It’s all about the Benjamins, or is it?

Money, money, money. The haves and the have nots. You want it when you don’t have it. You want more of it when you have it. Or, well, so they say anyway. To be serious for a moment, we do like to measure things in money, what’s something worth. Even time is money. Everyone supposedly has a price, yet, oddly enough the highest price is actually priceless. It should be evident that this essay has to do with money, but I’d like to shift that more towards value or capital. Why is this at all relevant? Well, I keep reading about wages, wage gaps, etc., yet, while I’m hardly an economist, I wonder if that’s all there is? Is this how people think? If someone makes a bit more than I do, does that mean that I have less, just because I make less. Maybe, maybe not. I’m not even including spending here, just looking at making it as including other factors would complicate it here quite a bit, yet I fail to grasp how the supposed gap between me and someone is that simple, me having less than the other person.

I haven’t brought up Pierre Bourdieu that much, but I think his views on accumulation of wealth or capital is worth addressing. He takes a closer look at this in ‘The Forms of Capital’. The title or titles already suggest that Bourdieu considers capital to me more than just money, money, money, or something material measurable in money, to be more specific.

Bourdieu kicks off with a … let’s say a rather ordinary way of defining capital. He (241) states that

“Capital is accumulated labor (in its materialized form or its ‘incorporated,’ embodied form) which, when appropriated on a private, i.e., exclusive, basis by agents or groups of agents, enables them to appropriate social energy in the form of reified or living labor. It is a vis insita, a force inscribed in objective or subjective structures, but it is also a lex insita, the principle underlying the immanent regularities of the social world. It is what makes the games of society – not least, the economic game – something other than simple games of chance offering at every moment the possibility of a miracle..”

He (241) then notes that it’s unlike roulette because it’s not just random; it’s not just spinning the wheel. In his words (241):

“[It is not] perfect competition or perfect equality of opportunity, a world without inertia, without accumulation, without heredity or acquired properties, in which every moment is perfectly independent of the previous one[.]”

In other words, in card game terms, you get to play with the cards you happen to have. The deck is not shuffled, nor do you necessarily get to swap your cards for other cards. You essentially have to work with what you got and what you got depends on what you were given. In his words (241-242):

“Capital, which, in its objectified or embodied forms, takes time to accumulate and which, as a potential capacity to produce profits and to reproduce itself in identical or expanded form, contains a tendency to persist in its being, is a force inscribed in the objectivity of things so that everything is not equally possible or impossible.”

So, you may start with a better hand if the people giving that hand to you happen to have good hands. The thing with good hands then is that you tend to win games with good hands, as opposed to bad hands. In his words (242):

“And the structure of the distribution of the different types and subtypes of capital at a given moment in time represents the immanent structure of the social world, i.e. , the set of constraints, inscribed in the very reality of that world, which govern its functioning in a durable way, determining the chances of success for practices.”

I think it’s worth adding that what you were given at the start of the game depends on the rules of the game. There may be rules in place to make the game more even between the players, so that some players aren’t advantaged over the others. That, of course, depends. Some prefer a more even start, whereas others are less bothered by it.

Bourdieu (242-243) is, however, not at all content with defining capital as merely quantifiable in and convertible to money. Something seems to be missing. Instead, he (243) presents three guises of capital, firstly:

“as economic capital, which is immediately and directly convertible into money and may be institutionalized in the forms of property rights[.]”

Secondly (243):

“as cultural capital, which is convertible, on certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalized in the forms of educational qualifications[.]”

Thirdly (243):

“as social capital, made up of social obligations (‘connections’), which is convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalized in the forms of a title of nobility.”

From the three guises of capital, Bourdieu (243) addresses cultural capital first, albeit technically it’s now the second, considering he begins his discussion of capital with the economic capital. Anyway, he (243) distinguishes three forms of cultural capital, firstly:

“in the embodied state, i.e., in the form of long-lasting dispositions of the mind and body[.]”

Secondly (243):

“in the objectified state, in the form of cultural goods (pictures, books, dictionaries, instruments, machines, etc.), which are the trace or realization of theories or critiques of these theories, problematics, etc.”

Thirdly (243):

“in the institutionalized state, a form of objectification which must be set apart because, as will be seen in the case of educational qualifications, it confers entirely original properties on the cultural capital which it is presumed to guarantee.”

