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Global Dynamics and Local Religious Systems

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Kees van den Ende

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Global Dynamics and Local Religious Systems

Pierre Bourdieu
Habitus ‘(...)I hold that the concept of habitus is a very useful tool, indeed an indispensable instrument for social analysis. But to realize this, one must first rid it of all the misinterpretations it has received, and use it carefully, with theoretical rigour or, better yet, with a practical mastery of its properties – for sociology, too, is an art…’ (p. 49) 3 Texts on Cosmology How to explain Cultural Change
How to focus on change rather than continuity
Agitate against contra positioning Key Quotation: Argument: Joel Robbins
Conversion, Hierarchy, and Cultural Change ‘The argument I want to pursue here is that, given this understanding of the central role values play in structuring cultures, radical cultural change should be understood to have taken place only when values have changed-either because new values have been introduced or because the relations between traditional values have shifted.’ Key Quotation: Argument: Louis Dumont
On Value. Modern and Non-modern ‘We found that the modern configuration, however opposed to the traditional, is still located within it: the modern model is an exceptional variant of the general model and remains encased, or encompassed, within it. Hierarchy is universal: at the same time it is here partially but effectively contradicted.' (p. 265) Key Quotation: Argument: Questions:
What is the difference between Bourdieu's vision on cultural change and the vision of Dumont/Robbinson?
How can we relate these text to what we have read about Durkheim?
Can we recognize ourselves in Dumont's portrayal of the modern values ('our' values) wherein man is seen as being individualistic and in relation to things? Commentators depicted Habitus as a static concept
In particular cases, by inverntion or improvising, Habitus can change.
Habitus is a dynamic concept, always related to Field.
Misinterpretation through 'scholastic bias' Study of cultural changed is dominated by emphasize on continuity
Dumont’s notion of hierarchy:
Values organize the relations between elements in a culture
Delineates structure in its broadest outlines
Radical cultural change takes place when values change
Only in less valued contexts, less valued ideas approach full expression. Difference in modern and Non-modern values
The modern has split the good, the true and the beautiful
Modern value portrays man as:
in relation to things
Non-modern values as 'Holistic', strongly interconnected
Is this gap between modern and non-modern values 'bridgeable'?
Yes, if we see it as a difference in hierarchy
In this way cultural change can be understood
Individualism Relationalism Urapmin
Religion Good
Beautiful Science Morals Aesthetics
A protest movement like Occupy Wall Street hasn't had a mayor cultural change as a result. How do you explain this according to Robbins' view?
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