Bodily hexis is political mythology realized, embodied,

“Bodily hexis is political mythology realized, embodied, turned into permanent dispositions, a durable manner of standing, speaking, and thereby of feeling and thinking … The principles embodied in this way are placed beyond the grasp of consciousness, and hence cannot be touched by voluntary, deliberate transformation, cannot even be made explicit.” – Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977) Assignment Objectives: For the essay, you will be continuing to work with the body technique and artifacts you have chosen to work with in Assignments #1 and #2. However, you will be moving on to use the more sophisticated theories of Pierre Bourdieu to examine how the body technique and artifacts operate in cultural environments. Bourdieu sees body techniques as put together by the “habitus” 1 and bodily orientation (or “bodily hexis”) that individuals acquire through their upbringing in different cultures. Like Mauss’s “body techniques,” Bourdieu’s notion of “bodily hexis” relates directly to forms of body posture, deportment, style, etc. However, bodily hexis has no meaning without the habitus. The power of the habitus, in turn, comes from the thoughtlessness involved in performing body techniques and bodily hexis, rather than consciously learned rules. Performing a body technique can then be said to be both arbitrary and motivated. In this assignment, you will use the findings of your first two assignments to look into, first, how “bodily hexis” is entangled in the body technique you have been studying. Second, you will discover the nature of the “habitus” or “habiti” involved and how the “habitus” or “habiti” gives meaning to the bodily hexis and body technique. Finally, you will map out the “habitus” or “habiti” in terms of different zones of a “field” 2 and the different effects the 1 The theory of the habitus has been the focus of extensive sociological investigation. The concept of the habitus was introduced by Marcel Mauss and later re-considered by Pierre Bourdieu. (Be sure to read Paul Sweetman’s article.) The theory begins from the position that that people are social beings who carry within their bodies acquired sensibilities and body techniques that are the products of past socio-cultural experiences. It is widely believed among sociologists that habiti “shape” body techniques.