Bourdieu believed that in order to bridge the subjectivist and the objectivist the habitus must be formed. The habitus refers to the values and expectations that are embedded in different social groups and make up everyone’s life style. In other words, Bourdieu defines the habitus as being the set structure that is enforced through the different things that make up the social world that we live in. The habitus works hand in hand with the field, which help shape the way we live our lives on a daily basis. Due to the habitus, we as a society are able to differentiate when things we see or do are socially acceptable or unacceptable. We know that it is not socially expectable in the society that we live in to walk out the house without any clothes on. We also know that when there is a line at the grocery store, the proper and most respectful thing to do is to wait in line and not cut the people that have been waiting. These are a couple of the many examples that could be used to show how the simple rules that we abide to on a daily basis are embedded and structured into our society. These set rules are embedded and in the field and the reason why we know how to act within in these specific fields is due to the habitus.
Though the habitus is typically a structure of the mind that is shared by most on how to act properly in a specified field, some people can in fact show by their actions that they may lack the “proper” habitus. An example of a scenario in which someone does not make the correct dispositions on how to act in a particular field is in the movie The House Bunny. In this movie, actress Ana Faris plays the role of a twenty-seven year old playboy house bunny (Shelley Darlington) that is tricked into believing that she must pack her bags and leave the playboy mansion because of her “old” age. When living in the playboy mansion, Shelly was not required to do much because she lived an extremely carefree lifestyle. Since the lifestyle of a house bunny at the playboy mansion was all that she knew, when she was kicked out the mansion she had absolutely no idea as to how to act properly in any field that wasn’t the mansion.
Since Shelly had nowhere to go and didn’t know what to do in order to make a living, she began to go on a search for possible options. Eventually during her search, she ran into a college campus that had many sorority and fraternity houses. Since these homes reminded her of the playboy mansion that she used to live in, she quickly gravitated to this area which then resulted in her meeting some of the “housemothers”. The housemothers seemed to be upper aged middle class women that provided necessary assistance and guidance to the college sorority girls in their sorority homes. These women were dressed in semi-formal conservative attire and when Shelley met them she was in a top that exposed her stomach, a mini skirt and high heels. Due to the way Shelley was dressed, she was looked down upon by the other housemothers and was quickly turned away when she expressed her interest in becoming a housemother herself. When Shelly expressed to one of the housemothers that she felt as if the job of as a housemother would be perfect for her, the housemother responded by saying “This is not a brothel”. The reason why the woman reacted this way to Shelley is because she wasn’t acting according to the set structure in the field. Since the housemothers and even the students that were on the college campus in the movie were not used to women dressing the way Shelley did, she was given a lot of attention and confused looks. Since Shelley spent most of her life in the playboy mansion (where the attire she had on was normal) her formed habitus allowed her to make the decision that the way she was dressed was the proper way to dress in any field.
Trailer of The House Bunny: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thehousebunny/