Pierre Bourdieu – the evil eye

Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist who conducted research on the belief in the evil eye in Algeria as a way of understanding the cultural and social structures of the region. Bourdieu saw the belief in the evil eye as a cultural practice that reflected and reinforced social and economic hierarchies, particularly in rural and traditional societies.

Bourdieu’s research in Algeria focused on the relationship between the belief in the evil eye and the distribution of economic and cultural capital in the region. He argued that the belief in the evil eye was intimately connected to social and economic competition, and that it served as a means of enforcing social norms and maintaining hierarchical structures.

According to Bourdieu, the belief in the evil eye functioned as a kind of moral economy, regulating the distribution of resources and the allocation of status and prestige. He saw the practice of the evil eye as a way for individuals to assert their authority and protect their social and economic position, while also reinforcing the dominant cultural values of the society.

Bourdieu’s analysis of the evil eye highlights the ways in which cultural practices can reflect and reinforce broader social and economic structures. His work also underscores the importance of studying cultural practices and beliefs as a means of understanding the complex relationships between power, culture, and social organization.