Pierre Bourdieu: Habitus, Capital and Field
Habitus is one of Bourdieu’s landmark concepts, and is considered one of his greatest contributions to the field of sociology. Habitus is a sociological concept that has been in use for many years; even Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, was familiar with the concept and developed his own theory on the concept of habitus. The concept has been adapted and reiterated by many prominent sociologists over the years, including Max Weber, Norbert Elias and Marcel Mauss. Mauss’ theory of habitus inspired Bourdieu; but Bourdieu developed the theory further and thus differences in the two concepts by the two different sociologists can be found. Mauss described habitus as the aspects of culture that are anchored in the body, or daily practises by individuals, groups, societies and nations. It is, according to Mauss, the set of habits, tastes and customs that lie beneath the surface of rational ideology. These habits and customs include most aspects of a person’s daily life, including speech and movement. Bourdieu was influenced by the work of these great and influential sociologists, however he developed his own theory that was different and arguably
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