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Place & Space

Habitus, Hexis and Liminality


“Habitus is a socialized subjectivity” — Pierre Bourdieu

Habitus is the way we see the world in which we live, through our own personal experiences acting as our eyes. Every person in the world goes through different experiences in life and it is these which provide personal and uniqe interperatations of each persons ‘habitus.’ It is a brief insight to the explanations of different people’s opinion on the complex social structures which build this world in which we live.  Some people will have a more positive expression of their own habitus where as others will have a negitive expression, all depending on their own personal experiences in life. Habitus is described through how each individual describes how they believe the world ‘is’.

“Structure, Habitus & Social Practices”:- the “system of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them.  Objectively ‘regulated’ and ‘regular’ without being in any way the product of obedience to rules, they can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing action of a conductor.”

(B qtd in Johnson 5; The Logic of Practice 53; Polity Reader p. 96)  http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/cultural_studies/bourdieu.html#Habitus


Hexis is the way we describe how we feel we fit into certain social groups or not and how we see our social orentation. Hexis is that brief moment of self reflection upon how well we believe we have siezed each moment to express ourselves in the most precise possible way with complete honesty. It is a moment of self assesment, ie;- when you think to youeself after saying something, ‘ I wish I had said it like this ‘ or ‘ I wish I had’nt said that. ‘

Bodily hexis, a basic dimension of the sense of social orientation, is a practical way of experiencing and expressing one’s own sense of social value. One’s relationship to the social world and to one’s proper place in it is never more clearly expressed than in the space and time one feels entitled to take from others; more precisely, in the space one claims with one’s body in physical space, through a bearing and gestures that are self-assured or reserved, expansive or constricted (‘presence’ or ‘insignificance’) and with one’s speech in time, through the interaction time one appropriates and the self-assured or aggressive, careless or unconscious way one appropriates it.-

Sources: Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Conclusion. 1984, translated by Richard Nice, published by Harvard University Press, 1984, 604pp. – selected from pp. 466-484.

A boundary or transitional point between two conditions, stages in a process, ways of life, Psychologists call “liminal space,” a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be. Turner introduced the concept of ‘liminal space’: a space of transformation between phases of separation and reincorporation. It represents a period of ambiguity, of marginal and transitional state

The concept of liminality as a quality of “in-between” space and/or state is of the outmost importance in describing some of the most interesting and highly specific social and cultural phenomena: the transcultural space, the transgeographical space, the transgender space etc

 “Liminality is derived from ‘limen’, meaning threshold. The concept of the ‘liminal space’ as introduced by anthropologist Victor Turner, suggests the idea of ambiguity and ambivalence 
This in-between space should allow active exchanges of ideologies, concepts and methods of working. 



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