Pierre Bourdieu: Habitus, Capital and Field
Pierre Bourdieu was an acclaimed French sociologist, anthropologist and philosopher, who is still noted today as being one of the most prominent and influential intellects in recent years. He is famous for his contributions to many subjects and areas, and much of his work is still considered today as being classics. His work is considered to be some of the most innovative and groundbreaking bodies of theory and research in contemporary social science. He is still prominent today for his many great contributions to the field of sociology, and though he has many revolutionary concepts, this essay will focus on three; Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field, and a key sociological factor these concepts help to explain. These three
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It is their overall assets and worth minus liabilities and debt. Economic capital provides an individual with a better position in society as material wealth gives an individual a better quality of life, and affords them more luxuries than people with lower economic capital. Thus, economic capital is based solely on a person’s material worth and their possessions. Economic capital is important, Bourdieu states, as it has a direct link to the other types of capital. For example, wealthy parents can afford to provide their children with an expensive education, thus providing them with cultural capital. The types of capital are independent to each other; however they all have their roots in economic capital. As stated by John C. Smart (2009, p. 156) Bourdieu understands the power of economic capital, and for him, the group with the higher economic capital constitutes the dominant class. However, he maintains that the other types of capital are very important also.
Social capital is a completely different form of capital to economic and cultural. It is the resources available to an individual based on group membership, relationships, networks of influence and support. Social connections are a powerful form of capital, as connections can provide a person with better employment or other benefits, based on knowing the right people. Thus, this is directly related to economic capital also, as for example, social capital can