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布迪厄《资本的形式》反思作文

我认为这就是布迪厄给我的力量:他让我理解了,没有进行文化资本积累并不是什么精神上的失败,也让我能够拥抱自己,拥抱我的童年经历。

布迪厄认为资本主要有三种形式:经济资本、文化资本和社会资本。认识到除了经济资本外其他资本的存在很重要,因为这能帮我们理解世界的结构和功能,更具体来说,理解再生产。钱并不是唯一被积累的东西,经济资本的被重视正代表了文化资本和社会资本的被掩饰,而文化资本和社会资本越被掩饰,说明它们的再生产越是放肆的。

在文章的开始,布迪厄对资本进行了解释:资本是需要时间来积累的,并有产生利益且对其自身进行再生产的倾向。资本这一概念让我想起了一个教育生活中的迷思,并且帮我打破了这个曾伴随了我很久的迷思。

“你们现在站在同一条起跑线上了”。

老师和家长都很喜欢用这句话来激励学生,好像时间上的重新开始就能带来一场绝对公平的新竞赛一样。我在农村上的中学,五百多个学生就有三十来个能考上市重点中学的,我是其中之一。考上高中的快乐很快消失了,因为那个暑假,我爸妈想起来就是一句“你要站到不一样的起跑线上了”。刚开始还会被激励到,跃跃欲试的;后来只觉得烦躁压力大。那时候的我,光是去城里都会觉得不舒服。

认识到资本这个概念后,我想说,家长老师口中的“同一起跑线”这种东西并不存在,学校里没有完美的竞争,没有完美的机会公平。跟城里孩子一起上高中不能代表我跟他们有类似的资本积累,事实上,直到如今,即使我已经因为家庭社经地位的上升而在同龄人中拥有一定的优势,我还是经常会在人际交往中感到不安。我不会乐器,体育很差,英语也不好…… 但是,我认为我不应该有那些不安。我不应该继续折磨自己了。我小时候没怎么进行文化积累不是任何人的错,如果我迫切希望自己的余生会有乐器陪伴,那我可以从现在开始学习。我认为这就是布迪厄给我的力量:他让我理解了,没有进行文化资本积累并不是什么精神上的失败,也让我能够拥抱自己,拥抱我的童年经历。

作为一个在早年生活中经历了社经状态上巨大改变的人,我经常觉得很难找到归属感,很难建立自己的身份认同。过去,我认为那是因为我跟大多数中国人持有不同的政治观念;如今,读了布迪厄的文章之后,我觉得很大一部分原因是我跟身边很多人有文化资本积累上的不平衡。我猜我的持续性缺乏自信也是由于童年时期缺少对文化资本,尤其是内化状态的缺乏造成的。(教授说内化状态就是惯习。不知道我的情况是一种特殊的惯习,还是不同惯习之间的碰撞?)我弟弟是在家里经济状态好转之后出生的,他从小上了很多才艺补习班,幼儿园就开始学钢琴。我大学暑假回家时,我爸妈给弟弟买了一架很贵的钢琴,那时候,光是意识到我也想做一个会钢琴的人这一事实,我就觉得不舒服了……

不过,资本不是解释一切的理论。例如,Carter在Keepin’ it Real一书中用了文化资本来解释不同社会群体间的学术成就差异;但是,当要分析同一群体间的成就差异时,Carter需要将性别和种族也纳入分析范围。最后,我对社会资本有个问题:社会资本与Carter在第五章提到的人脉有什么区别?布迪厄认为社会资本是连接在对持久性网络的占有上的,我可以将这个网络直接理解成人与人之间的网络吗?

教授回应:对布迪厄来说,是网络能够,并且会导致“交换(exchanges)“,从而产生利益或者其它资本积累机会的。这不仅仅是人的网络,甚至也不是社会的网络,而是社会的”资本“--一种可能复合或者是改善资本积累的网络。

@xunger 也对这个问题有很棒的,能帮助理解的回应:https://twitter.com/xunger5/status/1366928466856312837?s=20

作业原文:

Th e Forms of Capital

To introduce his discussion of the forms of capital, Bourdieu starts the article The Forms of Capital with an explanation about capital. He argues that capital “takes time to accumulate” and has the tendency “to produce profits and reproduce itself” (p. 241). The concept of capital reminds me of a lifelong myth in my educational experiences, and it also helps me demystify it. There is an idiom in China, “you folks are at the same starting line right now”, which is a popular exhortation that can be heard from parents and teachers when you are preparing to start your journey at a new school. I went to middle school in a rural area, and I remember that in my grade, only around 30 out of 500 students passed the high school entrance exam and had the privilege to go to a key high school, and I was one of them. I was stressed out for the whole summer before high school because my parents were so excited and kept exhorting me that I should be prepared for this fresh new journey of competition in my life. Now, I would like to make known that there is no such thing as the “same starting line”, a “perfect competition”, nor a “perfect equality opportunity” (p. 241). Just because I went to high school with city kids did not automatically mean that I accumulated similar cultural capital to them; in fact, I have always felt diffidence until now, even though I could be considered as privileged since my father brought my family to an upper level in terms of social-economic status. I still cannot play any musical instruments, I am still bad at sports, and my English is not good... However, I think I should not feel diffidence; I should not torture myself anymore. It’s not anybody’s fault that I did not have any opportunity to accumulate cultural capital when I was little, and if I am eager to gain certain skills, I can always start now. I think this is the strength that Bourdieu gives me: his argument on capital helps me see that not accumulating cultural capital when one does not have the means to do so is not a moral failing, and also helps me embrace myself and my childhood life experience. 

I agree with Bourdieu’s argument about three fundamental guises of capital: economic capital, cultural capital, and social capital. Having the awareness that there are different types of capital besides economic capital is important because only in this way can we understand the structure and function of the world, more specifically, the process of reproduction; a family is not only accumulating money for their posterity but also cultural and social capital. However, capital is not a theory that could explain everything in the world. For example, in Carter’s book Keepin’ it Real, she uses cultural capital theory to explain the academic achievement gap between different social groups; however, when it comes to the task of examining the gap within the groups, Carter needs to bring gender and race/ethnicity into the process of analysis. I think that capital theory fits well in the analysis of different groups that have shared social-economic status and shared culture. 

As a student who went through a huge social-economic status change in my early life, I always feel it’s hard for me to find a sense of belonging, or to develop my identity. I used to think the reason is that I hold a different political opinion towards the Chinese government than the majority of Chinese people (including my whole family). Now, after reading Bourdieu’s work, I feel that there might be an imbalance of cultural capital between me and my counterparts who share similar family social-economic status with me. I suspect that the consistent feeling of diffidence I have is coming from a lack of the accumulation of cultural capital, especially the embodied state, in my childhood. Unlike me, my brother was born after my family got into a better social-economic position, and he started to learn piano when he was in kindergarten. It was during the time when I came back home for summer vacation from college that my parents bought a fancy piano, and I felt uncomfortable just realizing the fact that I also wanted to be a person who could play the piano. 

Finally, I have a question about social capital: what are the differences between social capital and personal networks (as Carter mentioned in Chapter 5)? Bourdieu argues that social capital is linked to the “possession of a durable network” (p. 248), can I understand this “network” to have the same meaning as personal networks?




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