[This paper was read at the Conference on the investigation of social space, Cologne, October 7-9 1998; the conference was organized by J. Blasius and H. Rouanet with the cooperation of Bourdieu, and held with his participation. The paper appeared in Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 2000, 65, 5-15.]

**Résumé.**
Ce texte étudie en détail l'usage de l'analyse des
correspondances dans *La Distinction* (1976/79) de Bourdieu, en
ayant en vue les sociologues qui souhaitent analyser leurs
données selon des méthodes en harmonie avec celles de
Bourdieu. Pour Bourdieu, l'analyse des correspondances n'est pas un
outil parmi d'autres commode pour visualiser les données, mais
un instrument unique éminemment apte à découvrir
les deux espaces apparentés des individus et des
propriétés. Un examen attentif de *La Distinction*
révèle un usage réfléchi et créatif
de l'analyse des correspondances, appliquée à des tableaux
Individus x Propriétés, avec ses principales aides
à l'interprétation. Les conclusions majeures de
cette ``leçon'' demeurent valides aujourd'hui, elles sont
applicables à tout tableau Individus
Propriétés, analysé par l'analyse des
correspondances ou plus particulièrement par l'analyse des
correspondances multiples. Dans l'analyse des questionnaires, faire
des analyses de correspondances ne suffit pas pour faire des analyses
``à la Bourdieu''. L'espace fondamental doit être
construit à partir d'un ensemble de variables pertinentes
suffisamment ample pour permettre le plein déploiement
multidimensionnel des individus.

**Mots-clefs.** *La Distinction*
de Bourdieu. Analyse Géométrique des Données.
Tableaux Individus x Propriétés, Analyse des
Correspondances. Nuage des individus, représentation
simultanée.

**Summary.** This
paper investigates the use of Correspondence Analysis (CA) in Bourdieu's *La
Distinction* (1976/79), having in mind the sociologists who wish
to analyze their data in a way in harmony with that of Bourdieu. For
Bourdieu, CA is not simply a handy tool among others for visualizing
data, but a unique instrument apt to uncover the two related spaces
of individuals and of properties. A careful reading of *La
Distinction* reveals a thoughtful and creative use of CA, applied to
Individuals x Properties tables, with its main aids to interpretation.
The major conclusions from this ``lesson'' remain valid today and
generally apply to Individuals x Properties tables whether
analyzed by CA or more specifically by Multiple Correspondence
Analysis (MCA). In the analysis of questionnaires, doing correspondence
analyses is not enough to do ``analyses à la Bourdieu''. The
fundamental space must be constructed from a set of relevant
variables ample enough to allow the full multidimensional display of
individuals. **Key-words.** Bourdieu's *La Distinction.*
Geometric Data Analysis, Individuals x Properties tables,
Correspondence Analysis, Cloud of individuals, Simultaneous
Representation.

Correspondence Analysis (CA) has
been used in the work of Pierre Bourdieu, at least since his article
``Anatomie du Goût'' (Bourdieu & Saint-Martin, 1976), with
the analysis of the epoch-making questionnaire on Lifestyle taken up
later in the book *La Distinction* (Bourdieu, 1979). In this
type of analysis - henceforth referred to as ``the paradigm of *La
Distinction*''- the basic data set is an *Individuals x
Properties table*; and the basic output consists of *two clouds*
of points: the cloud of * individuals* and the cloud of *properties*.
The interpretation is based on a joint study of the two clouds. The
paradigm of *La Distinction* has been continuously used by
Bourdieu and his coworkers in the analyses of questionnaires to
construct and investigate social spaces. In recent issues of *Actes
de la recherche*, we find Sapiro (1996) (a study on the
French writers during the German occupation), and Lebaron (1997)
(a study of economists). In our presentation of the Geometric Analysis
of Questionnaires, we will especially have in mind the
sociologists of the international community who wish to analyze and
interpret their data in a way in harmony with that of Bourdieu.
This has motivated us to comment on the privileged link between
Bourdieu's construction of social space and Geometric Data
Analysis, using *La Distinction* as a leading thread. It
should be noted that in ``Anatomie du Goût'' (1976), as well as
in *La Distinction*, the technique referred to by Bourdieu to
analyze Individuals x Properties tables was ``Correspondence
Analysis''. Around that time, for such tables, the method known as
Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) was becoming a standard
for Analyzing questionnaires. Since the late seventies, most
analyses conducted by Bourdieu and his colleagues have systematically
been Multiple Correspondence Analyses. The methodological comments
made in the present paper are by and large applicable to the
paradigm Individuals x Properties tables, beyond the strict
properties of MCA

The Lesson of *La Distinction*

The particular relations between a dependent variable (political opinion) and so-called independent variables such as sex, age and religion, tend to dissimulate the complete system of relations that make up the true principle of the force and form specific to the effects recorded in such and such particular correlation (La Distinction, p. 103).

