Hybridizing habitus and reflexivity: Towards an understanding of contemporary identity?

  • Adams M
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This article initially summarizes two dominant tropes in the sociology of identity in recent years, centred on the concepts of self-reflexivity and habitus, followed by an overview of extensive critical debate to which both have been subjected. It is claimed that the key criticisms of the extended reflexivity thesis gather around accusations of excessive voluntarism in accounting for contemporary identity, while critiques of Bourdieu's conceptualization of habitus deem it overly deterministic. In an attempt to move beyond the conceptual stalemate of two distinct approaches to identity, a number of hybridized accounts have emerged in social theory.The remainder of the article discusses a number of these accounts in relation to social change, and offers an initial consideration of their strengths and limitations. It is argued that the importance of post-reflexive choice must remain integral to any attempt at hybridization of these important terms, particularly in relation to the contemporary workings of social stratification.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Habitus
  • Identity
  • Reflexivity
  • Social change
  • Stratification

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  • Matthew Adams

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