chapter  5
17 Pages

Bourdieu’s habitus: a sociological mislocation of agency

Overview In this chapter I acknowledge and examine Bourdieu’s ‘theory of practice’ as an attempt to achieve dynamically embodied accounts of social action. However, I maintain that the invention of an analytic construct like ‘the habitus’ is problematic because the nature of human powers and capacities, and therefore the location of human agency, are inadequately grounded. Using ethnographic data to support the theoretical argument presented in Chapter 3, and employing the movement literate methods described in Chapter 4, I argue that once grounded in the ontology of personhood afforded by new realism, it is the causal powers and capacities of embodied persons, not the dispositions of a habitus, that become the means by which humans exercise agency in dynamically embodied practices.