what is habitus

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What does Bourdieu mean by habitus in the most simple terms?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

He just meant that we internalize the enviroment we were raised/socialized in. Habitus can be explained as the comfort we feel when surrounded by the familiar. For example, if you were raised in a low income household, you internalize the culture associated with that kind of life, you feel at home, and you are able to easily navigate situations pertaining to that kind of life. Now imagine you get invited to a fancy dinner. That is not your habitus, you did not have contact with the upper class culture, so you might feel lost by not knowing certain social expectations surrounding an event like that. You do not feel at home at a fancy dinner, because it is not your habitus.

Anonymous 0 Comments

My dad refused to eat white corn on the cob unless he had no other choice. He said it was “fish food.” No matter how sweet or delicious it was, it was “fish food” to him. He was taught this by his father, and for his whole life, he held that belief no matter what evidence he saw.

That’s one small piece of habitus. A disposition, or a way of thinking or feeling, that society taught him and which he had accepted and made part of himself. Habitus is the collection of *all* those little trained dispositions that any given person has.

For another example, Americans are often seen as being *aggressively* gregarious/social, to the point of being off-putting to some European and Asian cultures. If an American is sharing a public housing space (e.g. a hostel), they will introduce themselves to every other person there, which many non-Americans would *never, ever do* because it’s seen as intruding on personal space. Part of the American habitus is that it is appropriate, even courteous, to “meet and greet” others you will be living with, even if only temporarily.