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Agree with this post – ASK question
I believe Bourdieu’s provides the most accurate and balanced account of social life. His efforts of joining objectivist and subjectivist were his belief in habitus. Habitus is a mental filter that arranges a person’s perceptions, experiences and practices that the world takes them as taken-for-granted commonsense appearance. It is through habitus that an individual can acquire sense of one’s place in world or a point of view where they can understand their own actions or those of others (Appelrouth & Edles, 2010).
He developed a theoretical model with hopes of disabling the theoretical dualism, which he believed is responsible for producing on partial knowledge of social life. His concept of habitus was a theoretical device that helped answer the question “What accounts for the patterns of behavior that leads us to experience social life as routine and predictable?” His response is based on the notion that the habitus assembles a person’s view of the social world at the same time it is a product of social and historical conditions. The habitus also incorporates individualist and collectivist extents of social order (Appelrouth & Edles, 2010). Individuals make and remake the social order as they take positions or advance particular points of view, building their view on the world. This means as people grow and advance through life, things change, the way they see themselves and the world around them. At one point in their life, one thing could be of importance to them, while later something else could be more important and their view on themselves and the world around them will change.
Appelrouth, S. & Edles, L. D. (2010). Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Agree with this post – provide info and/or questions
The framework that I believe provides the most accurate and balanced account of social life is that of Pierre Bourdieu with his main concept of habitus, and adjoining concepts of economic capital and cultural capital. The habitus is “a mental filter that structures an individual’s perceptions, experiences, and practices such that the world takes on a taken-for-granted, commonsense appearance” (Appelrouth & Edles, 2010, p. 448). Through this mental filter, a person is able to formulate their point of view of their social world and in particular social spaces. With this development of their point of view they are able to interpret and give meaning to the thoughts and actions of themselves and of others. According to Bourdieu, a person’s point of view is not only determined by their socialization, but also their economic capital, material resources that a person may control or possess, and their cultural capital, nonmaterial goods that can be transferred into economic capital (Appelrouth & Edles, 2010, p. 449). This is where inequality within society stems. The classes have differing levels and accessibility to both cultural and economic capital. People instinctively surround themselves with others like them, whether intentional or not, and are therefore surrounded by those who share in their level of cultural and economic capital. This can be from the job they hold, the neighborhood they live in, the school their children attend, their political ideologies, and to even their choices of what to do during their free time. Each of these, in culmination with their socialization, formulates their habitus.
Pierre Bourdieu’s understanding and concepts of social life is directly reflective of the society we live in. Habermas has somewhat a utopian idea of social life, in that the lifeworld is capable of allowing people to agree upon the fairness and authenticity of actions while remaining impartial and true to their personal identity; though this cannot be accomplished due to the ever increasing public sphere (Appelrouth & Edles, 2010). On the other hand, Giddens’ theory of structuration suggests that people have the agency to choose their social position, influence, and understanding, which is contradictory to Bourdieu’s more practical theory.
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