White Habitus Research Paper

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White Habitus Research Paper



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Again, because sex and gender are not synonymous, some women can have penises, some men vaginas. See Mackie, , pp. Here, hooks castigates anti-male feminism as bourgeois and white-supremacist. My only selection criteria were that the syllabi come from North American post-secondary institutions, that they contain a full, week-by-week reading list, and that they pertain to introductory courses that aim to familiarize students with feminist theory and the study of gender as opposed to courses more specific in focus, e.

Some e. Others prefer for men to self-identify as profeminist or feminist allies. Either way, it is all but undeniable that male allies bring visibility and recognition to the movement. Gendered Worlds. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Arts, Wil A. The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State pp. Baker, Katie J. Best, Susan. New York and London: Routledge. Brake, Elizabeth. Brodie, Janine. Toronto: Pearson. Broussard, C. Anne, Alfred L. Joseph, and Marco Thompson. Campbell, Marie L. Clatterbaugh, Kenneth. Kimmel Ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Hopkins Eds. Coltrane, Scott. Connell, R. Crowley, Jocelyn Elise. Eastwick, Paul W. Eagly, Peter Glick, Mary C. Johannesen-Schmidt, Susan T. Fiske, Ashley M. A Test in Nine Nations. Ehrensaft, Diane. Rogers Ed. Originally published in Socialist Review 20 Fahs, Breanne. Ferguson, Michaele L. Filipovic, Jill. Gaffney, Karen and Andrew J. Glick, Peter and Susan T. Hagan, Kay Leigh. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press. Heyman, Gail D. New York: Washington Square Press. Hopkins, Patrick D. Kauffman, Michael. Kimmel, Michael S. Levit, Nancy. Lindenmeyer, Antje. Lorber, Judy and Lisa Jean Moore. Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives.

Los Angeles: Roxbury. Mackie, Marlene. Toronto: Butterworth and Co. Miedzian, Myrian. San Francisco: Pandora. Menzies, Robert. Chunn, and Susan B. Boyd Eds. Messner, Michael A. Politics of Masculinities: Men in Movements. Murphy, Michael J. Newton, Judith. Oakland University News. Retrieved Monday, March 16, Rider, Elizabeth A. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons. Roberts, Dorothy E. Sawyer, Jack. Pleck and Jack Sawyer Men and Masculinity pp. New York: Prentice Hall Press. Originally published in Silverstein, Louise B. Sterba, James P. Tarrant, Shira. Men and Feminism. Berkley: Seal Press. Zvan, Stephanie. Fall Professor Almas Zakiuddin. University of British Columbia. Professor Irene Browne. Emory University. Maymester Professor Ashley Taylor.

Syracuse University. Spring Professor Kate Linder. Suffolk University. Professor Jean L. Gettysburg College. Professor Deborah Cohler. San Francisco State University. Professor Dorothy Woodman. University of Alberta. WGS Feminist Theory. Professor Allison Hobgood. Willamette University. Hume greatly advances the analysis of convention and of social phenomena in terms of it Hume He expands the scope of convention to include a wide variety of social entities—not only law, property, and language, but also money, government, justice, and promises.

Social entities as products of God and Nature : Other early modern philosophers root the social world in the natural—both in divine commandment and in human nature. Robert Filmer, a seventeenth century monarchist, argues in Patriarcha that the state is a family. This implies, according to Filmer, that state authority is no different from the authority of a father over his family. A nominal essence is a definition of a species or sort of thing, which people assemble in their minds out of ideas.

Individuals generate these definitions when they observe things in the world and classify them according to their apparent similarities. See also sections 2. Advances in science and interest in political governance led theorists to draw analogies between the traditional domains of science—such as heavenly bodies, chemicals, and organisms—and the newly salient domains of economies and societies. The push to develop a science of society motivates a different emphasis in social ontology, as compared to earlier theories.

Whereas ancient and early modern theorists largely investigated the sources or generators of social entities, these theorists devoted more attention to analyzing social entities into their constituent parts. Philosophers in the Scottish Enlightenment argue that social order arises from aggregates of individuals interacting with one another, even if the individuals did not plan the order. Later attempts to develop a rigorous science of the social world also employ a similar picture of the components of society. Mill builds on Comte — to argue that social science is a branch of psychology. Society, according to Mill, is the aggregate of human minds, and the topic of the social sciences is to derive laws governing such aggregates.