It’s worth pointing out that Bourdieu already noted that cultural capital is convertible to economic capital, i.e. money, but it depends, as pointed out here. You may have plenty of know-how embodied in you, but it’s not worth much unless you it’s formalized via an institution. In other words, if you don’t have the right formal qualifications, some degree or diploma, you might find it tricky to make use of that cultural capital, even though you have such. Alternatively, you might be able to put it, for example, into words, making it into a book or come up with something worth a patent. Good ideas are only good ideas unless you can turn them into something, something more convertible. That said, I would add that qualifications ought to be based on the embodied capital, yet they might not be. What I mean is that in some cases, while it’s probably not that common, some people manage to acquire qualifications that they have not earned through the system. If you have enough dough, you might be able to bake one, if you know what I mean. So, it’s also worth emphasizing that, as noted by Bourdieu (244), cultural capital, while distinct, it is not separate from the other guises of capital. In other words, they all contribute to one another. How much? Well, that depends on the circumstances. As Bourdieu (244) points out, there are costs involved in embodiment of something as working on oneself takes, at least, time and effort. While time and effort are of course required, considering that you don’t acquire new skills instantaneously, Bourdieu (244-245) also points out that economic and social capital do make a difference in the embodiment of cultural capital. He (244) points out that prior education in particular contributes to further education, ranging from the education provided by the family prior to formal schooling. So, If your family, namely your parents, don’t value education, it may pose issues down the road. Having been in teaching positions, this is rather apparent to me. It’s quite tricky to enable a student to embody cultural capital if they view it as a waste of time due to their domestic education, as Bourdieu (244) puts it. Related to this, Bourdieu (245) also argues that:

“Because the social conditions of its transmission and acquisition are more disguised than those of economic capital, it is predisposed to function as symbolic capital, i.e., to be unrecognized as capital and recognized as legitimate competence[.]”

I agree with this. In my own experience, even if it’s only anecdotal, some people don’t actually recognize it as such. I’ve witnessed people tell their own children that they cannot achieve something, for example, a certain degree through education as, well, they are not competent to do so. Anyway, moving on, Bourdieu (245-246) also points out that objectified cultural capital plays a role. If you happen to have cultural goods, such as books, then they can help you embody more cultural capital. Books are probably not the best example these days, but think of any source of knowledge. I guess online access would be a bigger thing these days than books. Related to the earlier points made, Bourdieu (246) puts particular emphasis on the family:

“[T]he process of appropriating objectified cultural capital and the time necessary for it to take place mainly depend on the cultural capital embodied in the whole family[.]”

So, he (246) adds:

“[T]he initial accumulation of cultural capital, the precondition for the fast, easy accumulation of every kind of useful cultural capital, starts at the outset, without delay, without wasted time, only for the offspring of families endowed with strong cultural capital; in this case, the accumulation period covers the whole period of socialization.”

He (246) characterizes this as “the best hidden form of hereditary transmission of capital[.]” You might be wondering how that’s hereditary, considering that it has nothing to do with your genetic inheritance and little to do with the wealth of the family or hereditary titles, but Bourdieu (244-246) is adamant about it, pointing out that this tends to get ignored and assumed as an inherent disposition and/or a matter of competence, which only contributes to the unequal distribution of capital. In other words, education and attitudes towards it matter particularly much. Bourdieu (246) makes yet another important observation, noting that economic capital, not only your economic capital, but also the economic capital of your family, has effect on the acquisition and embodiment of cultural capital. It’s however, worth noting that, as pointed out by Bourdieu (246), it’s not all about the money itself, but what it enables. If you work all time and make a ton of money while at it, you never have the time to develop yourself, unless you manage to do that while working. Also, you might be working a lot, but not making a lot of money, which pushes you to work more to get more money. In the first case you at least have a well paying job, which, if you simply worked less, could make it possible to develop yourself and embody more cultural capital, say, by buying those cultural goods, enrolling in part time studies or hiring a teacher or a trainer. In the second, less fortunate, case, the person simply doesn’t have the option to work less hours as all those hours are needed, unless the person manages to cut on certain expenses, thus freeing more economic capital that could be used to acquire more cultural capital. It’s worth noting that, as pointed out by Bourdieu (246), we also need to consider our existing cultural capital in all shapes and forms. The longer you have time to embody it and acquire it as goods and qualifications, the more you can put it to use later on, contributing to the acquisition of economic capital, as well as social capital. So, if your parents are well educated, value education and contribute to your education, by having economic capital to pay for your education and/or having to work less in order to teach you themselves, the more you are likely to be well off in the future. Of course this is not something in which one thing simply leads to another, not at all, but it does tend to make a difference.

