5:17 am

Reading the work of social theorists helps us to question some of the assumptions we make about history.

Les classiques des sciences sociales

This site has essays from Foucault, Bourdieu, Weber, Braudel, Freud, Sartre, de Beauvoir and many others, plus downloadable classics of sociology, and work on contemporary questions like prisons and health. There are excellent sections on fascinating subjects like “Creole societies” and “Sociology of the family”.

It’s in French, but there are also some links to English texts.

Find out about Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the habitus!


This image is taken from Iohn Huighen van Linschoten his Discours of voyages into ye Easte & West Indies : deuided into foure bookes. London [1598].

It is from the US Library of Congress which has an amazing digital collection.

Here we can see that the concept of “habitus” has a long history. It’s particularly important in opening up questions about “cultural encounters”.


Clash of the Titans

In Online journals on May 2, 2010 at 5:52 am

affiche_choc_des_titans_1980_1French intellectuals have been waging a long-running battle over commercializing access to knowledge and scholarship.The French riposte to GoogleBooks is Gallica – free, impeccably put together and enormously rich in resources.

Now here comes Persée, an online journal site offering free and open access to journal articles of all kinds (in French, of course).

Is it a coincidence that they chose the name of a mythical hero (Perseus) who slew the mighty gorgon?

There is no equivalent to JSTOR or such paid subscription access for most French journals, which has always been a bit frustrating.

The site Revues.org has always allowed free access to on-line journals, but not on-line access to print journals. We’ve become greedy these days – we want instant access to back issues in easy-to-download pdf format.

To quote…“Persée is a program which was created for the digital publication of scientific journals in the field of the humanities. The entire printed collection of journals is digitized and published online through a portal providing access to the collections, in addition to advanced functionalities that facilitate and enhance use of the portal’s resources. The journals are selected by an editorial board, thereby guaranteeing the collection’s scientific coherence.”

And ... “The main goal of the Persée project is to  disseminate widely on the internet the scientific output of French-language specialists in the humanities . Considered part of France’s heritage, the collections are at the disposal of all, without charge, in an optic of free and non exclusive access and dissemination.”

Best of all, it’s free for all ….Vive la France!

I must confess, the most exciting journal for me is Annales historiques de la Révolution française

Other gems

Annales (334 Issues, 13717 Articles 1929-2002)

L’Homme (164 Issues, 5958 Articles 1961-2008)

Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée (72 Issues, 1633 Articles 1966-1999)