Domestic Dilemmas

Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)


The basic assumption concerning the constitution of social space is that individuals are located relative to others. Accordingly, the consideration of other people and the positioning of the self and of others – or of ‘things’ – involves classification and judgements. For Bourdieu, social position is predicated on the social hierarchy of class which conditions all matters of engagement in social life. Expanding on Bourdieu’s framework, I note that aspects of identity based on gender, sexuality, age and ethnicity are also relevant for social position. For Latour, connections are not predictive and these are traced as networks emerging from actual practices and configurations. As noted in Chapter 1, I both contest Latour’s loose and flat conception of the social and the determining aspects of Bourdieu’s ontology. In the looser conception of social ontology that I embrace, the world appears as fluid and dynamic. At the same time that tracing connections is an empirical matter, connections have causes and effects and constitute – as well as being constituted in – patterns. An integral element of relationality concerns moral issues, since justifications for how things and people go together are integral to human practices (Sayer, 2005; Thévenot, 2001).


Moral Reasoning Home Life Personal Story Gender Division Lone Mother 
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Copyright information

© Elizabeth B. Silva 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Open UniversityUK

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