Understanding Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory: Habitus and Examples of Social Phenomena

Understanding Pierre Bourdieu's Theory: Habitus and Examples of Social Phenomena

Pierre Felix Bourdieu’s theory of thought can be easily remembered by the composition of social practice, namely (Habitus X Modal) + Realm = Practice.

Pierre Felix Bourdieu’s thoughts give us a reflection to understand social phenomena which we ourselves unconsciously make habits or Bourdieu calls Habitus. 

Now, for the theoretical formula of Pierre Felix Bourdieu’s thought, we can easily remember the composition of social practice, namely (Habitus X Modal) + Realm = Practice.

In this first article, we will briefly discuss Habitus written by Pierre Felix Bourdieu, let’s see!

A Brief Introduction to the Sociological Figure Pierre Felix Bourdieu.

He was a philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist whose work had a major impact on the social sciences in the second half of the 20th century.

Bourdieu also became one of the leaders of cultural sociology. Bourdieu’s thought was influenced by thinkers such as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Hegel, Marx, Durkheim, Max Weber, Picasso, Franz Fanon, Jeane Paul Sartre, Huserl, Sausure, Levi Strauss, Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Michel Foucault.

Then, Bourdieu gave the concept of practical theory which people are familiar with with the formula (Habitus X Modal) + Realm = Practice. He provides a new thought formula called the structuralism-constructive method. 

Through this method, he synthesizes a theory that emphasizes structure and objectivity with a theory that emphasizes the role of actors and subjectivity.

His thoughts have an influence in the field of social science, especially in cultural studies. The theory that he put forward is known as the theory of practice.

Practical theory is a blend or mixture of agent- or actor-centered theory with structure-centered theory in shaping social life. 

Understanding Pierre Bourdieu’s Thoughts on Habitus. 

Humans as social beings certainly cannot be separated from the process of social interaction and communication between individuals, as well as between community groups.

This social interaction and communication occurs when humans are born, which begins with the process of internalizing the prevailing values ​​and norms. Where we ourselves run the habitus without us knowing it. 

Then, how does Bourdiue define habitus? Well, here’s Sociology Info quoting from the Journal of Cultural Studies (2016) Volume I No. 2: 79-82, Pierre-Felix Bourdieu Theory Research Report by Mangihut Siregar Udayana University, the following is the review: 

For Bourdieu habitus is a system through a combination of objective structures and personal histories, enduring and changing dispositions that serves as a generative basis for objectively structured and integrated practices. Understanding the concept of habitus is the key in Bourdieu’s theoretical synthesis. 

Where Habitus is a process of internalizing various socio-cultural values ​​and a sense of the game (feel for the game) that gives birth to various movements that are adapted to the game being played. Habitus is the result of internalizing the structure of the social world, or the inner social structure. 

Habitus is a historical product that is formed after humans are born and interacts with society in a certain space and time. Habitus is not innate or natural but is the result of learning through parenting and socializing in society. 

The learning process is very subtle, unconscious and appears as a natural thing. Individuals are not completely free agents, nor are they passive products of social structures. Habitus is closely related to the field, because the practices or actions of agents are habits formed by the field, so that habitus is understood as a cultural action. 

Bourdieu’s theoretical approach is to illustrate that what a person says and does in his life is basically something other than his desires or just from social and material structures. 

Individuals in their actions are influenced by the structure or the collective/social. The existing structures in society are internalized by social actors so that they function effectively. Internalization takes place through parenting, play activities, and also education in the community both consciously and unconsciously.

At first glance, habitus seems like something natural or a gift, but it is a construction. Actors or agents in acting are not like puppets or machines that move when someone orders them. Agents are individuals who are free to move according to their wishes. 

On the one hand, the agent is an individual who is bound in a collective/social structure, but on the other hand, the agent is an individual who is free to act.

This synthesis and dialectic between the objective structure and subjective phenomena is known as habitus. The result of the dialectical relationship between structure and agent is seen in practice. Practice is neither objectively determined nor free will.

Habitus that exists at a certain time is the result of long-lasting collective life. Habitus can last a long time but can also change from time to time. Habitus produces and is produced by social life, meaning that habitus is a social structure and habitus is a structured structure. 

Thus Bourdieu defines habitus as a durable, transposable disposition system that serves as a generative basis for objectively structured and integrated practices.

Examples of Social Phenomenon of Society.

Habitus is a habit that is inherent and repeated by humans in their daily lives. 

We can see this habit in the behavior and actions taken, such as village communities who are used to mutual cooperation activities, helping when there is a celebration or rewang. 

Well, we can see how this habit has been ingrained for a long time, so that it becomes a habit that is carried out continuously and repeatedly. 

Thus, we can form the habit by ourselves without us realizing it. That is when we look at the village community who have been instilled in the values ​​of gotong royong as a habit that has been ingrained for a long time.

What else can we see in giving examples of habitus? Well, for example in students, students who they familiarize themselves as students and students by learning, behave according to the values ​​and norms as well as their obedience in being students and students. 

Such as coming on time, doing assignments well and maximally, and applying teachings that are in accordance with existing values ​​and norms. This is where there is a process of social interaction and communication that builds the habitus by continuously repeating these patterns. 

Well, for examples and analysis of social phenomena in society, yo

See also  Social Conflict Theory According to Max Weber

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