File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2004/bourdieu.0410, message 69


Subject: RE: [BOU:] Bourdieu and Foucault
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 10:34:53 +0100


Dear Michael,

I'm a novice sociologist in comparison with most of the people who post on this site, but I raised an eyebrow when I saw Stuart Hall's name mentioned in the same breath as Foucault.  I'd always believed Hall to represent Cultural Studies before it got its poststructuralist turn, not after that turn?  My area's sociology of sport so I may be reading things a little differently as I'm out of the mainstream.

Amanda



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU on behalf of Michael Franklin
Sent: Fri 29/10/2004 22:22
To: bourdieu-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
Subject: Re: [BOU:] Bourdieu and Foucault
 
I should say that the professors in my department have a 
poststructuralist orientation.  They do read Bourdieu, but it's my 
impression thus far that he is of less importance than Foucault, Stuart 
Hall, etc.

--mf

On Friday, October 29, 2004, at 11:45  AM, Michael Franklin wrote:

> Maybe I should elaborate on the difficulty I'm having.   
> Unfortunately, the poststructuralists in my department do not read 
> Bourdieu, and if they do, it seems that it is only to borrow selective 
> concepts.
>
> Take this example of borrowing from an article on queer theory: 
> "[Bourdieu] has employed the notion of habitus to describe how what is 
> constructed can come to seem inevitable and natural. Like the fish 
> that does not feel the weight of the water, human beings live in a 
> world of 'social games embodied and turned into second nature.'"  The 
> author is clearly looking for a citation to buttress her theory that 
> discourses are hidden mental structures for perceiving the world.  But 
> the author has stripped the concept of habitus of its meaning in 
> Bourdieu's work.  Habitus is the embodied mental structure that people 
> acquire from their position in the objective social structure. One's 
> habitus varies from class to class. That is why the habitus classifies 
> (e.g., judgements of taste) and is classified (i.e., one's judgements 
> of taste is itself the object of judgement by others).  And thus, 
> one's habitus determines one's objective chance of entering and 
> succeeding in social games and achieving distinction.  What is 
> important in Bourdieu's concept of habitus is not only the content of 
> the culture it produces (e.g., heteronormativity), but its social 
> function as a mark of distinction from other groups.  But in the 
> article on queer theory, habitus is only used to explain the 
> naturalization of a heteronormative worldview.
>
> A poststructuralist, for instance, might look at and critique the 
> operation of heteronormative discourse in the US, in order to 
> challenge the dominant politics of sexuality.  It might make sense to 
> use Bourdieu if the types of sexuality are distributed unevenly across 
> classes or, and this is more likely, if the attitudes to different 
> types of sexuality vary with class or class fraction.  However, this 
> is not what poststructuralists are interested in.  They aim to change 
> heteronormative discourse by articulating oppositional discourses, and 
> as such are direct players in the cultural field.
>
> --Michael
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Friday, October 29, 2004, at 08:38  AM, Chris Andersen wrote:
>
>> Thank goodness we were able to reduce the entire complexity of
>> Bourdieu's and Foucault's work to a couple of lines! Who volunteers to
>> make up the T-shirts? Just think, B & F put in all that time to nuance
>> their work...just goes to show that some people make things too 
>> complex
>> ;)
>>
>> <<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>
>> Chris Andersen
>> School of Native Studies
>> 5-182 Education North
>> University of Alberta
>> Edmonton, AB, CANADA
>> T6G 2G5
>> (780) 492 4814 - phone
>> (780) 492 0527 - fax
>> www.ualberta.ca/nativestudies
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
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