'Habitus in extremis': From embodied culture to bio-cultural development

Greg Downey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Loïc Wacquant argues for a radicalization of the habitus concept provided by Pierre Bourdieu, suggesting that habitus is a site and mode for conducting research, not simply an explanatory or theoretical mechanism. Taking seriously this call to examine skills and communities of practice through apprenticeship, however, requires that the theoretical account of habitus be subject to empirical testing. Moreover, enquiry into communities of practice, especially the subtle psychological, behavioural and even neurological consequences of skill acquisition, means that claims about the habitus can be scrutinized by fields such as psychology, neurology and even human biology. Habitus as a truly open path of inquiry will demand, not wholly novel concepts, but a recognition of when claims enquiry, including the human sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalBody and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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