American Sociological Association

Thinking with Bourdieu against Bourdieu: A ‘Practical’ Critique of the Habitus

There are two strands in Bourdieu's sociological writings. On the one hand, Bourdieu argues for a theoretical position one might term his “practical theory” which emphasizes virtuosic interactions between individuals. On the other hand, and most frequently, Bourdieu appeals to the concept of the habitus according to which society consists of objective structures and determined—and isolated—individuals. Although Bourdieu believes that the habitus is compatible with his practical theory and overcomes the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism in social theory, neither claim is the case; the habitus is incompatible with his practical theory, and it retreats quickly into objectivism. However, Bourdieu's practical theory does offer a way out of the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism by focussing on the intersubjective interactions between individuals.

Authors

Anthony King

Volume

18

Issue

3

Starting Page

417

Ending Page

433