Historical Social Research

  • Sie sind hier:
  • HSR
  • abstr
  • 02Wilterdink
Nico Wilterdink: The Dynamics of Inequality and Habitus Formation. Elias, Bourdieu, and the Rise of Nationalist Populism. [Abstract]

This article deals with the dynamics of social inequality and social stratification from a historical-sociological perspective. It purports to clarify basic problems in this field with the help of insights developed by sociologists Norbert Elias and Pierre Bourdieu. I systematically compare both thinkers’ ideas on the dynamics of inequality, pointing out similarities and divergences, and critically discuss them. After a summary of basic notions in their work, the paper deals subsequently with the reproduction of inequality in connection with habitus formation; changes in inequality structures over time - more specifically, trends of de-creasing inequality (functional democratisation) and increasing inequality (functional de-democratisation); and the causal connections between changes in inequality structures and changes in habitus, mentality, and ideology. The final section of the paper focuses on a current issue: the emergence of populism in contemporary Western societies. On the basis of the preceding argument, I advance a tentative explanation of the rise of nationalist populism in the context of tendencies of increasing socioeconomic inequality.

Order this Article (PDF)
Access via EBSCO for Registered Users
Free Access to Full-Text via SSOAR (available from June 14, 2018)