Discuss Bourdieu’s concept of ‘Habitus’

1964 WordsJul 11, 20188 Pages
The essay will explore the concepts of ‘Habitus’ and how it can form a personal taste. In order to discover if taste can be considered to be truly personal, it is important to first investigate on the ideas of consumer culture and how meaning can be created. There are a number of theorists that need to be pointed out when talking about this subject matter, such as; Slater, Bourdieu, Lury and Miller. There will also be a slight touch on the key aspects of semiotics and semiology as this tool will be used in order to apply the main theories to practice. So as to carry this out, the theorist Barthes will be studied as well. According to Slater (1997:26), ‘consumer culture is, in principle, universal and impersonal’. The notion behind this is…show more content…
However, people from the upper class will always stay where they are and will always be located in the highest position of the hierarchy. Things usually start with the upper class and trickle down to the common, lower classes in terms of movement and originality. This is the reason why people from the working class, for instance chavs, tend to purchase products that are a replica of the original products which initially belong to the upper class. Moving on, the theory of ‘conspicuous consumption’ which according to Bourdieu (1986:31) ‘seeks distinction in the crude display of ill-mastered luxury, is nothing compared to the unique capacity of the pure gaze, a quasi-creative power which sets the aesthete apart from the common herd by a radical difference which seems to be inscribed in ‘persons’’. He explains that conspicuous consumption is when people buy things not for themselves, but for others in the society in order to show it to them and what they think of it. This is to express that they have the money and can afford to buy such items. People want to look different through their appearance by the use of their luxury. It seems as if it has become significant to people that their identity lies within the products that they can purchase. This notion of using consumption to portray your identity within the class is also mentioned by Lury (1996:80) when she claims that ‘lifestyle is thus an instance of the tendency for groups of individuals to use
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