In the discussion of the objectified cultural capital, Bourdieu (246-247) makes yet another point about the importance of the embodied cultural capital, pointing out that certain economic capital, such as machines and instruments, require cultural capital. The point he makes is that simply having economic capital isn’t sufficient, so it’s hardly useful to appropriate the economic capital from those who have it, when cultural capital is required for them to have any real value to their owners. Unless you know how to use a computer or, I guess more appropriately these days, certain computer software, you have little use for that computer or that software, meaning that you have to get someone to do what you need for you or learn to do it all yourself. That’ll of course cost you, one way or another.

Explaining the final part of social capital, Bourdieu (247-248) neatly explains the difference between embodied and institutionalized cultural capital:

“[There is a] difference between the capital of the autodidact, which may be called into question at any time, … and the cultural capital academically sanctioned by legally guaranteed qualifications, formally independent of the person of their bearer.”

I condensed his example a bit, but I think his comparison of an autodidact and someone with formal qualifications, sanctioned in law, is particularly apt. An autodidact may embody the same cultural capital as someone with a degree, but lacks the recognition for it. It’s of course not useless to be an autodidact, learn stuff all by yourself without any formal recognition, far from it, rather the opposite in my opinion, yet it isn’t valued. Instead, one could argue that learning this or that, all by yourself, is viewed with suspicion. It is, as if the person who comes to embody cultural capital on their own is circumventing the system, hence the suspicion, I reckon. In the academic context, one could also point to the author function, as discussed in an earlier essay. In short, if you haven’t jumped through the hoops of publishing, having to wait forever followed by someone simply rejecting you as unworthy, outlandish, heretical or sorcerous, i.e. for doing the wrong thing, or simply writing something that doesn’t anger the priests (in the absence of an actual Emperor, mind you), i.e. doing the right thing, then you are no one, a no name, and will be treated as such whereas those with a name tend to get a pass. In this context, following Bourdieu (245), while it is well within reason to assume that people with publications are surely competent, more competent than the ones without or fewer publications to their name, it is not necessarily the case, considering that the review system can hardly be characterized as transparent. This also applies to funding, hence the ties of institutionalized cultural capital and economic capital. Speaking from experience, it’s trickier, just a tiny bit trickier to publish when you lack economic capital to do so. I’m not saying it’s impossible, far from it, but the point is that, following Bourdieu, one would think that the supposed competence would have more to do with the embodied cultural capital rather than institutionalized cultural capital. Then again, what do I know? As I don’t have the necessary qualifications, the necessary formal recognition of competence to discuss this, so do ignore my arguments. Anyway, back to the text itself, Bourdieu (248) indicates the connection qualifications form with economic capital:

“Furthermore, it makes it possible to establish conversion rates between cultural capital and economic capital by guaranteeing the monetary value of a given academic capital.”

The point he is making is that qualifications, such as academic degrees, guarantee a certain value to the otherwise rather obscure cultural capital that is hard to quantify. He (248) does, however, add that it’s just that a degree guarantees certain profit on the job market as the value depends on how many other people have the same qualifications. In other words, he (248) is making note of the possibility of degrees suffering from inflation, like they do, if you ask me. If everyone has a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree or a PhD, then what is it worth anymore? I don’t know how things were in France in the early 1980s, but this is the case these days. Having qualifications is one thing, which, in a way you have to get because otherwise you are simply out of the game, but you also need to stand out from the horde of degree holders.

Moving on to social capital, Bourdieu (248-249) elaborates it:

“[It] is the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition – or in other words, to membership in a group – which provides each of its members with the backing of the collectivity-owned capital, a ‘credential’ which entitles them to credit, in the various senses of the word.”

In the everyday sense, this is what people call networking, knowing the right people. Bourdieu (249) then further clarifies this:

“These relationships may exist only in the practical state, in material and/or symbolic exchanges which help to maintain them.”