The interpretation and expansion of psychologism becomes an important topic in twentieth century individualism; see sections 3. The historicist tradition in eighteenth and nineteenth century German philosophy inverts the relation between individuals and societies. Rather than seeing individuals as primary, these philosophers stress the primacy of societies, with individuals a product of the societies in which they are brought up.

Hegel argues that even self-consciousness is not something that an individual can possess independently of others. Instead, it depends on our having a sense of ourselves as individuals as distinct from others, which in turn depends on mutual interactions Hegel Nineteenth century criminologists, including Taine , Ferri , Sighele , and Le Bon investigated mental properties of crowds, such as impetuousness and irrationality.

Tarde postulated mechanisms by which crowds acquire these characteristics, by way of the psychology of individuals and interactions among people. Durkheim challenged these explanations, arguing that such individualistic laws cannot be adequate to explain crowd psychology or other social phenomena. Nineteenth-century social criticism reopened the question of the sources of social categories. Philosophers scrutinized commonplace categories—often ones that we employ in our daily practices—revealing that they have darker or at least richer underpinnings than we realize.

Their approaches raise questions about the motivations for using these categories, as well as their nature and metaphysical sources. Subsequent philosophers put claims of the constructedness of social entities at the center of social critique. Challenging the idea that this morality is basic to human nature, he argues that prevailing moral categories were tools intentionally wielded in a struggle for power.

Ideals of humility and self-denial, for instance, were introduced by leaders of a resentful population to undermine the aristocratic values of Greco-Roman society. Uncovering social categories becomes a centerpiece of subsequent social criticism. If oppressive structures are to be dismantled, the social nature of the everyday world first needs to be revealed. The work of the Frankfurt School in particular is influential in contemporary feminist and race theory see section 5. Social ontology is the study of social entities and properties. But which things are social? How are they distinguished from those that are not social?

Not every theory in social ontology needs to make this distinction—but many rely on it. His project is designed to remove the mystery behind shared intention by analyzing it in terms of non-social mental states of individual people. These theories—descendants of Mill —hold that all social facts are determined by the psychological states of individual people. This arrangement of the sciences into levels is sometimes challenged altogether e. But even if certain domains of science can be arranged into levels, the level of the social has difficulties unique to it.

One is the problem of identifying just which entities are the social ones. Even cases that would seem straightforward can be contentious. A crowd, for instance, was regarded by many in the late nineteenth century as the paradigmatic social object. But in recent years it has become less obvious that this is so. According to Gilbert, it is with joint commitment that a group is genuinely social Gilbert A second problem is to identify which categories of social entities are the best focus for analysis of the social world. Some theories focus on a category because it is significant, but do not claim that it comprehensively covers the social world. Others choose a category of social entities in order to be comprehensive.

In doing this, a theory may aim to set up an exhaustive determination claim: for instance, it may claim that all social objects are composed of individual people interacting with one another, or that all social properties supervene on individualistic properties, or that all social facts are grounded by physical facts. Even more contentious is which objects are not social. To many theorists, individual people are paradigmatically non-social. Many philosophers, however, argue that individuals are socially constituted see sections 1.

Thus some projects in social ontology look for a middle ground. They intend to accommodate the social nature of individuals, and yet to account fully for the social in terms of individuals see section 3. According to some theorists, even these are socially constructed and therefore fall on the social side of the division Pickering , Woolgar After all, social theory aims to say more than merely that the social world is somehow built out of physical entities see section 3.

A variety of approaches to the building blocks of the social are discussed in section 3. A second difficulty in analyzing social entities is in distinguishing ontological from merely causal relations. In many cases, the distinction is straightforward. That battle is not a cause of the war. It is a constituent of it: the Battle of the Somme is ontologically rather than causally related to World War I. The formation of the Triple Alliance, on the other hand, is causally related to the war, not ontologically.

Many cases, however, are less straightforward, and it is not always easy to distinguish when entities stand in ontological rather than causal relations. We could argue that the formation of the Triple Alliance is only causally related to the war because it took place long before the war began. But temporal remoteness is not always good evidence. Even if causes must always precede their effects, identifying causally related events is complicated by the fact that events extend over long periods of time.

