Two examples of the use of Habitus to understand processes of marginalisation: suggestive lessons for policy and theory

Mia Arp Fallov, Jo E. Armstrong

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Abstrakt

This paper offers an evaluation of the concept of habitus from a policy oriented perspective, drawing
on empirical material from two research projects; one on urban regeneration, and one on women’s
working lives. Addressing different substantive areas, these projects found common strengths and
weaknesses in applying habitus to understand processes of continuity and change in institutions and
individuals’ lives. The concept provides a temporal and spatial framework that is valuable in
explaining the embodiment and reproduction of inequality. Using habitus points to the importance of
social relations and trajectories over the long term, suggesting lessons for social policy which
frequently tends towards individualized and ‘quick fixes’ to embedded social problems. These insights
include the complexity of interaction between forms of capitals, and between the institutional and
individual domains; the tension between aspirations to change and resistance to transformation; and
the importance of considering values in combating marginalization. However, in showing the
complexity of processes of inequality it becomes difficult to derive lessons that are easily translatable
into policy actions. Nevertheless, applying at least some minimal insights from using the concept may
offer substantial gains in terms of developing effective policies.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato2009
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - 2009
BegivenhedBeyond Bourdieu - Habitus, Capital & Social Stratification - Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 1 dec. 20092 dec. 2009

Konference

KonferenceBeyond Bourdieu - Habitus, Capital & Social Stratification
LandDanmark
ByCopenhagen
Periode01/12/200902/12/2009

Emneord

  • Bourdieu
  • marginalisering
  • beskæftigelse
  • kvinder og arbejde
  • køn

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