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Habitus, work and contributive justice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2011
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)7-21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The article explores the benefits of relating Bourdieu’s critical analysis of inequalities and domination to the theory of contributive justice. The latter is a normative theory concerning divisions of labour between jobs of different qualities that provide their holders with unequal possibilities for realizing their potential. Both approaches have Aristotelian influences in their emphasis on the development of dispositions and abilities through practice. It is argued that
while this theory needs to consider the shaping of the habitus in early life prior to entry into the labour market, the concept of the unequal division of labour highlights a key structuring force of the social field. In so doing it makes explicit some justifications for Bourdieu’s critique of symbolic domination and the struggles of the social field that are left largely implicit in his work.