The weather in January is causally and not ontologically related to World War I, although the war stretched on before and after that month. Furthermore, there might be instantaneous or even backward causation see entry on backward causation. The more significant complication, however, is that ontological relations need not be synchronic. For a mental state to be a memory , for instance, it must be caused by the event of which it is a memory.

And for a person to be President of the United States , an election must have taken place beforehand. Some theories of the social world insist that a social entity can only ontologically depend on synchronic facts about the world. Classical structuralism, influenced by Saussure , regards social structures as synchronic, with the social structure at time t being a product of the mental states of individuals at time t see section 4.

Work in a variety of domains, however, argues for an ontological role of historical factors. Among these are theories of semantic content Kripke , Putnam , Davidson , biological and social kinds Millikan , artworks Levinson , and artifacts Bloom , Thomasson Distinguishing causation from ontology does not imply that causal relations are ontologically irrelevant. Having causal effects may be a criterion for an entity to be real Gellner , Bhaskar , Elder-Vass Causal structure is also often regarded as central to the nature of various entities. Several theorists argue that kinds are individuated by their causal roles Fodor , Khalidi forthcoming.

Some theorists of biological and artifactual kinds regard patterns of reproduction to be part of what individuates these kinds. And some theorists of human kinds regard certain causal feedback loops to be characteristic of human kinds see section 4. As seen in section 1 and the supplement on history , it is useful to break social ontology down into two broadly different inquiries. One inquiry is to analyze the constituents or essential properties of social entities. A second is to analyze the metaphysical sources or generators of social kinds or categories.

To illustrate the distinction, consider a category such as animal sacrifice. This is a kind of ritual act performed in both historical and contemporary cultures. The boundaries of this category are not simple. Animal sacrifice is not the same as ritual slaughter, though the two acts have many properties in common: the animals killed in both may be eaten, both acts may be performed by specially qualified individuals, and both may be subject to specific rules and performed in specific contexts.

The first inquiry into the nature of animal sacrifice, then, is to clarify the conditions for something to be in the category: what are the essential properties of an animal sacrifice, or the constituents of an animal sacrifice? Once this is settled, however, there is a second set of ontological questions regarding the sources of the category animal sacrifice. What features of the world—social, intellectual, practical or otherwise—puts this category in place? What sets up the category animal sacrifice to have the boundaries or essential properties it does as analyzed in the first inquiry? A social entity a group intention or a footprint is held to stand in some relation R1 to other entities member attitudes or a past foot-strike.

One of the more precise ways of clarifying claims about the building of social entities is to use various forms of the supervenience relation see the entry on supervenience. A virtue of the supervenience relation is that it makes it easy to articulate important distinctions in precise ways. For instance, maybe the social properties of the U. Senate are exhaustively determined by the properties of U. Or maybe the social properties of the U. Senate are exhaustively determined by properties of the population of the entire U. There are, however, well-known shortcomings to the supervenience relation as well see Fine , Shagrir , K. Bennett a, Correia The relation in the second inquiry is less discussed. Specific theories of the setup of the social world include theories of convention, law, collective acceptance, structure, practices, and more see section 4.

A theory of law, for instance, may propose that certain lawmaking systems are set up by specific beliefs and practices of members of the society. Here, a set of social entities—legislative systems—stand in some relation R2 to a set of other entities—member beliefs and practices. Perhaps the R2 relation or relations is the same as the R1 relation. Or perhaps it is different; this topic remains little explored. On this understanding, the topics discussed in section 3 pertain to the grounding of social facts, and those discussed in section 4 pertain to the anchoring of social categories and kinds.

But psychological states play a different role in the first inquiry—see section 3. What are the parts of a crowd or of a corporation? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for an event to be an animal sacrifice? What facts determine that Massachusetts is a state in the United States? Some theories strive to give very general answers to questions like these. They aim to fill in for X in the formula: All social entities are exhaustively determined by or are constituted by, or supervene on, or are grounded by, etc. Others argue that this asks too much: they agree that we can analyze constituents of social entities, but deny that social entities decompose into non-social parts. Still others reject the question altogether.

