File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2004/bourdieu.0411, message 15

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 15:33:29 +1100
Subject: [BOU:] The American habitus

Patrick wrote:

> > Is anyone interested in further discussing the role
> > of propaganda, and propagandists, in shaping the
> > habitus? 

This deals with only one side, and not nearly half and the situation. Propaganda & propagandists may INTEND to modify or reinforce the kinds of "ways of understanding" embodied by the habitus, however to get anywhere with that intention, a receptive habitus is required in the audience. There are ways of being that are not receptive to propoganda. If the propoganda has an increased effect, then these habitus are being abandoned/modified/overlooked/lost.

Patrick also wrote:

> > The simple fact that something approaching a majority of 
> > Americans now believe this. Before Rand appeared on the 
> > cultural scene, this was not the case.

... which is to say that America was ready for Rand AS MUCH AS Rand was ready for America. 

If Rand's agenda has been taken up, if the American worldviews are becoming more similar, then we get turned to a question of power. 
How has "the American" been compelled to pay attention to these issues? 
What issues are disregarded/trivialised as a result? (Which fields have lost autonomy?)  
What advantage is gained/what disadvantage is avoided?

Patrick wrote:

> > But first, let me raise the question as to whether
> > Bourdieu provides a model for the "active" side of the
> > habitus--- the forces which tend to *actively shape*
> > the habitus. I don't have a good word or phrase to
> > refer to what I am talking about--- the best I can
> > come up with is "intellectual source." 

The habitus *is* that which tends to actively shape the habitus. The self-regulating habitus adapts in avoiding disadvantage. 

I am not sure that the function/phenomenon of the propagandist deserves a special place in the relationships between habitus, field(s), agent & world(s). 

A class of habituses (Patrick suggests The American Habitus?) may be particularly suspectible/attentive to a kind of (or all) intellectual source. Howeverm, this is really no different to other habituses suspectible/attentive to great big colourful canvases, or a sport-star's feats, or complexities of managing cash crops.. 

The world is full of things that influence the way an agent acts, and also the way a habitus understands both the world and good strategies. In this respect, propaganda is just another thing for the habitus to deal with */as it sees best/* 




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