Bourdieu and Boal: Expanding Upon Habitus, Practice and Field and Promoting Change

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Bourdieu and Boal: Expanding upon Habitus, Practice and Field and Promoting Change INTRODUCTION French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu desired to link micro and macro theories and levels of analysis. Bourdieu sought to bridge the gap between the individual and structure, the subjective with the objective. Interested in the action or existence of opposing social forces between structure and how an individual constructs social reality. Bourdieu’s research reflects his desire to connect the micro with the macro. This paper will take a look at research previously done on the topic of Bourdieu’s habitus, practice and field to further understand the dialectic relationship between the individual or agent and the structure. The purpose of this paper is to take an in depth look at Bourdieu’s theory than what was previously presented in the course this semester as well as the corresponding textbook for the course, Sociological Theory by George Ritzer. I will also take a look at Agusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in accordance to Bourdieu’s concept of habitus as a tool usedto promote change. HABITUS Bourdieu defines habitus as “systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures” (1990:53). In other words, the habitus can be thought of as internalized social structures. As applied in a very general way, the habitus points to the collectively developed ability to act in accordance to specific environments or fields. Depending on one’s position or status within a field, a person’s habitus can be transferred from one field to another as long and individual’s habitus is appropriate(Ritzer 2008). Habitus consist of, as well as surpasses what we call habits. Habitus is adopted through upbringing and education. An individual’s habitus is acquired as a result of long-term occupation of a position in the social world. A person’s habitus begins to take form in early childhood. It can be said that


References: Boal, Agusto. 1995. “The Rainbow of Desire: the Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy.” London:Routledge. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. “_The Logic of Practice__.”_ Pp. 53-65. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Myles, John. 1999. “From Habitus to Mouth: Language and Class in Bourdieu’s Sociology of Language.”_ Theory and Society_ 28:879-901. O’Neil, Cecily. 1996. “Into the labyrinth: theory and research in drama.” Researching drama and arts education: paradigms and possibilities. (145). London and New York: RoutledgeFlamer. Österlind, Eva. 2008. “Acting out of habits – can Theatre of the Oppressedpromote change? Boal’s theatre methods in relation to Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. Research in Drama Education 13 (1):71-82. Rawolle, Shaun and Bob Lingard. 2008. “The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and researching education policy.” Journal of Education Policy 23:729-741. Ritzer, George. 2008. “Sociological Theory.” 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1977. “On certainty.” Oxford: Blackwell.

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