ERIC Number: EJ680475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep-1
Physical Capital and Situated Action: A New Direction for Corporeal Sociology
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v25 n4 p473-487 Sep 2004
Pierre Bourdieu's writings provide us with a powerful vision of corporeal sociology (an approach towards human relationships and identities that has at its centre the socially shaped embodied subject), and an understanding of the body as a form of physical capital. Despite his protestations to the contrary, however, a reproductionist bias pervades Bourdieu's conception of social action, making it difficult for him to account theoretically for those individuals who deviate from the class trajectories 'assigned' them during their formative years. After exploring the idea of physical capital implicit within Bourdieu's work, this article places this conception of the body on a non-reproductionist footing by developing the pragmatist notion of situated action. This conception of action is then used to illustrate how the relationship between social field and physical capital can result in not only a continuation of habitual action (and an associated accumulation of particular quantities and qualities of physical capital), but in action informed by crisis and revelation (and associated transformations in the individual's relationship with physical capital) that can aid our understanding of the education of bodies.
Descriptors: Social Action, Sociology, Physical Characteristics, Physical Development, Social Differences, Social Stratification, Social Influences, Human Body
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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