Pierre Bourdieu Habitus Essay Writer

Habitus and Mental Maps Assignment

Introduction

From its antiquarian beginnings (which we will discuss in the final unit of this class), archaeologists have been interested in geographic space and the disposition of human activities across space (as well as through time). This interest in the spatial dimension leads us to carefully plot the locations of archaeological sites on regional maps, to draw accurate and to-scale birds-eye views of individual sites and the spatial arrangement of features, to precisely plot the location of individual artifacts within an excavation unit. Our goal in creating these kinds of maps is to capture as accurately as possible the physical appearance of the landscape and its topography, resources, the locations of archaeological sites, and the locations of various archaeological phenomena within a site, and to do so in a manner that will be useful to future generations of archaeologists (an “objective” map). Empirically-grounded interpretations of such spatial data tend to emphasize demography, territories, social organization, economic resources, technology, and how the land was used by people—the kinds of spatial opportunities and constraints that were once available to people.

Today, we continue to record spatial data with as much accuracy and detail as possible. However, beginning in the early 1990s, many archaeologists started to emphasize the social and symbolic dimensions of landscapes when they were constructing interpretations from the evidence they had collected and recorded. In this social-symbolic view, “landscape” is different from geographic space—it is an entity that exists through being experienced, perceived, and contextualized by the people who inhabit the space. Archaeologists became preoccupied by Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus (1977), which stresses the extent to which non-verbalized, but often unconscious, forms of learned behavior inhibit change and constrain the ability of individuals to act as free agents. When this concept of habitus is applied to space, space is seen as the “practiced space” that is experienced in the place that one inhabits in geographic space. It might be useful to think about how the space around you has been shaped by previous generations of people (and you) and how the space in turn shapes you and your actions.

The goal of this assignment is to help you recognize the kinds of challenges that archaeologists face when they try to integrate the empirically-grounded interpretations of static spatial data that emphasize what the archaeologist sees as important to past peoples, usually settlement patterns, subsistence practices, and ancient technology, with interpretations informed by the concept of habitus. You will also reach a deeper appreciation for why it is so important to justify and support your interpretations with evidence so that they make sense to other people.

Mental Map

What is being mapped here is an abstraction, not physical reality itself but the generalized impressions that real form makes on an observer indoctrinated in a certain way (Lynch 1960:143).

Mental maps are personal and are usually a mix of your objective knowledge of the world around you (based on your observations) and your subjective perceptions of that world that are influenced by how you use and experience space. Mental maps help to create a framework for understanding the world—in the past, the present, and the future. Mental maps are thus idiosyncratic and dynamic.

In this assignment you will explore mental maps as a way of understanding your own experience of the world. In discussion section, you will have the opportunity to learn how your fellow students understand their experiences of the world and to see how these may be similar to or different from your own. In particular, you will consider how aspects of your identity and upbringing influence the ways in which you experience and use space.

Instructions for Assignment 3

This assignment is worth a total of 20 points. The breakdown of points is provided below.

Part 1: Draw a mental map of your hometown or, if you are from a rural area, the county in which you live. If you feel constrained by the size of the paper, you can do two maps—you can draw one map that shows the entire community or county and then you can draw a box around the segment of the map that you feel you know the best and draw this area on a second map (all of it—some parts of it you might know better than others). At the end of this document are some examples. (Worth 8 points)

The Basics:

  • For each map, use an 8.5x11 sheet of paper (letter size)—no bigger, no smaller! It can be plain or graph paper.
  • No cheating by looking at a map of your hometown (or asking friends and family for help)—you should draw only what you remember from your own experience.
  • Include a north arrow, a legend for any symbols/colors that you use, and a way of referring to parts of the map that you explicitly mention in your essay (you could name these, give them letters or numbers, or use another system that makes sense)—you will want other people to be able to read and understand your map so that they could navigate their way through your town or county.

Some Things to Help Get You Started:

  • Make a list of places that you frequent—think very broadly about the types of places you go to and use. You can also include things like landmarks—places that you observe in the landscape or think of as significant in your own mind even if they are not places you frequent.
  • Think about the major streets that you use—are there certain routes that you take frequently to get to and from certain places?
  • Consider how your most common modes of transportation influence how you get from place to place (e.g., walking, driving, buses, bicycles, taxis, or subways). Include things like bus and subway stops, bus routes and bike paths if that is how you get around your hometown.
  • Consider labeling neighborhoods or districts if you know them well or even if you do not know many streets or details of that area.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave parts of your map blank—remember that you should only draw what you know, and leave blank the things that you do not know. Your map may look somewhat schematic, and that is fine!
  • Don’t strive for “objective” accuracy—the goal is to represent your hometown as you experience it and know it. Don’t obsess over street names or accurately depicting how streets curve or connect with one another. Don’t stress about scale or accurate representation of distance.
  • Feel free to include historical information—places that were formerly important but are no longer places you visit regularly (your elementary school for example), or places that no longer exist but are nonetheless meaningful to you in your memories of you hometown (in other words the map can reflect your historical memory as well as more recent memories/associations).
  • Your map should include 5 object types:
    • Paths, streets, roads, transportation routes (major and minor)
    • Districts and neighborhoods (business, historic, campus, etc.)
    • Edges and boundaries (breaks on the map between districts; consider how these are defined—fixed, vague, fluid)
    • Nodes (meeting places, locations where pathway cross)
    • Landmarks (prominent places of interest, either natural or built)
  • Examples of places to consider including:

o   Places you have lived

o   Schools you have attended

o   Shopping districts

o   Shops

o   Malls

o   Restaurants

o   Taverns

o   Coffee shops

o   Community centers

o   Gyms

o   Baseball and Soccer Fields

o   Basketball and tennis courts

o   Swimming pools

o   Golf courses

o   Places where you or your parents have
worked

o   Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques,
etc.

