Pierre Bourdieu

Outline of a theory of practice

Tr. by R. Nice.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1977 [1972].


habitus: one definition

disposition inculcated in the earliest years of life and constantly reinforced by calls to order from the group, that is to say, from the aggregate of the individuals endowed with the same dispositions, to whom each is linked by his dispositions and interests" (p. 14-15).  

against an early objection to ethnomethodology

Our approach is thus radically opposed, on two essential points, to the interactionism which reduces the constructions of social science to "constructs
of the second degree, that is, constructs of the constructs made by the actors on the social scene ”, as Schutz does, or, like Garfinkel, to accounts
of the accounts which agents produce and through which they produce the meaning of their world. One is entitled to undertake to give an "account
of accounts ”, so long as one does not put forward on e ’s contribution to the science of pre-scientific representation of the social world as if it were a
science of the social world. But this is still too generous, because the prerequisite for a science of commonsense representations which seeks to be more
than a complicitous description is a science of the structures which govern both practices and the concomitant representations, the latter being the
principal obstacle to the construction of such a science. ... Moreover, the constitutive power which is granted to ordinary language lies not in the language itself
but in the group which authorizes it and invests it with authority. Official language, particularly the system of concepts by means of which the members
of a given group provide themselves with a representation of their social relations (e.g. the lineage model or the vocabulary of honour), sanctions and
imposes what it states, tacitly laying down the dividing line between the thinkable and the unthinkable, thereby contributing towards the maintenance
of the symbolic order from which it draws its authority. (p. 21-22)

another definition of habitus


(p. 82-83)

Saturday, March 9, 2002