From: paul humphries (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 18:02:02 PDT

I really enjoyed reading the Panofsky article and was stimulated by the idea of what might be achieved by including Bourdieu with our theories and our research studies. I was left, however, with a couple of questions:

1. I noticed that the studies considered seemed to deal with  habitus at the level of clothing and income. Wouldn’t this be a fairly blunt instrument for most situations? I can quite easily envisage classrooms in which all students fit into the same income bracket and wear similar clothing and yet in which the teacher will favor certain groups and individuals and react differently to them. I wonder if there are any studies that use a more comprehensive concept of habitus, one including aspects such as manner, posture, movement, and attitude. I wonder if a more comprehensive habitus might be more revealing and might draw out the tension between the habitus and the individual.

2. As a co-worker pointed out, if habitus is at the center of the understanding of the
relationship between the teacher and the students, then what does that all mean if
we consider an American teacher teaching English to a class of Japanese students
in Tokyo. What role does habitus play in the second language classroom?


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