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Division Within Social Space

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  1. 1. Division within Social Space Saša Božić University of Zadar
  2. 2. Divided societies -> division within social spaces <ul><li>Societies as containers for social action and interaction? </li></ul><ul><li>Societies as multidimensional social spaces? </li></ul><ul><li>Divided societies – Divided (social) spaces? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Absolute space <ul><li>Container for events that are planned , that are happening – immobile raster which enables st a ndardized measuring </li></ul><ul><li>Space of cadastre and engineering </li></ul><ul><li>In social sense – space of private ownership and territorial boundaries </li></ul>
  4. 4. Relative space <ul><li>Relative space – depending on the position of the observer </li></ul><ul><li>Relative space is the product of obser vation process. </li></ul><ul><li>Bourdieu (1984) – social space is relative considering the positioning of actors within the social space </li></ul>
  5. 5. Bourdieu – social space <ul><li>Sociology as a social topology – social world as a multidimensional space based on differentiating principles, i.e. characteristics and attributes that ‘work’ within this social space </li></ul><ul><li>These characteristics give the power to their ‘owners’. </li></ul><ul><li>Actors and groups are defined through their relative position within the social space. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>An actor has a position in a specific region of the space – theoretically possible to occupy two or more positions at the same time </li></ul><ul><li>Attributes and characteristics form a magnetic field which is compulsory – it is not based on individual intentions or interaction </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Attributes and characteristics as construction principles of social space make different sorts of capital </li></ul><ul><li>Each sort of the capital ‘works’ in a special field – a player has a higher chance to win within a special field if s/he has a significant amount of capital (e.g. economic, cultural etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Social position can be determined by the position of the actor within specific fields. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Actors are differentiated and positioned firstly by the general capital which they own – first dimension of social space </li></ul><ul><li>Social position d epend s on the composition of the capital – second dimension of social space </li></ul><ul><li>Information about the position of the actor is the information about his/her relational characteristics. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Similar positions give us the ensemble of actors with similar dispositions and similar interests, similar practice s and similar political-ideological attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>This is a theoretical tool for the explanation of practice and behaviour of actors – it is NOT a real class of actors </li></ul>
  10. 10. TOTAL CAPITAL + All sorts of capital together TOTAL CAPITAL - Cultural capital + Economic capital - Cultural capital - Economic capital + Voting right Voting left
  11. 11. <ul><li>The chances for a joint action are greater if the actors have close positions – no causal effects however </li></ul><ul><li>Even joint actions of actors with distant positions possible (if not probable) </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences for the conceptualization of divisions within social space? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Dividing social space <ul><li>First indication of a significant social division: huge distance between the ensembles of actors, missing intermediary positions ( social cleavages ) </li></ul><ul><li>Second indication of a significant social division: static two dimensional picture of social space – slim chances for the acquisition of economic or cultural capital (‘developing countries’) </li></ul><ul><li>Third indication of a significant social division: regardless of the accumulation of different sorts of capital – perceived distance towards specific groups – sociological and ethnomethodological concepts don’t overlap (racist ideologies) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Regardless of the composition of capital – some groups of actors with similar position cannot utilize their capital – usually an ‘intervening’ sort of symbolic capital (e.g. ethnicity) </li></ul><ul><li>Research on social divisions – construction of new social space based on new relevant attributes (new forms of capital?) - > new types of distances – influence on divisions based on economic and cultural capital </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison with real mobilized groups </li></ul>
  14. 14. Transnational social space <ul><li>Social space is not bound to territory; a place is not tied to bounded geographical territory – it is an articulated moment within networks of social relations </li></ul><ul><li>So far social and physical space were mostly embedded in each other; overlapping of social and physical space was exclusive and accidental </li></ul><ul><li>The concept of social space as a container was sufficient. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Transnational social space: pluri-local referential frames which structure everyday life practices, social pos i tions, biographical projects and human identities – they exist simultaneously over and beyond the context of national societies (Faist, 2000) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>TSS – made out of combination of social ties and their contents, positions within networks and organizations which can be found in at least two internationally distant destinations </li></ul><ul><li>TSS is exclusively social space which is ‘liberated’ of physical space </li></ul>
  17. 17. Divisions and TSS <ul><li>TSS as a consequence of the existing divisions – some attributes saturated to a form of capital can be used for exclusive social ties – winning chances for all parties are increasing </li></ul><ul><li>TSS not only among migrants – all forms of cultural capital can be and are used for the formation of exclusive transnational social spaces </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Towards a global social space? </li></ul><ul><li>Realization of the global social space through transnational social spaces? </li></ul>