Practical mastery and formal learning
Pages 2

Bourdieu’s Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977) lends itself to different readings, but it can, among other things, be seen as an account of how people learn. In outlining his model of †habitus, Bourdieu stresses the development of a ‘practical sense’ about the world. This learning process, or ‘inculcation’, is not primarily a matter of formal instruction. Instead it is embedded in a variety of practical contexts: the use of space, the cooking of food, the giving of gifts, etc. The habitus disposes people to particular actions, and its power to do so is directly related to embedded and unconscious learning.