All posts filed under: Books

Librarie le Moniteur

One reason why Paris is a foretaste of heaven is the abundance of bookstores. These are often easy to miss if one does not make the conscious decision to take note. Of late, thanks in large part to thesis-related reading, a whole new world of bookstores with work on Paris as a city, its architecture, urban planning, public spaces and history is becoming more apparent to my hitherto blinded eyes; Among my favourite places to find such work is ‘librarie le moniteur’ at 7, place de l’Odeon’. There is quite a treasure trove of well thought out work from some of the top thinkers and writers on urban spaces, design and such. It’s a fantastic place to pick up anything from coffee table books on architecture to well written academic work on the human and economic geography of Paris and other old and new cities. They even have a great kids book section with fabulous gifts for curious little minds who might also want to pick up a word or two in French. One must …

My Parisian Academic Crush: Falling in Love with Pierre Bourdieu

The last social scientist that I fell in love with was Susan Strange, a political economist who questions much of the structure of the global economy and international politics. In fact, no one else deserves more credit for the birth of the study of ‘International Political Economy’ as a distinct field of inquiry than Susan. During my studies here, however, I have stumbled across Pierre Bourdieu. In his case, he challenged his readers to question the social order of the world around them – and in the book that I am reading at the moment, “Language and the Structure of Power” he gives an extremely interesting argument to pay attention to the powerful role that language plays in the construction of social reality and the reverse. That is, the extent to which social realities influence language. He also spoke quite extensively on language as a tool and source for power – something I admit is not entirely new, but there is something compelling in how he presents concepts like a ‘linguistic market’ that makes his …