Other theories make less ambitious claims. Instead of searching for an exhaustive determination base for all social entities, they focus on a particular subset of social entities. Or even more modestly, they aim to analyze certain social entities in terms of other social parts—such as a battalion in terms of platoons, or an industry in terms of corporations. Many positions on these matters descend from the debates between individualism versus holism that took place in the early part of the twentieth century cf. Individualism is the somewhat vague thesis that the social is built exclusively out of individual people.

Some recent work aims to clarify these cf. Some put forward a strong claim about the relation between the social and the non-social: for instance, they claim that social entities are reducible to some particular set of non-social entities see entry on scientific reduction. Others make weaker claims, such as that the set of social properties globally supervenes see section 2. Psychologism is the view that social facts are composed exclusively out of the psychological states of individual people.

This is the view advanced by Mill see section 1. Economists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries also advocated psychologism Jevons , Wicksteed , Pareto , as did mid-century social theorists Popper , Watkins Karl Popper, for instance, uses this word as a pejorative regarding a particular kind of methodology in social science. For discussion of internalism versus externalism, see entry on externalism about mental content.

Psychologism is a claim about ontology; it is compatible with taking psychological states to be caused by non-psychological factors. But her psychological state, according to internalists, is a matter of her brain or other internal states, and does not include the wind. According to psychologism, the social world is determined exclusively by these internal psychological states. Versions of psychologism differ when it comes to whose psychological states a given social entity or fact is determined by or depends on.

Theories also differ when it comes to which psychological states determine social entities or facts. The theories of group attitudes just mentioned hold that group attitudes are determined not just by psychological states in general, but by particular attitudes on the part of members. Broader versions of psychologism e. Finally, theories differ when it comes to which social entities are determined by psychological states. Theories of group attitudes, for instance, limit their claims to the group attitudes alone. Other views, such as those of Mill and Popper, propose that psychological states exhaustively determine social facts in general. But, typically, atomism is a combination of two claims: the view that society is exclusively built out of individual people, and that individual people are somehow isolated from one another, as opposed to being mutually interdependent.

The idea is to model societies as large aggregates of people, much as liquids and gases are aggregates of molecules, or ant colonies aggregates of ants. Contemporary representatives include models in sociophysics and econophysics see Chakrabarti et al. The simplest of these models take individual interactions to be governed by deterministic rules, and take a society or market to be an aggregate of these interacting individuals. Some theories are accused of being atomistic in the sense that they treat individuals as isolated and non-interacting. Neoclassical economic theory is sometimes challenged on this basis; others point out that even in basic neoclassical models relations among individuals are incorporated in markets, prices, and other features see Samuelson , Arrow A model may neglect social conditioning altogether, for instance by treating individual preferences as exogenous or given parts of a social model.

Or, instead, people at a historical starting point may be regarded as isolated or non-social. Theorists in several fields have turned away from mentalistic treatments of the building blocks of the social. However, the social sciences study not just social thoughts, but actions. This suggests a different and larger determination-base for the social—that is, a larger set of blocks out of which the social world is built. After all, actions are not the same as thoughts or behaviors, but involve the world. Even behaviorism Skinner rejects the idea that the social is built out of internal psychological states. Instead, it argues that only externally observable human behaviors can be the basis of a scientific inquiry into the psychological and social sciences.

More recent theories depart from psychologism by introducing additional entities into the determination base of social entities. Kincaid , for instance, claims that the social supervenes on individualistic properties and relations and actions. Other theories argue that among the constituents of the social are also resources and other features of the world. For instance, many microeconomic models include variables not only for attributes of individual people, but also for bundles of resources possessed by those people, or for such things as capital goods or geographic locations.

Penrose proposes that firms corporations, partnerships, etc. Despite such examples, it is often unclear whether such theories genuinely take goods and resources to be ontologically related to social entities. Or instead, whether they regard resources to interact causally with social entities, but not to constitute them. Moreover, even in models that include resources, often only individual choices are modeled as having causal powers: resources have no causal import except as mediated by the attitudes and actions of individuals.