One could multiply similar quotations (e.g. p.11, 113, 117...)

*From spatial vision of society
to spatial representation of data*

*The spatial vision of society.* In our opinion, in order to
realize how strong the link between Bourdieu's thinking and Geometric
Data Analysis is - so strong indeed that it amounts to genuine *elective
affinities* (Wahlverwandtschaften) - we must start with the ``spatial
vision'' of society (Raumvorstellung) which is a constant in
Bourdieu's thinking. This spatial vision leads him to uncover
and emphasize the material support of social relations in
physical space surrounding us. The city map of nineteenth
century Paris is the guide for Bourdieu's analysis of
Flaubert's *Education Sentimentale*, just as the districts
(``Grands ensembles des banlieues'') where the poor live today is
the guide of *La Misère du Monde*. Incidentally, it is in *La
Misère du Monde* that we find perhaps the most thorough
exposition of Bourdieu's spatial vision in a chapter entitled ``Effets
de Lieu'' (Effects of location). For Bourdieu, social relations and
oppositions are first and foremost spatial relations and oppositions.

*The spatial representation of data.* It is this spatial vision of
Bourdieu, we think, that *in turn* has led him, in order to
analyze surveys and questionnaires, to favor a method in which the
differences, deviations, distinctive traits among individuals are
cast in ``spatial'' terms [Raumdarstellung], namely the geometric method
of Correspondence Analysis. For Bourdieu, Correspondence Analysis
(CA) is not simply a handy tool among others for ``visualizing
data''. Bourdieu clearly perceived that, starting from complex
statistical relations, CA was going to be a unique instrument to
construct and study two geometric spaces: . on the one hand, a space
(analogous to physical space) in which individuals are located -- a
space that Bourdieu calls (most appropriately) the ``space of
individuals''; . on the other hand, and in simultaneous representation
with the space of individuals, another space that displays the
complexity of statistical relations expressing social relations --
and which Bourdieu calls ``the space of properties''.

``I use Correspondence Analysis very much, because I think that it is essentially a relational procedure whose philosophy fully expresses what in my view constitutes social reality. It is a procedure that 'thinks' in relations, as I try to do it with the concept of field.'' (Foreword of the German edition ofLe Métier de Sociologue, 1991).

Let us now comment on this geometric approach of Bourdieu, taking

*The individuals, always the
individuals!* Benzécri wrote somewhere: ``All in all, doing a
Correspondence Analysis is nothing more than diagonalizing a
matrix. The point is just to pick up the right matrix to
diagonalize''. The way in which Bourdieu has constantly used CA
always consists in typically taking, as a basic matrix, an Individuals
x Modalities table, where the set of modalities covers the
full set of relevant questions, and therefore is typically ample
enough to entail an adequate ``multidimensional display'' for the
two ensuing basic clouds of individuals and of modalities (This
closely concurs with the famous Benzécri requirement of
``exhaustivity'': see e.g., Benzécri, 1992, p.383). From the
basic cloud of individuals, which carries the whole of information, *derived
clouds* can always be obtained, such as the cloud of the mean points
of social fractions. Taking on the contrary aggregated data as the
basic input for CA goes against the very concept of social space in
Bourdieu's sense and simply amounts to using CA to do sociology of
variables. The interest of representing the individuals
themselves is obvious enough when the individuals are known persons,
such as, in *Homo Academicus*, where the individuals are
university professors. When the individuals are ``anonymous'', as in
many surveys, the interest of representing them may seem less obvious.
Still, as the reading of *La Distinction* suggests, whenever we
deal with an important structuring factor (such as social
fractions), it is strongly recommended not to be confined to mean
points, but to assess the variability among individuals within the
factor levels (i.e. social fractions), that is, the subclouds
themselves should be represented, or at least informative
summaries sketching the amount and the principal directions of
dispersion. As for Bourdieu's concept of Habitus -- a permanent
disposition attached to individuals -- it establishes the link between
the positions of individuals in the social space and their various
observable manifestations (tastes, declarations, etc.). Now, even
though positions in the social space may not determine entirely
those manifestations, they surely control their *probabilities*
(their *facilities*, as Laplace would have said). If we
understand Bourdieu correctly, habitus, like probability, is a
two-fold concept, both individual and collective. Following this
line of thought might lead, in carefully chosen situations, to
use the individual probabilities produced by regression
analyses (esp. logistic regression) to investigate habitus
within the geometric framework

Conclusion

As early as 1976, with the survey on
lifestyle taken up later in *La Distinction* in 1979, Bourdieu
made a thoughtful and creative use of Correspondence Analysis. The
major conclusions from this ``lesson'' remain valid today. 1. In
the analysis of questionnaires, doing correspondence analyses is not
enough to do ``analyses à la Bourdieu''. The fundamental
social space must be constructed from an extensive set of
relevant variables and ample enough to allow the full multidimensional
display of individuals. 2. Using Correspondence Analysis does
not preclude other statistical techniques (such as regression so
much in favor today); yet to keep in line with Bourdieu's
approach of social space, those techniques should be not just
juxtaposed but * integrated* into the geometric representation,
which must remain at the heart of interpretation. 3. On a
practical level, extensive geometric data analyses can be carried out
today more easily than ever, and the improvement of graphical displays
can make the detailed exploration of clouds especially fruitful.

