As soon as two speakers exchange utterances, there’s an objective relationship between their competences, not only their linguistic competence (their more or less complete command of the legitimate language) but also their whole social competence, their right to speak, which depends objectively on their sex, their age, their religion, their economic and social status, all of which is information which might be known in advance or anticipated through imperceptible cues (he’s polite, wearing an insignia, etc.)

Pierre Bourdieu, “Sociology in question”

p. 68

(via reblogging4reference)

I always love how Bourdieu focuses on the ‘objectivity of subjective experience’ so that interaction is not just taken as ‘inter-subjective’ but inter-objective through their social positioning.   It cuts through the separation of subjective meaning and objective causes which regularly finds folk making distinction between the situation (exogenous determining structure) and the interaction (internal indeterminate agency).  There’s brilliant early essay by Bourdieu called Men and Machines that deals with this brilliantly and undermines a lot of the common criticisms made of his work.  

(via thepovertyoftheory)


November 9, 2012