File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2000/bourdieu.0004, message 36


Date: 17 Apr 2000 10:01:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Habitus and learning styles...



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I would like to respond to your questions by offering some remarks and 
inviting responses to them

First you ask--

<1) Can habitus be culturally based?

I would like to turn this around and ask, Is any part of habitus not 
cultural?  Is there a posibility of a "private" habitus or component of 
habitus, so to speak--a subjective essence of a person (what might be 
identified in part with an undividual's "learning style"), that could be 
ahistorical?  

My own feeling is no--though I would not deny the historical 
contingencies that result in "unique individuals" (a phrase that 
invites questions).  More important, I think Bourdieu's response, as 
sociologist, would be that the idea of habitus calls attention to only 
those characteristics of individuals that are historically developed.  
Politically, the notion of an essential component of habitus smacks of 
essentialism, the notion that the dominant are deservedly in charge, 
because the dominated are intrinsically suited for manual labor, 
following orders from above, and indulging in bad habits like drinking, 
fighting and lying about.

2) If so, can a group's habitus be perpetuated from generation to
generation (not only intra-culturally but extra-culturally)?  What I 
mean to say is can the dominant group reinforce a dominated  group's 
habitus through their dominance?  (An example here in the states might 
be the ghetto-ization of African Americans)

If I understand you, you are talking about reproduction.  See Bourdieu's 
book on that subject, or Invitation to Reflexive Sociology.  Dominant 
groups "reinforce" their domination by imposing social distinctions that 
validate their own tastes (say, for wine), while the dominated accept 
those distinctions as "natural", even inevitable (wine is too effete for 
us, that's for them, we like beer or malt liquor).

In Invitation p. 80, n. 24, Wacquant refers to Willis's Learning to 
Labour as a useful study of the tastes of the dominated for activities 
that separate them from the dominant classes.

(By the way, I don't understand what you mean by "extra-culturally".)

3)  If a dominated group's habitus is reinforced by the dominant group,
how might be the mechanism for this?

See above.

Bill Hord
Gradute student
University of Houston
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Date: 14 Apr 2000 20:23:10
From:Gavin Pat Young <gpy200-AT-is5.nyu.edu>
To:bourdieu-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
Subject:Re: Habitus and learning styles...
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Hello,

Continuing on my objective to better understand habitus and cultural
capital in relation to learning styles, I have the following questions to
ask:

1) Can habitus be culturally based?

2) If so, can a group's habitus be perpetuated from generation to
generation (not only intra-culturally but extra-culturally)?  What I mean
to say is can the dominant group reinforce a dominated  group's habitus
through their dominance?  (An example here in the states might be the
ghetto-ization of African Americans)

3)  If a dominated group's habitus is reinforced by the dominant group,
how might be the mechanism for this?



In studying learning styles, I've come to learn that they can be
culturally based (see "Multiculturalism and Learning Style" by Rita Dunn
and Shirley Griggs).  I'm trying to understand if a group's learning style
is influenced by their relationship to the dominant culture?


In general this leads to a new set of questions (always questions, no
answers).

A) Are cultures (and therefore habitus) in a struggle with eachother for
dominance?

If so, then any dominated culture (and their habitus) is being impacted on
by the dominant group?


Thank you for your great comments.  I hope this is interesting to
everyone.

Sincerely,


Gavin Young



 

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