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Bourdieu Contra Bourdieu

Relationality is deeply embedded in the work of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (pictured). Bourdieu himself has stated that ‘the real is relational’ (from Practical Action, 1998). His famous conception of distinction represents, for Bourdieu, ‘nothing other than difference, a gap, a distinctive feature, in short, a relational property existing only in and through its relation […]

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The Location of Shame

A welcome tendency in recent research on social class is to place significance on the affective domain – as Hebson puts it, ‘feelings of guilt, fear and shame are now on the class agenda’. Numerous authors have explored the emotional lives of people working and studying in classed positions, echoing the earlier work of Sennet […]

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Space Invaders

Travel to exotic locations tends to upset one’s sense of ‘personal space’. It’s not that other cultures have no sense of personal space, just that their definitions are different. But what does ‘personal space’ mean? People are ready to accept that something called ‘personal space’ exists, and it’s not surprising when people try to define […]

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The Resistance to Recognition

  Axel Honneth, a key influence on Dirty Looks, has had a mixed reception in academic and intellectual circles. His position as Head of the Institute for Social Research (still known to some as the Frankfurt School), guarantees him some prestige and authority, but still many aren’t comfortable with his core ideas – specifically his […]

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Introducing…

In Sartre’s play No Exit, three people, Garcin, Inez and Estelle, have been sent to hell for various crimes. Their time in hell is spent mulling over their time on earth, and how they as people were being judged posthumously by those that knew them.  Even in death, they still cared about their reputation in […]