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SOC483Y1 (20)
Lecture 13

Lecture 13 Jan 18.docx

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Vanina Leschziner

Habitus explains difference between theory of practice and 2 other schools (objectivism and subjectivism) because when we introduce Habitus it is clear practices cannot be reduced exclusively to intentions of actors because these practice cannot be simply mechanical reaction to structural conditions… practice has to be conceived as a form of action not entirely intentional but has some reference to overall existing structure mediating through habitus and action of practice goes beyond mechanical determination through existing structures 1. This early theory of practice was developed with existing anthropological work – Bourdieu later moved in later work to French contemporary society, class structure existent in French society- take this example to underline the way the habitus works (Structured principle and structuring existing distributions of capital) - In his work on Distinctions there is one core idea that has been enormously influential for study of social inequality and culture- the idea is that there is social space which is class structure of French society. The habitus through which this social space is transformed into set of practices, these are practices of taste and cultural consumption… sometimes also called lifestyles. - We see here basic scheme – Habitus (mediating principle between SOCIAL SPACE AND SET OF PRACTICES - Social space - Habitus - Practices - Social space- multi-dimensional distribution of forms of capital, economic capital, social and cultural capital (3 dimensional) - Idea that there is a distribution of capital, in that individual actors positioned in a social space that allocates capital in 3 forms: economic, social and cultural and therefore produces forms of inequality. (volume of capital available to actor) - Composition of overall volume of capital - French society- 3 classes: Upper class, middle class and lower class corresponding to overall availability of capital - There are also differences between different elements/groups within these classes as a function of the form of capital on which there domination is based - Upper class- economic element crucial – CEOs contrasting to world of intellectuals (low economic, high cultural) - Social space determined by distribution of capital referring to 3 types of capital - This social structure is forming the habitus. Through this disposition the habitus produces a space of symbolic forms which has a high homology to the social space. So we have forms of cultural consumption fitting to upper class (distinguished taste) Cultural consumption - 1. Distinguished taste- a taste that marks distance to necessity- CEOS and intellectuals- does not have to be imbedded with economic necessities- we have free play of art, aesthetic forms which are of concern - 2. - 3. Vulgar- corresponds to economic necessity- it is a product of the people that have them have a habitus formed from position in lower class, low access to economic capital Habitus as set of dispositions goes deep within skin of actors by becoming incorporated into their very bodies, forms of movement, movement in social space, presenting self in social interactions Ex: apartment construction under economic constrains result in different bodily movements compared to upper class movements So forms of distinction are incorporated into bodily forms of actors therefore reproducing class structure Because forms of cultural consumption enter into the forms of cultural capital precisely through their function in formal education. So in equal French schools the success of upper class children guaranteed through the fact that school curricula that school practices are necessary through cultural consumption. Cultural capital thus takes different forms: 1) institutional forms: degrees, 2) existence of cultural goods: artworks and finally 3) incorporated into the very forms of cultural taste Through the habitus, the taste develops that reproduces form of cultural capital that develops into availability of cultural capital (Education titles) leading to accumulation of capital. These forms of capital can be translated into each other in the social space, educational titles can be translated into economic capital but also social capital (the availability of networks to upper class and economic dominating class within upper class) can be translated into economic /cultural / social capital The overall impression that emerges is a system of extreme stability of rigid system – French society Theory of practice is applicable to not only pre-modern societies but also applicable to modern societies The micro and macro linked in a way as described by mutual constitution/ co-determination – also structuring existing social structure by reproducing habitus and distribution of capital characteristic of the overall social space Doxa- taken for granted ideas that are so much a part of our social world that we rarely even notice them! – Do not question initial beliefs- thought styles because product of thought collectives define certain assumptions, doxa product of certain thought collectives and episteme contains doxa within self How are Habitus shared? – top down reason for opera’s being played in movie theatres due to declining viewing of opera and money* SOC483Y1- Lecture 13 January 18 - Bourdieu would say it is about class position – about the 3 forms of capital – within a social class we all agree opera is better- afforded with more value than we do Britney Spears but in some places it will work better than others – what kind of capital and tastes will have different values based on fields - Structure is crucial for Bourdieu - Bourdieu developed theory because back in 60s a lot of optimistic work on education- education as all equalizer – if we all have access- all same opportunities? – this was the idea of the time, so one of Bourdieu’s first book showed the opposite that education is reproductive- Lareau reference- yes all may have access to university but those who grew up around books, theatre, dinner conversations at the table developed better skills at talking, writing and knowing how to behave in class in order to be liked… all those things make a big difference- people may form well in math but those with higher class backgrounds tend to do better because better skills at expressing selves and relating with teachers thus teachers would mark them better! - There is more equal opportunity yet people perform differently your class origin is important for Bourdieu- the primary socialization of one marks your habitus, what you can achieve and what you can desire in life… - Habitus makes virtue out of necessity- you turn what you have into what you want – you incorporate a sense of what is possible for you! - Some view Bourdieu as very structuralist - Family position etc. determines what comes later to you Foucault was very interested in power but just different perspective from Bourdieu Relating Bourdieu to other theorists- Durkheim, Marx, Weber BOURDIEU- born 1930 died 2002 th - Considered one of the major sociologist of the 20 century - Why? – there are not many writing grand theories - Bourdieu tried to break dualism’s
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