Final Research Paper: Bourdieu And Foucault - FSU SYA 4010

1472 words - 6 pages

In today's society, social media and smartphones play a huge part in everyone's life. We live on our phones and are always focused on what is going viral on popular social media applications. It is a common thing to have all Apple products, so common that you are looked at uncultured if you have an android or anything else without an Apple logo. I say this to show how trained people are now, they spend thousands of dollars just to be like everyone else. There are benefits and consequences to the use of social media/smartphones. One can use it to gain capital and success but it can be a distraction for others. Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, his main concepts were the forms of capital and habitus. On the other hand, Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, his main concepts were surveillance, discipline, and knowledge/power. While both Bourdieu and Foucault's main concepts can analyze the social dimensions/consequences of social media/smartphones, I am going to explain how social media is examined through their main concepts.

When it comes to analyzing the social dimensions/consequences of social media and smartphones, Pierre Bourdieu would emphasize his main concepts, three forms of capital and habitus. His three forms of capital were economic, social, and cultural. Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, allowing that society to work effectively. In social media, social capital is very easy to gain. As long as a person has a profile and friends or followers they can network and create relations pretty easily with people all over the world. For example, I see people post on Facebook and Twitter searching for jobs and their followers will let them know if their job is hiring and be willing to put in a good word for them as well. There are also many social media applications that help us network in college, such as LinkedIn and Handshake which give us access to resources that can help us network. Social media gives everyone the opportunity to gain social capital. Economic capital is money and wealth. It is the root of all other types of capital because there are many ways to transform economic capital over time. When starting a business in today's society it is very popular to gain economic capital through social media. Bourdieu's main form of capital was cultural capital. His concept of cultural capital refers to the collection of symbolic elements such as skills, tastes, posture, clothing, mannerisms, material belongings, credentials, etc. that one acquires through being part of a particular social class. (Routledge) When people share the same cultural capital it creates a sense of collectiveness, grouping them as similar people. Cultural capital can exist in three forms, embodied, objectified, and institutionalized. The embodied form is the qualities of your mind and body. These include skills, accent, dialect, mannerisms, and taste. It is important because m...

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