SMC219Y1 - Lecture Notes #13.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
Steve Hoselton

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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