Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 1

“Similarly to how Arendt saw the process of becoming thoughtful as a reaction to actual events, Bourdieu claims that reflexivity, the temporary ability for us to reflect upon and change our social practices (which include thoughtfulness), is a reaction to the world. […] Arendt’s life cause her to become not just thoughtful, but reflecting on her own thoughtfulness, allows Arendt to develop her ideas about the connection between thoughtfulness and morality […] Similarly, Bourdieu wrestled with internal conflicts which, in a similarly meta-reflexive action, helped him develop the concept of cleft habitus. […] Thinking about how doxa affects social practices, which include both the social practice of thinking as such, and reflexivity, can then help us understand how doxa themselves can be considered forms of capital. […] we might say that Arendt’s refusal to systematise her thinking was due to her cleft habitus, as a fractured habitus could perhaps only contain fractured doxa- a habitus without a bannister.” … More Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 1

“This Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” | McDonald’s Advert Tells A Plebeian Truth: We Don’t Have the Power to Save the World, We Need to Work Together

““Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” is not how to address increasing climate change, the European migrant crisis, or, continuing to zoom in on the UK, the worsening homelessness epidemic. For the majority of people living, working, or even just visiting Britain currently, this McDonald’s advert is true- especially if we added the subtle caveat: “for you”. For you and me, whether upper-middle class business owner or precarian service worker, the decision to change the world is not in our hands. […]
The current liberal system of free market competition regulated by states does not work for humanity as even those with the power to pursue interests which require collective action must consider their profit margins. The working classes simply do not have such power. Money controls those with or without it. […]” … More “This Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” | McDonald’s Advert Tells A Plebeian Truth: We Don’t Have the Power to Save the World, We Need to Work Together

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 11: The Psychological Sanctions of Social Mobility

“The feeling of “not fitting in” is not the result of a simple clash of personalities, or some individual failing due to perhaps poor social skills, but that these social skills, perhaps the accompanying or produced anxiety, and even the emotional intensity of such feelings and thoughts is a reflection of habitus and field incongruence. […] Psychological sanctions as by-products of social mobility are not just experienced individually even social cognition is affected. Feelings of shame and guilt also become barriers between family members that have not similarly experienced social mobility. […] Those who are rapidly upwardly socially mobile it seems are doomed to inherit the dispositions of a class that will never fully accept them, and in doing so, become not just physically, but psychically separated from their class of origin.” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 11: The Psychological Sanctions of Social Mobility

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 10: The Paradoxical Temporality of Reflexivity & The Continuity of Class

“Reflexivity is paradoxical because it can only really be temporary, almost like a mode of habitus as it adjust to it’s new field, or is socially mobile in such a way that it moves into a more congruent field.
[…]
This paradoxical understanding led Bourdieu to theorise reflexivity as temporal, a kind of active mode which is triggered by habitus and field incongruence that reveals to a person the unwritten rules of the field they inhabited. However, this moment would always be temporary as once the incongruence is solved, practice becomes stable.
[…]
The fact that class is continuous and mobility is slow allows habitus more time to adjust itself to the new field and avoid the disruptive effects of hysteresis…” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 10: The Paradoxical Temporality of Reflexivity & The Continuity of Class

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 9: Does Social Mobility Reduce Hysteresis?

“Like the old adage, “you can take the person out of the place, but you can’t take the place out the person,” Bourdieu’s theory of habitus includes the idea of a primary habitus, the result of primary socialisation, which is much more resistant to change- yet not eternal. When a person experiences rapid changes in field, Bourdieu argued that the mismatch between a person’s habitus and their new field causes a “hysteresis effect”. […] in today’s world in which social mobility is much more common, is the working-class habitus protected from splitting that might occur as a result of rapid upwards social mobility, perhaps simply as a result of increased awareness of such a possibility existing?” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 9: Does Social Mobility Reduce Hysteresis?

