rowlands-shapingbeing-post-2016.pdf (633.37 kB)
Shaping and being shaped: extending the relationship between habitus and practice
chapterposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Julie Rowlands, Trevor Gale
This chapter extends understandings of the contributions of practice in re/forming the habitus. In Bourdieu’s account, an agent’s practices are thought to reflect his or her habitus: that system of dispositions operating at the level of pre-thought or un-thought and expressed in tendencies and inclinations to think and act in certain ways under certain conditions. Evidence of the habitus can be 'read' from practice. The shaping and re-shaping of the habitus involves practices of family and community (primary pedagogic work) and of social institutions (secondary pedagogic work), in any given field. However, Bourdieu also describes habitus as constantly evolving and the outcome of past practices. This raises questions about the conditions under which an agent’s field-specific practices might, in time, influence the shaping of their habitus, leading either to a feel-for or a rejection of the dominant game that defines the field. The chapter explores these issues within the context of formulaic approaches to research production in higher education. It asks whether the practices required of academics in order to comply with conditions of the field are merely a performative response or whether they might also have a deeper role in the reshaping of the individual and collective academic habitus?