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Maclean, Mairi and Harvey, Charles and Kling, Gerhard (2015) 'Business elites and the field of power in France.' Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 43. pp. 189-219.

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Abstract

Bourdieu’s construct of the field of power has received relatively little attention despite its novelty and theoretical potential. This paper explores the meaning and implications of the construct, and integrates it into a wider conception of the formation and functioning of elites at the highest level in society. Drawing on an extensive dataset profiling the careers of members of the French business elite, it compares and contrasts those who enter the field of power with those who fail to qualify for membership, exploring why some succeed as hyper-agents while others do not. The alliance of social origin and educational attainment, class and meritocracy, emerges as particularly compelling. The field of power is shown to be relatively variegated and fluid, connecting agents from different life worlds. Methodologically, this paper connects biographical data of top French directors with the field of power in France in a novel way, while presenting an operationalization of Bourdieu’s concept of the field of power as applied to the French elite.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Volume title: Elites on Trial
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management
ISSN: 0733558X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20150000043019
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 15:15
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19613

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