A more unequivocal turn away from mentalism and toward the external world in constituting social entities occurred in the s in sociology and anthropology. Theorists in these fields began to pay a great deal of attention to how bodies cope in the practical world, as discussed in section 3. The most prominent theories arguing for non-social building blocks of the social are individualistic in either a narrow or broad sense. Either the social is exhaustively determined by the psychological states of individual people, or by these plus behaviors, bodies, and actions, or by these plus resource bundles allocated to individuals.

An alternative is to reject individualism altogether, and instead regard the determination base of the social to include at least potentially any physical entities whatever see Epstein , Hindriks , Ylikoski Physicalism is often understood to be the view that all facts—the social ones included—are physical facts see entry on physicalism. Physicalism—on this and related understandings—has difficulties as well. First, even if it is true, it would be surprising if this is all we can say about the facts that determine the social ones.

Physicalism seems at best a starting point in an account of the ontology of the social. But these are largely designed to make sense of levels of a sort in scientific methodology, rather than to put forward claims about ontological determination. Second, it is difficult to define physicalism, and in particular to ensure that it is not trivial see entry on physicalism.

See sections 3. Clarifying physicalism likewise requires clarifying what dependence relation various facts are taken to stand in, with regard to the physical. Are social facts, for instance, taken to be physical facts? To supervene on physical facts? To be exhaustively grounded by physical facts? See section 2. Third, it is unclear if physicalism is true.

In fact, certain social entities seem to be good candidates for counterexamples to at least some versions of physicalism. Bennett b. The classic example used to discuss coinciding objects is an artwork—a statue—and the clay that constitutes it Gibbard Many theorists in social ontology reject the approaches discussed in section 3. It is fruitless, they hold, to search for non-social building blocks of the social world. That does not mean, however, that they renounce analysis of the social altogether. Instead, they try to shed light on the determination of the social in terms of other social components.

Some of these projects make similar claims to the ones in the last section. That is, they propose sets of entities that exhaustively determine the social world—but they propose sets consisting of social entities. Other projects are more modest. They aim at partial accounts, rather than exhaustive ones. Just as one might break a car down into chassis, engine, transmission, etc. For those projects that do attempt to give an exhaustive analysis of the social in terms of other social building blocks, a recurring worry is whether they can avoid being circular. If we were trying to explain the nature of water, it would hardly do to say that it is built out of watery parts.

Likewise, it is unclear what we have accomplished if we argue that social entity x is ontologically determined by social entity y , and then that y in turn is partly ontologically determined by x. A variant of psychologism takes an externalist approach to mental states. Externalism is the view that mental states ontologically depend on facts about the external world. Government partly depends on the external entity that is the U. Government see the entry on externalism about mental content. This version of psychologism regards the social to be exhaustively determined by externalist mental states. Mid-century opponents of standard psychologism Mandelbaum , Gellner , Goldstein had raised the problem of attitudes toward social entities, but it is not clear in those views whether the external world was causally or constitutively related to the mental states.

Following Kripke and Putnam , the explicitly externalist view was developed by Bhargava and Pettit Pettit argues for externalist psychologism as a qualified version of individualism. Like more standard psychologism, he takes social phenomena to be exhaustively determined by mental states. The mental states in question, however, are partly constituted by external stuff.

Externalist psychologism, if correct, would pare down the determination base of the social world to one kind of partly social entity. It faces hurdles, however. First, it must explain how it avoids circularity—that is, social entities depend on attitudes toward those entities that depend on the social entities themselves. Second and more seriously, it needs to explain why this is a plausible determination base for the social. According to this view, the external world figures profoundly into the determination of the social—but only when it is a constituent of attitudes.

Strangely, when the external world is not a constituent of attitudes, it plays no role in the determination of the social. Other theorists argue that people or selves are socially constituted. A view like this—much like the externalist psychologism discussed above—can be seen as individualistic in some sense. Though it does not argue that the social world is determined by non-social or pre-social individuals, it still holds that the social is determined by individuals.

Husserl, for one, argues that the social world is the community of intersubjectively constituted individuals. Many views of the self as socially constituted implicitly equate the self with the individual mind, consciousness, or mental states. Among many others, Hegel argues that self-consciousness—and hence the existence of the self—depends on recognition from others see section 1. MacIntyre argues that selves are constituted by social narratives; Taylor that the self is constituted through the participation in moral frameworks; and Davis develops a social narrative theory of the individual in economics.

