Bordieu's theory emerged from French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosophe. Bordieu's theory offers a way to examine the cultural, social, and symbolic capital. When we look at the symbolic meaning understanding the deeper underlying meaning of the dynamics of power relationships as a part of societies socialization process. It provides an understanding of how there are cycles of privilege and oppression. Bordieu argue that individually each of us is impacted by our social location (s) which influence the judgement of taste. In other words, the places we associate ourselves with have signifigance on what we opt for.
Key terms to consider: Social capital- resources that one can acquire through their network of mutual relationships with others in order to secure benefits. Cultural capital-non financial social assets that are inherited and/or granted through academic credentials and qualifications. Symbolic violence- the source of power one uses against those who are less powerful. Habitus- socially constructed systems of dispositions that orient thoughts, perceptions, expression, and actions (i.e influence of relationships and/or experiences.
Bordieu's (1986) early definition, for example, focused on individuals:
Social capital is an attribute of an individual in a social context. One can acquire social capital through purposeful actions and can transform the capital into conventional economic gains. The ability to do so, however, depends on the nature of the social obligations, connections, and networks available to you. (R. Philips, R. Pittman 2009)
Be aware of the capital that community members and clients hold in order to understand the appropriate approach to promote social justice. Understand people's perspectives and possible barriers to change. Cost and benefits with having or not having social, cultural, and symbolic capital. We are all exposed to capitalism which leads to repercussions on individuals, groups, and larger systems.
To apply Bordeu's theory in communities we need to examine the implication capitalism has the positionalities, internalized structures, and the bi-directional relationship (both cause & effect). As well as having the ability to be conscious of our inherent biases that guide our work. As social workers and community organizers we are stressed the importance of knowing exactly who you are so that you can better help those who need help. By undertaking Bordieu's theory it can shed light to what has shaped you into the person you are today.