Summary: Pierre Bourdieu popularized the sociological concept of habitus, but unfortunately Bourdieu is not the most accessible social theorist. One can use this humorous video and the examples it depicts to explain the concept to students. The clip satirizes an evangelical habitus and begins with the narrator asking rhetorically, "Ever been a part of a conversation with other Christians and you have no clue what they are saying?" To learn how to converse with Christians, all one needs to do, we are told, is buy the instructional tape series, "How to Speak Christianese." As habitus is a set or system of dispositions, including those pertaining to speech and language, the clip's depiction of Christians as sharing common idioms that must be learned works well as a means of illustrating how people occupy fairly distinct habitus. The clip can further serve as a means of illustrating how, depending on one's habitus, one might be predisposed to articulate the world in a particular way. Students can be encouraged to come up with their own examples of habitus. They can be asked to reflect on the advantages someone might have who is able to operate with ease within a particular habitus. Finally, students can even be asked to consider how likely it is for a person to truly inhabit a habitus after merely listening to a book on tape.
Submitted By: Kendra Barber