[xmca] habitus

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Jan 02 2008 - 04:54:21 PST

  In different thread you posted the following about habitus
  "In modern society, a University is not part of habitus because it is a
societal entity that is shared by everyone, even if everyone puts a
different construction upon it. It is part of Objective Spirit, not
subjective Spirit. And you will be surprised to learn that in fact you
cannot get into University until you go through definite procedures,
passing exam, paying fees, attending a campus, etc., which are
 inscribed in law, etc., not in the dispositions of class fractions."
  I find this way of interpreting habitus at odds with my understanding of Bourdieu's concept . Something like a university could never be "in" or "part" of habitus, in fact no object as such could be part of "habitus". Habitus refers to the embodied dispositions that both structure and enable human actions in pursuit of goals. Habitus is necesarrily related to and generated in the process of goal oriented behaviour i.e., patterned actions, realized in different "fields,", Fields are defined in relation to specific objects which humans need, prize, desire, etc. , For example one might examine the field of religion as a field based on the production and cconsumption of "salvation", In a university one could talk of an academic habitus in general related to the academic field in which various kinds of academic honors, from degrees for educational programs of different levels, also the various levels of professorship, external recognition ranging from being
 invited to speak at i conferences to various national and international prizes, such as the Nobel Prizes.. One could also explore differences in the habitus of the different disciplines--differences in the shared dispositions (the habitus) that, according to the model, would correspond to the differences in the types of symbolic and social capital at play in the different academic departments.
  I think Bourdieu's field-habitus framework overcomes the problems I find with the term "cuture" and the concept of culture itself. I think it complements CHAT in many ways.

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Received on Wed Jan 2 04:56 PST 2008

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