In the prior exam period, you observed that “religion,” as a category of cultural grouping is unstable in its boundaries (e.g. Who/what makes up a group?) and definitions (e.g. What is a religion?). And in looking at a brief history of the category’s diverse use and development, you saw how religion, like other classifications, is a political act. And in focusing on human interactions between and around religion, we started raising anthropocentric questions about religion in culture. We began thinking about the things people classify as essential and fundamental to their being and asking about how such claims function for them and others.
The second exam period continued this train of thought, equipping you to redescribed how society works. Martin’s chapters on essentialism, structure, and habitus provide models for analyzing social formation, world-building, and individuals’ perspectives.
As you prepare for this exam I recommend that you check that you’ve met the learning objectives underneath each unit header below.
- Reading the material and participating in class is the first step, and to help you reify that material, I’ve posted review videos.
- I would then make sure I can define the vocabulary terms and concepts under each unit heading. Make flashcards to test your recall of the concepts. And rather than thinking about the terms in isolation, practice relating all the words to each other.
- I’d make sure I could tutor a classmate on the learning objectives using my mastery of the key words and concepts.
- Finally, I would practice working through the concepts and models with examples that are familiar to you.
Beyond this, the participation quizzes (required) will help you focus in on areas you may need to review or ask questions. And the interactive notebook assignments (optional) can help you sharpen your understanding.
- Deconstruct the essentialist notion of identity in terms of “operational acts of identification.”
- Essentialism (Martin, p. 55)
- “operational acts of identification”
- Jean Francois Bayart
- Review the concept of social construction,
- Understand the concept of structure.
- social reproduction
- Emile Durkheim
- Discourse as “expression with effect”
- Examine the role of habitus in social difference making,
- Elaborate on discourse as “an expression with effect.”
- Habitus v. meritocracy
- Habitus as structured structures and structuring structures
- Pierre Bourdieu
- Matrix of perception
- hysteresis effect
- dispositions (3 kinds)