Experience and Habitus: A Realist Approach to Consumption

Budak Ö.

Conference on Thematic Perspectives Around Food and Cuisine, İstanbul, Türkiye, 17 - 18 Mayıs 2018, ss.2-3

  • Basıldığı Şehir: İstanbul
  • Basıldığı Ülke: Türkiye
  • Sayfa Sayısı: ss.2-3


The dominant modernist paradigms of the 19th Century has supressed the significance and the
productive nature of material culture and consumption in favor of utilitarian priorities. The
established paradigm - from both historical materialist and functionalist angles - generally regarded
consumption as a non-productive form of social relations. However since the “cultural turn” in the
social sciences sociology, ethnography and anthropology turned their gazes towards the domain of
the material world, aesthetics and taste within a larger framework where researchers aim to analyze
the social relations and routines with an emphasis on the socio-productive nature of culture and
consumption. However; as a reaction to the dominant objectivist priorities and assumptions, new
approaches to consumption seem to be bending the stick towards the domain of cultural symbolism
where objective structures and historical configurations appear irrelevant in regards to symbolic and
performative character of culture. The paper aims to establish a theoretical linkage between the
world of consumption, taste, individual aspirations and the world of objective hierarchies and
conflicts. Getting insight from the socio-ontological premises of critical realism, I argue that the E.P.
Thompson’s conceptualization of experience and Bourdieu’s generative structuralism provides a rich
theoretical and analytical framework intermediating between the realms of objective relations and
consumption; therefore proposes a non-positivist approach that grasps the objective nature of taste,
aesthetic and morality while avoiding the polar extremes of subjectivist culturalism and objectivist