Friday, April 03, 2009

Is a Social Imaginary a Habitus?

Charles Taylor describes a social imaginary as a repertory of practices that a people use to make sense of their social world. This sounds like what Pierre Bourdieu means by a habitus. I think Taylor is contrasting a social imaginary, which ordinary people hold and act on, with a social theory, which intellectuals use to evaluate the world. Bourdieu contrasts a habitus with, among other things, a social structure imagined as a permanent thing, rather than a practice that people enact.

I think Taylor and Bourdieu start from different points, but converge on something quite similar - and quite useful in understanding how society is actually lived and made.

1 comment:

Balkan Barbie said...

"a social theory, which intellectuals use to evaluate the world"

i read that as evade, not what was written, evaluate.

i think sometimes intellectuals use social theory to evade the world, too.