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 8: Pessimism About Practices of Resistance and Social Mobility

“Further reflection on Reay’s pessimism […] has deepened the cynical turn in my thought and practices. In my notes for this series I had originally written to include a discussion of my individual practices of resistance to class stereotyping and stigma.

One of these practices was to retain my North-West English accent. […] this strategy was meant to diminish stigma by going against common stereotypes about what an educated person looks/sounds like […] however, I doubt the effectiveness of this practice.

Perhaps some readers will interpret aspects of this article as a confession that I have given up on the rationale most associated with critical theory. […] Yet, much as I am dismayed by much of what I currently see, I am still working on my own theories and I still do my best to follow Horkheimer’s famous dictum on the purpose of critique, that it is “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them.”” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 8: Pessimism About Practices of Resistance and Social Mobility

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 7: What School Should I Send My Children To? Am I Also Choosing What Social Class They Will Be?

“Pursuing higher education as a means to become upwardly socially mobile also reflects the hyper-competitive individualistic culture of contemporary society and universities, especially their marketing departments, are partly to blame for this. For me personally, academic pursuits were not a means to the end of greater financial security, although when I was younger this was seen as an obvious benefit, but I was drawn to them because it is in my habitus. However, there is still a lingering feeling of anxiety and sometimes guilty shame about my choices regarding my education […]

Reay’s research shows how some parents felt guilty about not sending their children to the best school possible and how they struggled balancing their own values with normative notions about good middle-class parenting. […]

If I can afford it, I would send my children to private school. Does this make me complicit in this unfair system? Is the privilege of choosing a lower or middle-class school also a choice about what social class one’s children will be?” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 7: What School Should I Send My Children To? Am I Also Choosing What Social Class They Will Be?

Experiences in American Mental Healthcare: The Challenges |Guest Article by Dylan Yoki

“Three main issues seem to be plaguing the mental health care system.The most important issue is a lack of funding for mental health facilities […] poor training among those who work within the system […] and a shortage of psychiatrists. […]

The solutions to these challenges might just be as simple as increased funding, improved training, and raising awareness of the need for mental health professionals. These solutions, if they are to be successfully implemented, will have to start with spreading awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and combating the stigma attached to it. Part of the task of fighting the stigma of mental illness will be in changing cultural attitudes towards mental illness.” … More Experiences in American Mental Healthcare: The Challenges |Guest Article by Dylan Yoki

Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

“Macbeth teaches its audience a moral lesson beyond killing is wrong, since it is unquestioningly alright to kill your fellow man at war, nor even regicide is wrong as King Macbeth is justly slain at the end (no spoiler alerts on a four centuries old play), but that it is wrong to disturb the social order. […]

Perhaps Bernays’ concept of propaganda is too broad? Can we consider, for example, Aesop’s fables as propaganda? […]

t is also difficult to examine how much luck was involved in creating my situation because, like Bourdieu who first theorised about habitus, my class mobility is an exception to the rule about how our inherited capitals, our origins, determine our destinations. […]

At what point does doing what modern society requires of one to get ahead, perhaps abandoning the class interests as a whole yet still working towards more justice and opportunities for those like myself that want to move up, equate to killing the king?” … More Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

A Sociologist on Grime, the Sociology of Bugzy Malone | Album Review of B. Inspired

“Run ft. Rag‘n’Bone Man sharply returns to the central theme of B. Inspired- arguably social mobility, “making it”. This track again sets out the grim reality of life in the underclass and begins to bring in a critique of those at the bottom who in their own defeat, use what little energy they have after survival to keep others down. It is a lower-class parallel to the Thatcherism “let your poppies grow tall”. I think this especially appeals to Bugzy’s intended audience as a response to the lack of ambition fostered in people with working-class origins without the moralism or shallow workerism of today’s political left- again remaining at the blurry fringe between social and political. It is therapy to combat the psychological aspects of class neglected in mainstream discourses which admits that social mobility is a struggle, full of contradictions, but that’s life and Bugzy’s audience knows it.” … More A Sociologist on Grime, the Sociology of Bugzy Malone | Album Review of B. Inspired