Okay, so, as I pointed out, it’s about knowing people, hopefully people who know people. He (249) then adds that:

“They may also be socially instituted and guaranteed by the application of a common name (the name of a family, a class, or a tribe or of a school, a party, etc.) and by a whole set of instituting acts designed simultaneously to form and inform those who undergo them; in this case, they are more or less really enacted and so maintained and reinforced, in exchanges.”

Indeed, while it’s essentially still just about knowing people, it worth noting that those people may be part of different groups. Being or becoming a part of a certain group may give you access to people, perhaps the right people. It’s only apt to speak of the right people because knowing people for the sake of knowing is hardly advantageous. Bourdieu (249) is well aware of this:

“The volume of the social capital possessed by a given agent thus depends on the size of the network of connections he can effectively mobilize and on the volume of the capital (economic, cultural or symbolic) possessed in his own right by each of those to whom he is connected.”

Simply put, more is not necessarily better. It’s not only about quantity but also quality, hence you should get to know the right people, those with capital, be it economic, cultural or social. Knowing the right people for the appropriate reasons, whatever it is that your are trying to achieve, can be highly beneficial to you. If you can connect to the right person, possibly through another person, say, someone looking to hire someone with certain requirements on cultural capital, you are make use of the social capital. This could be the other way around as well. Someone might be able to get the person they need, the one with plenty of relevant cultural capital through their contacts, thus maneuvering past potential competition for that person’s talents. The person hired might also be persuaded accept the position due to the mutual connection. The person connecting the parties may also find the arrangement to be beneficial as they may then feel to be in some sort of gratitude to the one who made the connection possible. Therefore I think it’s worth emphasizing that it’s not just knowing people, people who know people you already know yourself, but about knowing people who know people you are unaware of. You want to know the right people, not just any people.

Bourdieu (249-250) summarizes how it all works with social capital:

“[T]he network of relationships is the product of investment strategies, individual or collective, consciously or unconsciously aimed at establishing or reproducing social relationships that are directly usable in the short or long term, i.e., at transforming contingent relations, such as those of neighborhood, the workplace, or even kinship, into relationships that are at once necessary and elective, implying durable obligations subjectively felt (feelings of gratitude, respect, friendship, etc.) or institutionally guaranteed (rights). This is done through the alchemy of consecration, the symbolic constitution produced by social institution (institution as a relative – brother, sister, cousin, etc. – or as a knight, an heir, an elder, etc.) and endlessly reproduced in and through the exchange (of gifts, words, women, etc.) which it encourages and which presupposes and produces mutual knowledge and recognition.”

He (250) then argues that this results in signs of recognition, either mutual, between parties, or within a group. He (250) also notes that it reproduces the group, as well as, possibly, albeit rather likely, sets the limits of that group. In other words, not that it’s that surprising, but those that are inside the limits are included and can benefit from it, whereas those that are outside the limits, are excluded. Of course each point in the network, each member of the group, can regulate this, at least to some extent, as noted by Bourdieu (250). It of course depends on how different groups work these out, how flexible or rigid they are, what are the criteria for entry. It also depends on how set in stone the limits are. Bourdieu (251) refers to nobility as “the par excellence” of lasting form. Nevertheless, network is more of an ongoing process than a fixed state of affairs, no matter how much things are controlled, as Bourdieu (250) explains:

“The reproduction of social capital presupposes an unceasing effort of sociability, a continuous series of exchanges in which recognition is endlessly affirmed and reaffirmed.”

It keeps on going and, guess what, requires time and effort, to begin with, as well as other investments to make the best out of it, as explained by Bourdieu (250):

“This work, which implies expenditure of time and energy and so, directly or indirectly, of economic capital, is not profitable or even conceivable unless one invests in it a specific competence (knowledge of genealogical relationships and of real connections and skill at using them, etc.) and an acquired disposition to acquire and maintain this competence, which are themselves integral parts of this capital.”

Once again, it can’t be stressed enough, no matter how abusive it may seem to people, it’s about knowing the right people, for the right purposes. You don’t want to invest your time and effort, not to mention money, into something that doesn’t benefit you, one way or another, now or later. As Bourdieu (250) puts it, it’s about profitability. As one person can only have so much capital, in its different guises that is, not just economic, knowing people, the right people, can act as a handy multiplier, one that also saves time and effort, as explained by Bourdieu (250-251):

“Because the social capital accruing from a relationship is that much greater to the extent that the person who is the object of it is richly endowed with capital (mainly social, but also cultural and even economic capital), the possessors of an inherited social capital, symbolized by a great name, are able to transform all circumstantial relationships into lasting connections. They are sought after for their social capital and, because they are well known, are worthy of being known (‘I know him well’); they do not need to ‘make the acquaintance’ of all their ‘acquaintances’; they are known to more people than they know, and their work of sociability, when it is exerted, is highly productive.”

