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The Habitus Essay

  • Submitted by: Maleymale
  • on December 4, 2011
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 465 words

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Below is an essay on "The Habitus" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Ishmael Bracy

The documentary, “People Like Us”, touches on the roles that social classes serve in America, by observing how individual identities are molded according to the given social space, and how social spaces influence preconceptions of where individuals belong on the social landscape.   These categorical ideas of social status can easily be related to Bourrdieu’s notion of” the Habitus.” The habitus reflects our given position in social space, and those social spaces are founded on social capital, which determine our points of view.   These points of view are positioned relative to each other, first according to the overall volume of the capital they possesses and, second, according to the relative amount of cultural capital they possess. Therefore, Individuals who are closer in social space are likely to share commonalities, while those further apart in social space are less likely to share commonalities. An example of this can be drawn from the city of Burlingtion, where the lower and middle class clashed over who would build the new downtown grocery. The lower class requested for Shaw's, a national chain of supermarkets, while the middle class was interested in the Onion River Co-op, a smaller, community-based health food store.   This class conflict is a result of different ” points of view”, between people who are position close in   social space, therefore,   they   have conflicting “Points of views”, of what would serve as a legitimate grocery store, because they   have different lifestyles, taste, and aspiration. Considering that the upper class possesses more social capital than the lower class, they are positioned relatively higher on the social hierarchy which gave the upper class the advantage of deciding what the new grocery store would be. This exposes how taste symbolically   marks the social space people are connected to, and how social relations perpetuate   the unequally distribution of social capital.

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