Power between habitus and reflexivity – introducing Margaret Archer to the power debate

Gisli Vogler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article introduces Margaret Archer’s research on reflexivity to the power debate, alongside Pierre Bourdieu’s already influential concept of habitus. Both offer significant insights on social conditioning in late modernity. However, their tendency to the extreme of social determinism and voluntarism must be avoided. To do so, this article adopts Haugaard’s family resemblance concept of power, describing habitus and reflexivity as an important new binary of power instead of a conceptual zero-sum game. This strengthens the explanatory role of agency, central to the three dimensions of power, without losing sight of constitutive, structural power. It also helps overcome the habitus–reflexivity dichotomy in social theory and provides a starting point to evaluate Archer’s work from a power perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
JournalJournal of Political Power
Volume9
Issue number1
Early online date23 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • family resemblance
  • habitus
  • reflexivity
  • Margaret Archer
  • Pierre Bourdieu

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