chapter  1
22 Pages

Introducing the field

ByDeborah Butler

This chapter provides an ethnographic account of working practices that are essentially corporeal, set in a cultural field that, at the same time, is traditional as well as modern and where 'the most essential is transmitted, acquired and deployed beneath language and consciousness'. The structures of habitus are composed of durable, transposable dispositions and attitudes which generate perceptions, appreciations and practice. A habitus is made up of subjective dispositions of an individual underpinning their actions, which in turn contribute to objective social structures. Economic capital is highly rationalised and has a precise numerical value but it is the concepts of social, symbolic and cultural capital that have more resonance within racing field. Social capital is a concept that can be readily applied to racing industry as, for Bourdieu, it means connections and networks which an agent can call upon in order to achieve specified goal. Symbolic capital was defined by Bourdieu as transformed and thereby disguised form of embodied capital.