This article analyses the history of the European Social Survey (ESS) and its relationship to changes in European research policy, using Bourdieu’s field-analytical approach. It argues that the success of the ESS relied on three interwoven processes that we can understand theoretically in terms of the establishment of homological structures and the formation of conjunctural alliances between the field of European social-scientific research and the field of European policy. The three interwoven processes that I depict are: first, the production of a European field of social research, connected to both European and national scientific institutions; second, the establishment of European Union (EU) institutions and organisations that were able to identify and link up with social researchers; and third, the formation of conjunctural alliances between the two fields (social science and EU research policy) and the appearance of actors able to move capital between them.
European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 2017, p. 1-25
European Union; Bourdieu; Sociology of knowledge; Social survey research; European social survey (ESS); Homological structures; European Social Survey (ESS)