Other views focus on the social constitution of the body. Foucault , a and Butler , , , among others, hold that an adequate theory of the self involves the construction of bodies as much as it does the construction of mental states. And they argue that human bodies are largely products of discourse and the exercise of social power. However, in interpreting these views it is important to distinguish claims about the constituents of selves and bodies from claims about how kinds and categories are set up.

At least to some extent, these are theories of how narratives and practices set up categories for classifying bodies see sections 4. It can also be illuminating even to give a partial account of one particular social entity in terms of others. A certain type of hate-crime, for instance, might be usefully analyzed as constituted in part by a speech act. That may be useful for social science or law, whether or not we can say much about the nature of speech acts.

In economics, general equilibrium models are often designed to represent sets of households as opposed to individuals , endowments of resources, sets of firms, goods, and other entities such as bonds and governments Mas-Colell et al. In models like these, some ontological work is implicitly done, in their partial analysis of economic systems into components. It is also common in sociological theory to analyze social entities into other social parts see section 5. Coleman , Jarvie , Udehn This, however, is an approach to methodology, not a claim about the nature of the social.

These models do not generally commit themselves to ontological claims either about the nature of these entities or about which social entities the various components constitute. Popper, for one, argues for the indispensability of institutions in social explanation, but has a psychologistic ontology of institutions and all social entities. Theories of practice, developed in anthropology in the s and s, turn their attention to actions, routines, and the engagement of people with the world. Consider, for instance, a way of cooking in a given culture.

Individuals, according to practice theory, are always involved in the performance of practices, but those performances are not limited to the bodies and minds of the performing individuals. Bourdieu takes practices to be exhaustively determined by sets of objectively observable behaviors. Some theories of practice are, to a certain extent, individualistic. Practice theory is largely concerned with bodily activity—the ways people move, carry themselves, and act skillfully—as it is reproduced in a culture.

Still, practices involve not only attitudes and mental representations, but also objects in the world: pans, stoves, vegetables, and sauces are among the constituents of cooking practices. Moreover, individual activities themselves depend on the social: they are partly constituted by the cultural practices of which they are instances. Although it is common to distinguish individualism and holism as the two poles in debates over social ontology, the range of views discussed in sections 3. Even among those in 3. Some theories are dualist: they propose separate spheres of the individualistic and the social, akin to the Cartesian distinction between bodies and mind.

Others are monist: they take the social to be fundamental or to have ontological priority. Dualism about the social is the view that social and non-social entities—such as societies and individuals, or structures and agents—are distinct, and neither is grounded in the other. In those debates, defenders of holism did not deny the existence of the non-social. Instead, they argued that the social cannot be reduced to individualistic entities. Work on the relation between minds and bodies strongly influences arguments about social dualism.

As applied to minds, this is the view that there may be in-principle obstacles to reducing mental properties or facts to physical properties or facts, even though the mental is exhaustively determined by the physical. These philosophers agree with the basic strategy for denying dualism. Dualism has seen a resurgence among some philosophers of mind, e. It is not clear, however, that the sorts of argument marshalled in favor of mental dualism could apply to social dualism. A different version of social holism is monist rather than dualist. Instead of postulating two or more spheres of substances—social and non-social—this version regards social entities to be ontologically prior or fundamental, and individual people and other entities to be ontologically derivative on the social.

This sort of monism is often associated with Hegel see section A. Some mid-century social theories also seem to take this position. In its initial applications to anthropology, roles in a cultural system were analyzed in terms of the system as a whole. By the s, however, the point was applied not just to roles but to individuals themselves. Men only appear in the theory as supports for the relationships implied in the structure, and the forms of their individuality only appear as the determined effects of the structure.

In his best-known text, Outline of a Theory of Practice , he defines habitus in this manner:. Simply put, a habitus is a set of predispositions that generate and structure human actions and behaviors. While it shapes all practices, it is not imposed on us by way of an edict or law. It is incorporated in us unconsciously and informally. It is acquired non-forcefully. By doing the things that we see and experience in our immediate surroundings, we acquire habitus specific to our social location. We internalize them—again, unconsciously and informally. Another important element of this notion of habitus that needs emphasis is this: it appears or expresses itself into different manifestations, contingent on a particular social or cultural markers.

