By Simon J. Charlesworth
Charlesworth examines subject matters of poverty and sophistication through targeting a selected town--Rotherham--in South Yorkshire, England, and utilizing the private testimony of deprived those who stay there, got via recorded interviews and conversations. He applies to their lifestyles tales the interpretative instruments of philosophy and social thought, drawing particularly at the paintings of Pierre Bourdieu and Merleau-Ponty. Charlesworth argues the tradition defined during this booklet isn't really exact to Rotherham and the issues pointed out during this ebook may be wide-spread to economically powerless and politically dispossessed humans in all places.
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Extra info for A Phenomenology of Working-Class Experience
These styles of being constitute distinct social groups at the deepest level of being. Class is one of those critical mediations of being, and this book tries to show why, across the world, a Pakistani farmer of the Mirpur valley shares an attitude to perception, experience, persons, objects and belief with a working class person in Rotherham. I perceive in relation to my body because I have an immediate awareness of my body as it exists ‘towards’ the world. My sense of the world and my sense of my body cohere because it is as an inextricable mix, that I have learnt, through involved intimacy with others, the sense of both through each other.
This coincidence of shallow seams of coal and iron ore alongside limestone shaped the destiny of the area. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the arrival of a furnace at Jordan, a slitting mill at Masbrough and a steel mill at Thrybergh. Coal mining and iron and steel production expanded in the mid-eighteenth century with 34 A phenomemology of working class experience Abraham Darby’s discovery that iron could be smelted using coke. But of more importance for Rotherham, the Don Navigation canal was completed in 1740, linking Rotherham to Doncaster and allowing for the cheap movement of heavy goods.
It is this ‘sense’ that characterizes human practice. In Bourdieu’s terms, the relation between subject and world is one of ‘ontological complicity’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992: 20), between a habitus and the world which determines it. Our ‘practical sense’ thus guides us before we posit our goals as such; it provides a sense of horizons in which we construct conscious strategies, it renders our world meaningful by spontaneously foreseeing the immediate future immanent in our present. (b) Habitus The habitus is the socially constituted principle of perception and appreciation of the social world that we acquire in a particular social context which renders the world meaningful: it is the basis of our practical sense.