By continuing to plead for a creative use of Geometric Data Analysis taking into account the advances of statistical art - as described e.g. in Le Roux, Rouanet (1998) - we are also pleading for a construction and investigation of the social space fulfilling Bourdieu's wish, that is, uniting the construction of the object and the instruments necessary to turn a research program into a scientific work.

**REFERENCES**

Benzécri J.P. et al. (1973) - *L'Analyse
des Données. Vol I: La Taxinomie. Vol II. L'Analyse des
Correspondances.* Paris: Dunod.

Benzécri J.P. (1992) -*Correspondence
Analysis Handbook.* New York: Dekker [adapted from J.P. &
F. Benzécri (1984), *Pratique de l'Analyse des
Données: Analyse des Correspondances & Classification,
exposé élémentaire*, Paris, Dunod]

Bourdieu P. & Saint-Martin M. (1976). ``Anatomie du goût''.* Actes de
la recherche en sciences sociales*, 5, 1-110.

Bourdieu P. (1979) -*La Distinction: Critique sociale du jugement*. Paris:
Editions de Minuit. Bourdieu P. (1984). - *Homo Academicus*.
Paris: Editions de Minuit.

Bourdieu P., Chamboredon J.C., Passeron J.C. (1991).* Soziologie als Beruf*. Berlin, New York: de
Gruyter. [German translation of *Le métier de sociologue*]

Lebart L., Morineau A., Tabard N. (1977).*Techniques de la
description statistique: Méthodes et logiciels pour les grands
tableaux.* Paris: Dunod.

Lebaron F. (1997). ``La dénégation du pouvoir: le champ des économistes français au milieu des années 1990''.* Actes de la
recherche en sciences sociales*, 119, 3-26.

Le Roux B., Rouanet H. (1998). ``Interpreting Axes in Multiple Correspondence Analysis: Method of the Contributions of Points and Deviations'', pp. 197-220, in J. Blasius & M. Greenacre (Eds):*Visualization of
Categorical Data*. London: Academic Press.

Sapiro G. (1996). ``La raison littéraire: Le champ littéraire français sous l'Occupation (1940-1944)''.*Actes de la
recherche en sciences sociales*, 111-112, 3-55.

Benzécri J.P. (1992) -

Bourdieu P. & Saint-Martin M. (1976). ``Anatomie du goût''.

Bourdieu P. (1979) -

Bourdieu P., Chamboredon J.C., Passeron J.C. (1991).

Lebart L., Morineau A., Tabard N. (1977).

Lebaron F. (1997). ``La dénégation du pouvoir: le champ des économistes français au milieu des années 1990''.

Le Roux B., Rouanet H. (1998). ``Interpreting Axes in Multiple Correspondence Analysis: Method of the Contributions of Points and Deviations'', pp. 197-220, in J. Blasius & M. Greenacre (Eds):

Sapiro G. (1996). ``La raison littéraire: Le champ littéraire français sous l'Occupation (1940-1944)''.

COMMENT (October 2005)

As indicated above, this paper was read at the 1998 Cologne conference held in homage to Bourdieu with his participation.

Its aim was twofold : 1) retrospective: clarify the use by Bourdieu of Correspondence Analysis since 1976, especially in La Distinction. 2) prospective: point recent advances in Geometric Data Analysis. The prospective part was firstly reflected by Bourdieu himself (1999) in his study of the field of publishers; then, after the mourning period, it is now carried out by Bourdieu's followers. See e.g. Hjellbrekke, Le Roux, Korsnes, Lebaron, Rosenlund, Rouanet : The Norwegian field of power, European Societies (2007).

As indicated above, this paper was read at the 1998 Cologne conference held in homage to Bourdieu with his participation.

Its aim was twofold : 1) retrospective: clarify the use by Bourdieu of Correspondence Analysis since 1976, especially in La Distinction. 2) prospective: point recent advances in Geometric Data Analysis. The prospective part was firstly reflected by Bourdieu himself (1999) in his study of the field of publishers; then, after the mourning period, it is now carried out by Bourdieu's followers. See e.g. Hjellbrekke, Le Roux, Korsnes, Lebaron, Rosenlund, Rouanet : The Norwegian field of power, European Societies (2007).