o   Friends’ houses

o   Grocery stores

o   Drug stores

o   Parks

o   Water features (lakes, coastlines,
rivers, etc.)

o   Topographic features (hills, mountains,
valleys, caves, etc.)

o   Gas stations/convenience stores

o   Bus stops/subway stops

o   Stop signs/stop lights

o   Libraries

o   Country clubs

o   Doctor’s offices

o   Hospitals

o   Museums

o   Police departments

o   Fire departments

Part 2: Write an essay in which you address the questions listed below. Remember to provide explicit references to you map (or parts of your map) when appropriate. Justify your answers. Maximum of 4-5 pages double spaced text. (Worth 12 points)

  1. Start by presenting a bit of background on your hometown or county—where is it located; how large/small is it; what is the topography like; what are the major industries/businesses there; etc.
  2. What was it like drawing these maps? Was it hard? Easy? Frustrating? Were you tempted to cheat by looking at published or on-line maps? What made you want to cheat?
  3. Where on your map do you feel the most safe/comfortable, and where do you feel the least safe? Think about comfort both in terms of personal safety, but also in terms of where you fit in and feel like you belong. What makes a place feel “safe” for you? What makes a place feel “unsafe”?
  4. What about the edges and blank/sparse parts of your map?
    1. What is the center of your map? Why did you choose to center your map on this feature?
    2. Why did you leave some areas of your map blank, or sparsely filled?
    3. What did you choose not to include and why?
    4. How did you choose the boundaries of your map? What lies beyond the boundaries of your map?
  5. Did mapping make you more aware of the parts of your hometown/county that you do not know very well?
  6. Think about the different aspects of your identity: gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion, ability/disability, nationality, socioeconomic status, education, and so forth. How do these different parts of your identity appear (or not) on your map? Do you see these areas reflected at all in your map? What does this map say about you? What does it not say?
  7. (Answer either 7a or 7b)
    1. If someone else looked at your map from the perspective of an archaeologist grounded in empirical data, what kinds of dimensions of your hometown do you think would be emphasized in their interpretations? How would these compare with yours? How do you think they would you go about integrating these empirically-grounded interpretation(s) with interpretations informed by the concept of habitus?
    2. Consider what would happen if an archaeologist excavated your hometown in 200 years and created a detailed to-scale map. Then they find your map in the archives. How much correspondence would there be between your map and the excavation map? Why might there be differences?

References Cited

Bourdieu, Pierre  1977     Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lynch, Kevin      1960     The Image of the City. MIT and Harvard, Boston, MA.

Discuss Bourdieu’s Concept Of ‘Habitus’ Essay

The essay will explore the concepts of ‘Habitus’ and how it can form a personal taste. In order to discover if taste can be considered to be truly personal, it is important to first investigate on the ideas of consumer culture and how meaning can be created. There are a number of theorists that need to be pointed out when talking about this subject matter, such as; Slater, Bourdieu, Lury and Miller. There will also be a slight touch on the key aspects of semiotics and semiology as this tool will be used in order to apply the main theories to practice. So as to carry this out, the theorist Barthes will be studied as well.

According to Slater (1997:26), ‘consumer culture is, in principle, universal and impersonal’. The notion behind this is that consumer culture is believed to be something that is in general for everyone and not specifically personal to you. The variance between production and consumption is growing larger for the reason that, individuals would now rather consume an item that is already available to them instead of producing items themselves. People would now work in their jobs to earn money just so they can spend it on items that someone else has produced as their job. It is a process that goes round in a circle; work, leisure, work, leisure. Slater (1997:8) also mentions that, ‘consumption is always and everywhere a cultural process, but ‘consumer culture’—a culture of consumption—is unique and specific: it is the dominant mode of cultural reproduction developed in the west over the course of modernity’. This explains the concept of meaning and how there are meaning of things in the uses of consumption. Things involve meaning for the reason that consumption is cultural. Meaning is created through the cultural values and ideas by the society who then, repeats these messages over and over in order to give it a meaning. This is so that others are constructed by them. No meaning is intrinsic; it is we that create a meaning. However, meaning can be negotiated for the reason that it can be reinterpreted by the modern society.

