Pierre Bourdieu Essay

Pierre Bourdieu Essay

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As a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu focuses on the role of practice and embodiment in social dynamics of power relations in life, which opposes Western traditions. He conceptualizes the notions of habitus and field, which disclose the construction in human society, which, according to him, should not be understood as applying a set of rules. Echoing Michel Foucault and Michel de Certeau, Bourdieu intents to analyze the interrelationship between social structure and social practice. His arguments are around a reconciliation of both external power generated from social structure and internal power produced by subjective individuality.
Bourdieu transforms Max Weber’s notion of domination and social orders into his theory of fields, defining field as a setting in which agents and their social positions are located, a system of social positions that are structured in terms of power relationships. Fields, so to speak, “provide themselves with agents equipped with the habitus needed to make them work”(1980, 67). Bourdieu thereby claims that society can be seen as the sum of social objective relationships in the conditions of economic production and that it is the social agent should be emphasized in society. Bourdieu, although retaining structuralist concepts of social structures, argues that the reproduction of social structure is not constrained by the logic of social structure.
Bourdieu describes habitus as the theory of the mode of the generation of practices. Habitus, according to Bourdieu, which is a “product of history” structured based on a set of acquired dispositions, is constituted in practice and is always “oriented towards practical functions”(1980, 52-54). That is, habitus ...


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...uses construct practical space that organizes social relations ; Calendars structure practical time that organizes social works. System of classification, as embodiment of social order thereby subsumes subjective experiences and naturalizes “its own arbitrariness”(1977, 164). Doxa, the state of this naturalization, through censorship and exclusion, preserves a “universe of that which is taken for granted”(1977, 170)
Bourdieu further argues that practices involve “a logic made to dispense with concepts”(1977, 116) but should not be described as logical processes. It is, instead of abstract logic, but body movements and actual practice should be analyzed with an investigation on the connection between body movements and classificatory system. The “language of the body”, according to Bourdieu, is more ambiguous to be analyzed than linguistic schemes(1977, 120).

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