The Application of Bourdieu's Theory to Neoliberal Principles and Practices

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Creating a symbolic system within a field means to construct reality, which requires the internalization of structures so that the social actor may reflect it and this structure can be perceived or recognized by others. The process of mutual recognition of capital that takes place in respective fields is known as symbolic capital. When capital takes on meaning in a field it has a symbolic trait, hence symbolic capital. It’s the things that aren’t tangible such as status, prestige, and authority that social actors perceive as legitimate (Siisiäinen. 2000: 12-13). Bourdieu (1985: 17) states, “Those who occupy the dominated position within the social space are also located in dominated positions in the field of symbolic production.” Every society deals with conflict, which can also be symbolized in a field as symbolic power. There are two sides of this relational conflict, those who exercise symbolic power and those who under go it. The dominant class desires to control the capital in that field and the methods in which they do so is symbolic power, also known as symbolic violence. This is the struggle of capital. Bourdieu wrote how symbolic power can be used as an instrument of domination. In the book, “Understanding Bourdieu” the authors describe symbolic power as such, “Agents are subjected to forms of violence (treated as inferior, denied resources, limited in their social mobility and aspirations), but they do not perceive it that way; rather, their situation seems to them
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