Put differently, a habitus is a specific set of disposition particular to a specific social or cultural location. This is not fixed or static however. As in the case above, the worker may overtime become a corporate executive. Or, he or she may win a lottery—which may provide him or her with disposable income that allows her do whatever a corporate executive can do. To study the specific trait and element of habitus may be difficult to grasp, but it certainly allows us to understand why we do the things we do and explains them in way that allows us to see how social structures structure social practices and behaviors.

The concept of habitus then is the explanatory account of social practices. It provides explanation to our actions. For Bourdieu, power relations already exist as embodied in habitus between, as cited above, social classes the executive and the worker. Foucault however gives more weight on the issue of power and treated it more systematically and directly to the issue—why we do the things we do. While his work is expansive, ranging from such topics as madness, punishment, medicine, and sexuality, Foucault is particularly relevant for us because of his work on the history of power—particularly, how power operates to produce particular kinds of subjects and their practices.

To go about it, let us first establish cursorily how Foucault arrived at such theoretical insight. In his early works, Foucault writes about various institutions like psychiatric clinics, prisons, and schools. For Foucault, the effect is disciplinary. People become disciplined subjects within a particular discourse. Disciplinary power here is not coercive power. Analyzing how institutions produce this discourse or knowledge and how in turn knowledge makes subjects is what Foucault is known for. However, the question that remains for us is this: how does power come into play in this equation? In other words, power is an effect; and its manifestations vary depending on different situations in a particular society.

Or in its theoretically nuanced definition, Foucault defines it in his famous text, History of Sexuality , in this manner:. Power is everywhere; not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere…power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with it; it is a name that one attributes to a complex strategically situation in a particular society Foucault, Put simply, as an effect, power is a name that we attribute to social operations and mechanisms that produce various kinds of subjects.

It is also equally important to qualify—and repeat—that this power is not ahistorical. Corollary then, the kinds of subjects produced by such power also differ and vary in every historical milieu. Thus, for instance, the difference between the subjects of before and after the advent of Facebook is qualitatively different, either also here Philippines or elsewhere in terms of location.

Through this Foucauldian lens that we see why we do the things we do is through power—particularly, as this is inscribed and articulated discursively. To summarize the theoretical insights of Bourdieu and Foucault as they pertain to the question of culture, there are prominent features that we must consider. First, habitus as structuring structure for social behavior manifests not only differently in terms of its social or cultural markers, but also, second , in terms of its historicity.

Social or cultural markers are historical, thus, their manifestations and logic varies from one milieu to another. Third , any social practice or behavior is produced by power, indeed, through power relations as power is always relational and social. This explains, for instance, why Filipino cultural and social norms and practices are Christianized.

A concrete example of this connection is how we think of marriage rights a right of a citizen but conflated with religious doctrines and religion of the person or reproductive rights a human right but always understood through the lens of natural theology of Christian theology. In the end, the theoretical accounts of Bourdieu and Foucault provide us with explanatory insights to the way in which our action and practice, and the way we think about them, is shaped by historical and social conditions. Importantly, they give us a way to think about our culture that is shaped by Christianity—a theme that I will now reflect on. Finally, while we have already outlined significant theoretical considerations in order to not only define but also to describe and understand culture, we have yet to directly reflect what it means to reflect on culture as it relates to the question of what is right and wrong.

The hope is that the foregoing discussions have sufficiently already laid out the basic premise of this discussion: postcolonial Filipino culture is shaped by Western civilization , and, more importantly, that the ruling regime of knowledge Christianity and its institutions introduced to enforced on us by Western colonizers shapes our moral sensibilities and ethical orientations. Indeed, it penetrates and sticks into the core of our being—our subjectivity and cultural identity.

Who we are, who we think we are, and what we are, are extensively determined by the Judeo-Christian ethos. In this respect, Filipino culture is primarily a religious-culture or, specifically, a Christian culture. Particularly, he argues that secular and materialistic culture of modernity is indebted to the spiritual revolution of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. But more relevantly for our reflection, he demonstrates in this work the relationship between religion and culture. As contemporary theologians affirmed and as sociologists demonstrated how this is still operational in contemporary society, the Weberian thesis remains a lingering and influential idea to reckon with today.

