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Bourdieu and Jean Baudrillard

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For Bourdieu, belief and habit are always governed by the social. Bourdieu saw habitus as combining the role of structure (of society) and agency (of the individual) to frame how people come to decide what to do. The internalised norms of the habitus are the result of the subject’s exposure to social processes and this ensures that the human subject’s habitual modes of thought and action are governed by the social. Further, a person’s ‘individual habitus’, based on their own, unique set of experiences of the world, is never more than a slight structural variation on a ‘class habitus’ , which consists of structures that integrate all the experiences statistically common members of the same class. In associating an individual’s habits with a ‘class habitus’, Bourdieu relates the formation of habit to an individual’s social and economic positioning within society.

Bourdieu, therefore, has a concern with how structures shape the human subject. Bourdieu proposes that, on the one hand, through the body’s incorporation of habitus an institution “attains full realization”; and, on the other, in that process of incorporation the physical gesture of the practice potentially, and necessarily, exceeds those habits.For Bourdieu, habitus refers to socially acquired, embodied systems of dispositions and/or predispositions. It is not refering to character, morality, or socialization per se, but to “deep structural” classificatory and assessment propensities, socially acquired, and manifested in outlooks, opinions, and embodied phenomena such as deportment, posture, ways of walking, sitting, spitting, blowing the nose, and so forth.

I think Bourdieu is interesting. I think he makes sense in that structures help shape people. It makes sense to me how the “habitus” in a way tells us how to act like I said earlier about posture and stuff.

I think I can relate him to Marx because he is talking about social structures and there is conflict theory. But I think he could also relate to Cooley’s looking glass self because I can see how people change because they imagine others are imagining things about them.

Jean Baudrillard saids there is no line between imagination and reality.This divide collapses when we become more aware of the variety of realities constructed by images everywhere. We worry less about the “reality” below the image because we realize that it’s just more images, that there’s no difference. In professions like psychology and religion the expanding pool of images and icons erode faith in any one reality beneath, though some people (e.g., iconoclasts) hang on anyway to the idea that images are just fake covers over real truths hidden beneath. Such people do this by posing various rock-bottom realities like God, Truth, Reality. Others, (e.g., iconolators) see that beneath the image/reality dualism resides politics–group struggle. Disneyland generates much solidarity by leading reverent crowds through images and icons of America, hiding with the “imaginary” nature of this theme park the possibility that the whole city of L.A. and nation of the U.S.A. are just as constructed and imaginary, however much they might be masking as relatively “real.” The country is hyperreal, based upon nothing but its own image of itself.

I think Baudrillard is interesting and nakes sense. I think he makes sense when he saids there is no line between reality and imagination due to places like Disneyland making “reality” appear imaginery. So, I agree with him on the idea that the country is based on its own image.

Just like Bourdieu, I think I can relate him to Marx because he is talking about social structures and there is conflict theory. But I think he could also relate to Cooley’s looking glass self because the idea of imagination is playing a big part in this reading.

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