Pierre Bourdieu (1930 - 2002) is without a doubt one of the 20th century's most influential thinkers. Today, his work is read well beyond the social sciences. This systematic introduction to his basic concepts - such as "social practice", "habitus" and "field" - is set against the backdrop of his life, which allows the author to develop his theories step by step. Bourdieu is portrayed as a sociologist who repeatedly overstepped boundaries, combining theory and practice in ways virtually no other sociologist ever has - including his involvement as a political intellectual.
Eva Barlösius is professor of sociology at the University in Duisburg-Essen.