How they are to be understood as constitutive in contemporary Filipino culture will be discussed below. To frame and further advance this discussion, it is instructive to adopt here the argument of Dwight Hopkins. Hopkins writes:. Culture is always religious insofar as the way of life of all human beings entails some yearning for, belief in, and ritualization around that which is ultimate—that which is both part of and greater than the self. Culture is religious because the ultimate concern is both present in cultural material and transcend it. He argues that the previous definition of culture does not capture the essence of the culture of the slaves. In his study, religion is inseparable from their everyday life.

Thus, whether they are inside the church or outside of it, enslaved African Americans embody such encounter. But it is a process through which the enslaved shares his or her pain while it is also a communal participation in such pain. For Hopkins, in this experience and articulation of such experience, therefore, religion and culture are not separate. A cultural expression through songs, for example, is a manifestation of their religious yearning for that which is ultimate and sacred. Along this line, I suggest that contemporary Filipino culture is religious culture insofar as it is the product and expression of the collective cultural memory of the colonized Filipino people.

Historically, Western colonialism is unintelligible without the support and sanction of Western Christianity and vice-versa. The Christian Cross arrived in the Philippine islands through the Spanish armada. The Bible landed on the Philippine shores with the American empire. Substantially considered, therefore, colonialism and Christianity are inseparable experience of the Filipino people, and hence not a detachable reality from the collective cultural memory of the Filipino people.

Thus, the postcolonial Filipino culture is unquestionably Westernized, and deeply infused with Christian doctrines and values. In this particularly respect, the contemporary Filipino culture is a religious culture. But what makes this different from the account of Hopkins is that this emphasizes the operation of colonialism in its substance and process. Put differently, the link between culture and Western colonialism and Christianity is at the heart of the religious culture in the Philippines. In the Philippine context, any assessment on Filipino behavior, judgment, and value is insufficient without taking into account its religious orientation and substance. Whether we think about issues ranging from marriage same-sex , sexuality LGBTQIA , reproductive rights condom, pills, abortion , environmental issues use and utilization of natural resources , and human rights extra judicial killings , we cannot ignore Christian interest and agenda in these issues.

In Philippine context, cultural value is a religious value. Making this relation explicit is to recognize the historical link, and at the same, the substantial ontological bind between religion and culture in the lives of the Filipino people. The tenacious tentacles of colonialism are also highlighted in this context because it seeps into the consciousness and imagination of the Filipino people.

As Filipino psychologists have pointed out, colonial residues remain determinative in the life of the Filipino people. Such problem is a colonial legacy that pesters Filipino life and culture. He highlights the fact that this is a virus that needs to be taken out from the Filipino body. This highlights as well the historical and substantial fact that colonialism has penetrated in the inner sanctum of the being of the Filipino people—an evidence of how invasive colonialism is to Filipino culture.

In this brief discussion of religion, culture, and colonialism, the link between and among them is highlighted. By following the insight of Hopkins, the necessary feature of culture is brought to the fore, and in the process, identifying the essential categories that explain postcolonial Filipino culture as fundamentally constituted as and by both religion and colonialism.

As discussed above, culture is not homogenous nor a value-free site. Filipino culture is constituted and inflected with Western culture and Judeo-Christian tradition. Thus, any discussion that reflects on the relation between culture and moral behavior is inadequate without any consideration for the layers provided by Christianity and Western colonialism. While the discussion above does not comprehensively address such relation between culture and moral behavior, it at least indicates important themes that must be considered in to order to address such matter. What is not highlighted above, but one that has great consequence to further understand culture and its relation to moral behavior is this: that culture is a contested site and a site of contestation.

Let me discuss few points here as a way to conclude this section. First, culture is not just an expression or embodiment of what people do and how they do their things. Nor is it simply just a representation of their ideals or aspirations. Rather, to develop further the insights from Foucault and Bourdieu, culture is a product of power relations M. Foucault and hence it is also a generative field P. Bourdieu that reproduces and sustains itself in such power arrangement.

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