Dados vol. 54 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro 2011

Habitus, reflexividade e realismo

Archer, Margaret S.


Many scholars continue to ascribe a fundamental role to routine action in social theory and defend the continuing relevance of Bourdieu's concept of habitus. Meanwhile, the majority recognize the importance of reflexivity. In this article, Archer examines three versions of efforts to render these concepts mutually compatible: "empirical combination", "hybridization", and "theoretical and ontological reconciliation". In analytical terms, none of these versions is fully successful. The empirical argument is that the relevance of habitus began to decline in the late 20th century, in light of major structural changes in advanced capitalist democracies. In these circumstances, habitual forms have proven incapable of providing guidelines for people's lives, thus making reflexivity necessary. The article concludes with the argument that even the reproduction of one's birth history now constitutes a reflexive activity, and that the most favorable mode of its production, which the author refers to as "communicative reflexivity", is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain.  

Palavras-chave: habitus; reflexivity; critical realism.

DOI: 10.1590/S0011-52582011000100005

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Habitus, reflexividade e realismo