The chapter analyses the significance of Bourdieu’s concept of capital and addresses the highly controversial issue regarding its compatibility with the Marxian notion of capital. On the background of a recapitulation of Bourdieu’s and Marx’s accounts of capital, the chapter puts forward the thesis of a partial congruence between the two and assigns Bourdieu’s notion of capital an intermediate position between a generic economic conception and a Marxian conception. Then, four kinds of criticism according to which Bourdieu’s concept is entirely not consistent with the Marxian one are discussed: the substantialist objection, the circulationist objection, the missing exploitation objection, the trans-historical objection. Accordingly, four counter-objections aimed at supporting the partial congruence thesis are set forth. These argumentations not only refer to the three volumes of Capital and to the 1857 Introduction, but also suggest that any inquiry into the possible affinities between Marx’s notion of capital and Bourdieu’s theory of the forms of capital should bear in mind the intrinsic connection between habitus, field and capital, and resort to a broader set of Bourdieusian concepts, such as symbolic violence and the general economy of practices.
Aiello, M. (2022). Reassessing Bourdieu’s Use of the Marxian Concept of Capital. In Gabriella Paolucci (a cura di), Bourdieu and Marx Practices of Critique (pp. 217-248). Cham : Palgrave MacMillan [10.1007/978-3-031-06289-6_10].