By Tulle Emmanuelle
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Extra info for Ageing, The Body and Social Change: Agency and Indentity Among Ageing Athletes
On the other hand, boxing, bodybuilding and ballet are presented here largely as reasonably stable social worlds, and the athletes’ agency consists primarily of entering and inhabiting these stable social worlds. 38 Ageing, the Body and Social Change Furthermore, it could be argued that these activities reinforce existing social hierarchies. Indeed these studies show that Bourdieu’s insights on habitus and the struggle for distinction account quite well for the ambiguity of capital accumulation – becoming a better boxer, bodybuilder or ballet dancer does not mean stepping out of one’s habitus; it might merely consolidate one’s position within it.
Descartes’ reflexions were carried out against a backdrop which signalled a conflict between different views of human nature and human agency. On the one hand, 17th-century Europe was still in the grips of a powerful theodicy giving primacy to the subordination of human action to God’s will. Against these beliefs, the potential for independent reason and change was reduced. On the other hand, Enlightenment ideas were challenging this view of human nature as powerless and in thrall to an all-powerful God.
This means three things: first, that different habitus positions produce and require distinctive bodily types, in sum different orientations to the body; second, that 30 Ageing, the Body and Social Change the body itself can be a site of capital accumulation and conversion and third, that our habitus and attendant dispositions are embodied. For instance, having spare time to do body work is dependent on one’s economic capital and position in the labour market. However, the willingness to do body work and the potential for conversion into other forms of capital is itself a situated disposition.
Ageing, The Body and Social Change: Agency and Indentity Among Ageing Athletes by Tulle Emmanuelle