So, in other words, as pointed out already, it’s highly beneficial to know people who know people you don’t know. It would take plenty of time and effort, if not insurmountable amount of both, to attempt to know everyone yourself, rather than sort of delegating that task to other people, the people who are rich in social capital. As time is also money, it then allows you to focus on economic and cultural capital instead, as Bourdieu (251) explains it:

“Every group has its more or less institutionalized forms of delegation which enable it to concentrate the totality of the social capital, which is the basis of the existence of the group (a family or a nation, of course, but also an association or a party), in the hands of a single agent or a small group of agents and to mandate this plenipotentiary, charged with plena potestas agendi et loquendi, to represent the group, to speak and act in its name and so, with the aid of this collectively owned capital, to exercise a power incommensurate with the agent’s personal contribution.”

Simply put, on the level of the individual, you should be managing your social network, not micromanaging it. Bourdieu (251) adds that this also functions the other way around, not as managing inclusion but also exclusion. He (251) points out that in groups, especially in institutions, those in charge are designated as the ones responsible for managing the connections: who’s in and who’s out. He (251) argues that:

“[It] ensures the concentration of social capital, also has the effect of limiting the consequences of individual lapses by explicitly delimiting responsibilities and authorizing the recognized spokesmen to shield the group as a whole from discredit by expelling or excommunicating the embarrassing individuals.”

This connects to my earlier criticism of priesthoods, those of academic circles to be more specific. The priests are in position to judge the piety of the group members in order to protect the integrity of the group. Those deemed unworthy are anathematized. Heresies must be dealt with swiftly before they threaten the integrity of group, or so they say. Bourdieu (251) recognizes this:

“One of the paradoxes of delegation is that the mandated agent can exert on (and, up to a point, against) the group the power which the group enables him to concentrate.”

Indeed, if you delegate the right to exercise power to certain figures in the group, you may end up with a system in which those figures may be entitled to work against members of the group in the protection of the group, or well, at least supposedly for that reason. Also relevant for the academic circles, Bourdieu (251) adds that this tends to be the case in particular “when the group is large and its members weak” because of the spatiotemporal requirements that necessitate the dispersal of the group members. In other words, as large groups require more space and contact between each of them would require more time than in small groups, you tend to end up with that kind of a system. Bourdieu (251) points out that the problem with this is that it “also contain[s] the seeds of an embezzlement or misappropriation of the capital which they assemble.” Moreover, he (251-252) argues that this is a latent feature of it, elevating some to the rank which enables them to represent the group with authority and to speak on its behalf, even against its individual members, as mentioned earlier on. He (251-252) refers to these delegates aptly as nobles, stating that “the noble is the group personified.” If you wonder how that’s apt, rather than a mere stab at some long gone aristocracy, do look up the word ‘noble’ in a dictionary. Bourdieu is pretty spot on with this. Furthermore, he (252) uses the feudal system as an example of this, as well as personality cults, such as those identified with “parties, trade unions, or movements” with their distinct leaders. The problem with this is, as recognized by Bourdieu (251-252), as well as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in ‘A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia’, as discussed in previous essays, that those supposedly representing the group, as elevated to such positions by the group, for the benefit of the group, tend to end up defining the benefit of the group through themselves, the group serving them instead of them serving the group. Questioning such an arrangement will be met with being excluded from the group, being branded as a heretic, thus restricting the access to its capital in all of its guises, as Bourdieu might put it.