Bourdieu’s concept of ‘Habitus’ discusses the ideas of taste and lifestyles and how the society is constructed according to a hierarchy. This happens through the manner in which people become using meanings of things as weapons in order to fight against each other. They try to position each other as a class within the society. This hierarchy is split into three sections; upper class, middle class and working class. Upper class is the highest position of the hierarchy which consists of people in the society who are wealthy and have great power. They are the higher managerial and professionals. Middle class, however, is the position between the upper class and the working class. It involves people who are skilled manual workers and office workers. The middle class would be stereotyped to families with kids. Working class is a segment of the society that includes unskilled workers, unemployed individuals and those...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Discuss the Gileadean concept of "Freedom to, freedom from"

1318 words - 5 pages The dystopian novel, 'The Handmaid's Tale' implies the fact that there are two types of freedom, freedom to and freedom from. It is the paradox between 1980's America and Gilead that is examined continually throughout the novel and it's the ideas of 'freedom to' being a society of broad-minded morals and 'freedom from' the more controlled, restrictive society with an imposition upon individual freedom that are most prominent. In Atwood's...

The concept of 'taking of a substantial part' has been stretched too far by judges dealing with copyright infringement. Discuss.

1687 words - 7 pages The British Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988[1] effectively provide the maker of an original work a copyright. But copyright does not protects idea, it only protects the mode of expression of the idea, thus the taking of idea rather than the substance of work will not amount to infringement[2]. Similarly...

Discuss the factors, which affect demand: Explain the concept of price elasticity of demand and its significance to governments and producers.

699 words - 3 pages Demand is the quantity of goods or services consumers will buy at a particular price, at a particular time period. Market demand refers to the sum of individual demand for a good or service. It is assumed that the demand being represented is effective demand- the ability of consumers not just to want, but be able to buy the product. Quantity demanded is the inverse function of price, however there are other factors which influence the level of...

Discuss the concept of global expansion and forces of disintegration and integration and explain the transformation in which a diversify MNC become a fully integrated global enterprise

3576 words - 14 pages IntroductionOnce the companies are fulfilled with the saturation of the existing markets, they will expand the businesses abroad. Not only change the structure of the companies, but also the roles and responsibilities of people in the organizations. The form which the companies will be applied depends on many factors such as management, skills and expertise, and resources. The companies might focus on integration, disintegration, or...

"Things do not change, we do". Discuss this view in relation to your own ideas about the novel Things Fall Apart and the concept of 'changing self'.

1058 words - 4 pages The idea that "things do not change, we do" is incorrect. Although it can be the case at times, it is entirely inaccurate as the phrase "we do" in this view can be easily replaced by "circumstances". "Things" may not change, but circumstances, which we usually have no control over, certainly do change. Also, this view can be rearranged to state "things change, we don't", showing that people may be resistant to change. The main focus of the...

Discuss the concept of the 'sublime' advanced by 'Longinus' in "On the Sublime." How may we recognize it? What are its five sources? (Brief 'Works Cited' page included).

2054 words - 8 pages Upon reading Plato?s stance against poetry, it is refreshing to say the least to take into consideration Longinus?s praise of the art. In ?On the Sublime,? this author with the unknown identity lauds the art of sublimity, stating that it is an ?eminence and excellence in language; and that from this, and this alone, the greatest poets and writers...

The Role of Education in Society as Discussed by Emile Durkheim, Pierre Bourdieu, and John W. Meyer

571 words - 2 pages Theorists have long discussed the value of education in society as evidenced by the writings of Emile Durkheim, Pierre Bourdieu, and more recently John W. Meyer. Emile Durkheim believed in the theory of structural functionalism and its ability to provide social order. Durkheim felt institutions were a social fact that made the machine of society work in an orderly fashion. Education, being an institution has a standard set of rules accepted...

A Comparison of Theories of Social Capital by Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman

3540 words - 14 pages A Comparison of Theories of Social Capital by Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman Social capital is a sociological theory which has gained increasing attention in recent years. Whilst Bourdieu can be credited with introducing the term to sociology, it was James Coleman who allowed the concept to gain widespread recognition, highlighting its importance as an individual notion. For Bourdieu social capital forms a part of...

The Cultural Economy of Fandom: A review on the Article by John Fiske

1111 words - 4 pages This essay examines the situation of fandom in society, and its' effect; both ethnically and frugally. I really enjoyed reading and interpreting what the author had to say, which I thought he portrayed well through his use of language. The author proposes a discussion on the characteristics of fandom under the following headings; Discrimination and Distinction, Productivity and Participation, and

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's Book, Racism Without Racists

1724 words - 7 pages Race has been an issue in North America for many years. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva discusses the new racism in his book, Racism without Racists. Bonilla-Silva classifies the new racial discrimination as color blind racism. Color blind racism is then structured under four frames (26). Color blind racism is believed to have lead to the segregation of the white race from other minorities called white habitus. Color blind racism and white habitus has...

Discuss the relationship between culture and power in Bourdieus work

1915 words - 8 pages Discuss the relationship between culture and power in Bourdieus workPierre Bourdieu is regarded as being one of the most important thinkers in modern European history. His work is hugely respected not only in the field of Sociology; he is also a well respected Anthropologist and Philosopher. Bourdieu was born in France in 1930, the son of a Postmaster. He...

One thought on “Pierre Bourdieu Habitus Essay Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *