By Simon J. Charlesworth
Charlesworth examines topics of poverty and sophistication by means of targeting a selected town--Rotherham--in South Yorkshire, England, and utilizing the private testimony of deprived those that dwell there, received via recorded interviews and conversations. He applies to their lifestyles tales the interpretative instruments of philosophy and social thought, drawing specifically at the paintings of Pierre Bourdieu and Merleau-Ponty. Charlesworth argues the tradition defined during this ebook isn't specified to Rotherham and the issues pointed out during this booklet might be conventional to economically powerless and politically dispossessed humans far and wide.
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This is hardly surprising, given that the same industries and the same type of casual labour have fed the way of life, giving the areas a common cultural history. These people share the same judgements, the same sense of the world and of themselves and they share a sense of their place in it. Above all, they share the same world of practices that Rotherham is. Rotherham is a place still trying to follow the rhythms of work, where the week still moves towards its climax at the weekend and begins with the nadir of Monday morning.
It is the habitus that transmits from one generation to the next the ethos of groups; clearly then, the ethos is also a class ethos, it is a specific embodied morality that operates in a practical mode and it governs the nuances of honour between people. (d) Doxa ‘Doxa’ is used to refer to a complex set of ideas concerning the way in which we come to accept aspects of our environment and position as ‘natural’. It deals with a way of thinking and feeling about our everyday world, the way in which we perceive it as given.
It is markedly different from the sense of freedom of the self that one finds so celebrated by people who are university-educated. The marked similarity of thought concerning their social fate is an impressive confirmation of Bourdieu’s writing, which does seem to have a deeply insightful and, above all, deeply human appreciation of the kind of lives led by these people. I resist the idea that the passages from Bourdieu’s writings are a distancing of the people’s lives and feelings because I have sometimes shown and discussed key passages with people in Rotherham in a genuine effort to work out some mutual understanding of life and what has happened here.