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In relation to analyzing cultural texts what connections exist between the theories of Bourdieu and Morris - Essay Example

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In relation to analysing cultural texts what connections exist between the theories of Bourdieu and Morris? Social issues have confronted humanity from its very start. It was only recently that human beings began to analyse their social problems in the light of rationally developed theories…
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In relation to analyzing cultural texts what connections exist between the theories of Bourdieu and Morris
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In relation to analyzing cultural texts what connections exist between the theories of Bourdieu and Morris

Download file to see previous pages... In the modern era, sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Meaghan Morris have contributed widely to enhance sociological understanding of populist issues. Essentially Bourdieu bases his theoretical framework of cultural symbolism on the works of Weber and Marx while Morris bases her populist work on the ideas presented by Bourdieu. Pierre Bourdieu is a renowned social theorist, who is widely celebrated for his empirical researches in the discipline of contemporary sociology. Bourdieu addresses the crucial subjects concerning culture, power, and segmentation by proposing sociology of figurative power under his symbolic culture framework (Bourdieu, 1980). He debates how striving for attaining social recognition is the cornerstone of an individual’s social life. Cultural resources, systems, and organisations serve to segregate individuals and parties in aggressive and self-perpetuating hierarchical structures of dominance. Bourdieu argues that cultural symbols; practices such as fashionably dressing, eating habits, philosophy, artistic tastes, scientific progress and even language help in creating social distinctions (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992). According to Bourdieu, symbolic classifications aggravate social struggles such that culture places people into social hierarchies. Consequently, autonomous fields lead individuals to fight over valuable resources. This is comparable to Marx’s work in the conflict theory regime where he proposes class conflict. However, Marx is limited in his analysis unlike Bourdieu since Marx is restricted to theoretical creations alone (Bourdieu, 1977). Under his cultural symbolism framework, Bourdieu advances this argument by arguing how actors use manipulative strategies to accomplish their purpose oriented goals. Unfortunately, by doing so, actors inadvertently reemphasize social stratification. Hence, culture does not lack politics; in fact it solely revolves around politics. Bourdieu introduces a conflict perspective in the area of religion too. He accentuates the downside of the power dimension in spiritual life and bodies. Bourdieu tends to hold that religion is equally blameworthy as culture in the battle of social conflict. Like other resources, it offers power to control others; hence, religion serves political function. Furthermore, the battle to legitimize religion produces social hierarchies of domination (Swartz, 1997). Another interesting aspect of Bourdieu’s work is his reliance on economic determinism to expound the various forms of capital in society. Sociologists before Bourdieu relied on economic capital alone to expound class differentiation and conflict. However, Bourdieu expands the concept of capital to cultural, social and symbolic ends as well (Swartz, 1997). These forms of capital are used much like economic capital to allow various different classes to dominate each other in the overall social context. When Morris is compared to Bourdieu, initially there seems to be little connection between their works. However, it must be realised that Morris like Bourdieu is essentially a conflict theorist though she is not as vocal or outspoken over conventional areas that make up conflict theory perspectives. Morris is far more subtle in bringing about the effects of struggle in society and can be seen as more of a feminist in this regard (Lewis, 2004). One of Morris’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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