back to work

Sydney Writers Festival was a good 13-hour-work-day holiday week from thesis writing’s 15 hour days. Here is where we had lunch a few days ago when packing up.

And I have been smoking too much lately, mainly cause I have been hanging out with a new lady friend 😉

Thesis is back cranking. (Bourdieu, what happened to the regulative improvisations of the ‘habitus’ in the context of ‘practical knowledge’ when it comes to the socially structurated and structurating fields of ‘taste’? Are there no contingencies of ‘taste’?)

12 replies on “back to work”

  1. smoking is good for you Jenny, you should give it a try? Winny Reds are the best, especially with a schooner of New.

    Make sure it’s not “wacky tobaccy” though. if someone rolls you a ciggie ask what it is before inhaling deeply. That stuff’ll kill ya!

  2. smoking is tragic! but what of your nicotine fueled take on Bourdieu – a gloss will do$

  3. nah don’t smoke during the day or when by myself when working, satch.

    ok, it is not so much Bourdieu’s work I am interested in, but Sarah Thornton’s notion of subcultural capital. I use the shift in focus of Bourdieu’s work from a concern with the habitus defined as the relationship between objective social knowledge and enaction of knowledge in a practical situation towards the objective social functioning of the habitus to reproduce the social stratifications that in part produced it. Thorton is rightly concerned to correct what she perceived to be a lack of the appreciation of the complex stratifications of subcultures and the like by using the notion of subcultural capital to describe the social functioning of such capital to produce and reproduce social stratifications (understood objectively). I am saying, ok, cool, but what about this other dimension of the habitus in relation to the practical knowledge of what I call the scene following Will Straw.

    Straw rightly points out that a scene is not the same as Bourdieu’s field because bourdieu’s field is determined by the coordinates and dimensions of the social stratifications while the scene is more the processual outcome of the interplay between conjunctural contingencies and infrastructural durabilities. Hence the habitus required needs to demostrate the capacity for regulative improvisations. I first investigate this according to the practical knowledge of ‘knowledge’. ‘Know how’ sutures not only technical abstract knowledges with the contingencies of events (such as breakdowns, the example I use in my diss is of a fan belt that kept breaking), but the affective enthusiast dimension of experience of such a deployment. So the difference or gap between abstract technical knowledge and ‘know how’ is enthusiasm understood as an accumulative or reinforcing experential relationality that valorises particular relations between objective knowledges and the contingencies of events.

    A social scientist may want to interpret this objectively, but someone who belongs to the scene understands this interplay or continual cascade of events according to the capacities of such events and heralds these capacities with the resonant coherence of their enthusiasm. Therefore I argue that like the practical knowledge of ‘know how’ required to work on the contingencies of the techno-mechanical facets of the enthusiasm, subcultural capital is manifest as a practical kowledge or ‘know how’ of the scene itself. This ‘know how’ of the scene is a bit like insider knowledge without necessarily being an insider. It is a form of practical social knowledge that functions according to the capacities of the events that make up the scene as a manifold or event tapestry of events. It is in this sense that Bourdieu meant ‘practical knowledge’ but I take his concept on a detour through technology and ‘know how’ to refurnish it slightly for a more familiar anthropological context.

  4. bloody hell i hope that makes some sense, very tired

    it should be “practical knowledge of ‘now how'” not “practical knowledge of ‘knowledge'” lol

  5. aha! Is it thornton’s subcultural capital that you nearly forgot to “do” (you know, a few months back when you refused to reveal something obvious from the sc teohry canon that you’d nearly left out…)? I never forgets an unsolved mystery…

    PS I like Straw’s scene as local articulation of ‘global’ ‘genres’ stuff.

  6. nah, it was not thornton’s stuff that i forgot. i started off reading nearly all of bourdieu’s work at the beginning of my diss because of thornton. i moved away from it because of thornton’s structuralist tendencies towards symbolic hierarchies instead of what I now recognise as the contingent and conjunctural.

    the one from a few months ago was not so much forgotten but completely missed (when it is a central concept in my diss, so i is teh peanut).

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