Thursday, December 3, 2009

Your Habitus

Wilson uses the Bourdieu theory that your Habitus is formed through a combination of your "home base" and your "habits". This combination then goes on to serve as a filter for your perception of new objects. If something falls within your Habitus, Bourdieu argues, it "maximizes your satisfaction"

40 years later, we are having trouble with this theory because of the emergence of "No-Brow" tastes that can't be classified into high or low society

Looking at your own Habitus and tastes, do you believe that this old system has collapsed with the emergence of the "omnivore" or the person who balances high culture with popular culture, or is Bourdieu still as right as ever? Is this the modern "reneissance man"?


  1. I don't see a reason why the such a system of classification would "collapse"--to me, it sounds like the idea of Habitus is that your personal experience, the context you apply to a piece of art, relates to how you will appreciate that art. Some of the fans that Wilson interviewed in the book held sentimental connotations that enabled them to like Celine Dion. When Wilson discusses how his ex-wife played that song--was it Buddy Holly?--it was clear that he liked the song because of the memory that came along with it.

    I think the concept of high-brow/low-brow is a little different from the idea of Habitus, but more so because it reflects the connotations society may or may not apply to a person's background. That's what causes judgment to occur from a person's taste in music or other media--you begin to question their education, their background, where they're from, etc.

  2. I agree with Marielle. Last semester I took a philosophy of aesthetics class and this concept totally reminds me of the concepts we studied. They way in which you perceive something totally relates to the experiences, education, etc that you have received. Outside influences are constantly affecting the way we see the world...

  3. I agree with what everyone has been saying. I feel its a persons experiences and interactions that play a bigger role than class. One could be raised in a "high-brow" family but through experiences be open to something that falls in another category.