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SMC219Y1 - Lecture Notes #13.docx

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Department
St. Michael's College Courses
Course Code
SMC219Y1
Professor
Steve Hoselton

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SMC219Y1 – LECTURE NOTES
Pierre Bourdieu
November 20, 2013
Symbolic Capitalism:
Was influenced by Marx; a neo-marxist
Expanded on his ideas by expanding what capitalism is
Power and influence is important for capitalism, gained via wealth but that's not the only
way
Can be gained via symbolic capital such as social, cultural, educational, and prestige
oSocial = things that make one person more important than others without the use
of money; society is structured in a way that some have more power and influence;
depends on different settings and situations, and how we interact we others
oCultural = varies and shifts depending on where you are, who you're with and
what you're doing
oEducational = varies too
The FIELD = the place and time
Rules and codes are created in society; but they're relevant and not absolute and
therefore those you have the power and influence will shift
It's always relational; never cut and dry
The HABITUS is your set of norms and values; mostly unconscious; based on DOXA
which are assumptions that we take to be true (ex: God exists); the result of these
underlining assumptions we believe to be true and they're rarely questioned or
investigated
All this depends on the individual and their reactions, and not society imposing these
values and norms
SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE = when one person, idea or system impose their habitus onto
someone else; replacing one's norms and values with your own; sometimes it's a good

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SMC219Y1 – LECTURE NOTES Pierre Bourdieu November 20, 2013 Symbolic Capitalism: • Was influenced by Marx; a neo-marxist • Expanded on his ideas by expanding what capitalism is • Power and influence is important for capitalism, gained via wealth but that's not the only way • Can be gained via symbolic capital such as social, cultural, educational, and prestige o Social = things that make one person more important than others without the use of money; society is structured in a way that some have more power and influence; depends on different settings and situations, and how we interact we others o Cultural = varies and shifts depending on where you are, who you're with and what you're doing o Educational = varies too • The FIELD = the place and time • Rules and codes are created in society; but they're relevant and not absolute and therefore those you have the power and influence will shift • It's always relational; never cut and dry • The HABITUS is your set of norms and values; mostly unconscious; based on DOXA which are assumptions that we take to be true (ex: God exists); the result of these underlining assumptions we believe to be true and they're rarely questioned or investigated • All this depends on the individual and their reactions, and not society imposing these values and norms • SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE = when one person, idea or system impose their habitus onto someone else; replacing one's norms and values with your own; sometimes it's a good thing to have this -- we could learn stuff (don't touch hot stove, education); but it can also be an insidious way to control people, forcing your ideas onto someone's conscious • Norms and values are always shifting too; capital shifts too • We find the truth in this relativity by using reflexivity = examining truths, values, assumptions and ideas constantly • This process is ongoing and keeps changing • We're always vulnerable to symbolic violence and that is why we always questioning and examining our assumptions • Talks about transcendental truth; truth above all other truths and obtained through science; therefore empirical thinking and science is the only way to obtain absolute truth • Always says that science has its faults; must be rigorous and constantly test because scientific theories are constantly changing, amended or proven to be false Problems: • If truth is relative, then how do we know that Bourdieu is telling the truth? • His theory could be absolute, but then his theory about truth being relative would be false; walks into his
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