There’s a final part on conversion, how types of capital relate to one another and how they convert, if they do and to what extent, but I think it’s not worth going through. It reiterates some of the points made already and I assume the reader, you, can take a look at it yourself. So this is the end of this, the essay, probably not the topic though, considering that this is just Bourdieu’s view on it. I chose the text because it is fairly easy to understand, which, I guess means that it doesn’t require a ton of cultural capital. It would be rather counterproductive if it did, pushing you to acquire more of cultural capital just to understand cultural capital or using your social capital to get someone with sufficient cultural capital to explain it to you. Anyway, I wanted to take up the issue of capital or simply put money because I keep reading and hearing that it’s all that there is to anything, that if you don’t earn this or that much, you are poor, or that if you end up earning less than before at some point in life, choice or not time wise, you are essentially worth less. The thing is, as Bourdieu is nice enough to elaborate, that it’s not all about the money, far from it. What about me? Well, I for sure am not stacked with money. No, I’m not poor, far from it. Most people in the world are poor, I’m not, and that’s just in terms of the economic capital. That said, relative to most Finns, being a doctoral student, working part time, figuring out how to make things work, trying to earn more, I’m not well off. I wonder how things would be if I could focus on the studies full time. By all logic productivity should be through the roof at that point. Anyway, in terms of cultural capital, I’d say I’m making bank. Of course, while my autodidacticism is personally a boon, resulting in stacks of cultural capital, it is not formally recognized and possibly even viewed with suspicion. How dare I cross disciplinary boundaries and have no senseis? Damned sorcerer! Well, when you lack that economic capital to propel your studies full time, you start figuring out ways that could help with that, at least in the long run. With regards to social capital, well, I reckon I’m doing fine. Could be better, could be worse. I know a fair number of people, some of them the right kind of people, but it could be better, of course. I’m not overly worried about the states of my capital. I’m more worried about others, those who stare at the numbers, not seeing that the math is far more complex when it comes to capital. You have to know how to play the game, how to get better cards and with whom to trade cards with, but I’m sure most people don’t know how to, have terrible cards and/or don’t know people to trade with.

As an addendum, after a couple of days later, I think it’s useful to link this to contemporary matters. I think Bourdieu is on to something when he emphasizes the importance of cultural capital, namely in the institutional form. This applies to anyone really, but I guess in particular to people who migrate, voluntarily or involuntarily, unless they are already well off in terms economic, cultural and/or social capital. That said, this does, of course apply to anyone who is dealt bad cards to begin with, so it’s hardly exclusive to certain groups of people. Bad starting cards are bad cards regardless of who you are. The problem is, I reckon, that the future prospects aspect, as emphasized by Bourdieu, gets glossed over as there is little concern to long term effects. One generation without much capital might be happy with the increase in capital in their life time, particularly that of economic capital, but, if we follow Bourdieu on this, it ignores the hereditary aspects of capital. If you don’t have a lot of economic capital, you need to work for it, but then that’s probably off from the domestic education of the next generation. If you don’t work as much as you can, then you may face economic issues, which will also affect the next generation. You’d wish to earn more in order to work less, but that avenue is hardly open to you as you lack the cultural capital. It might also be that the cultural capital is only embodied and not recognized, meaning it’s essentially worthless in accruing more capital. You also probably know fewer people, at least fewer right people, those who might be of use to you in terms of capital. Okay, you might still do fine, more or less, at least in terms of the economic capital, but the next generation probably won’t benefit from your capital in any shape or form that much, hence they essentially from scratch, which would be like anyone else if that was the case, as noted by Bourdieu. Now, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t do well in this … game, no no, only that it’s quite unlikely to be the case. On top of that, the way the game works is that of indifference. As they say, don’t hate the players, hate the game. If you hate the players, you’ll seem like a sore loser, which in turn will hurt your chances in the future. You have to play the game, but then others don’t want to play with you, regardless of your hand. It’s unlikely that the individuals, those with more capital, are against you, per se. I reckon it’s more likely that they are indifferent to it all. They are probably not even aware of your existence, hence the indifference. Also, even if they were, your lack of capital might be a turn off to them. In addition, others might not be the best of players, but they know it’s a game and play accordingly. If you don’t know it’s a game, good luck trying to win in it. That’s when the cards are for sure stacked against you. You’ll also find it hard to address the game, if that’s what you are thinking. It’s not exactly productive to do that, if you know what I mean. You may also find the game replicating itself, even if you think you’ve managed to change it. I realize that I may now appear in favor of such a dystopian view, even giving excuses to it, but that’s not the case. I’m merely pointing out how this works in Bourdieusard terms.


  • Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital (R. Nice, Trans.). In: J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (pp. 241–58). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.
  • Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari ([1980] 1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.