Kupari, “Lifelong minority religion: routines and reflexivity: A Bourdieuan perspective on the habitus of elderly Finnish Orthodox Christian women”

Kupari, Helena. 2015.Lifelong minority religion: routines and reflexivity: A Bourdieuan perspective on the habitus of elderly Finnish Orthodox Christian women. Religion DOI:10.1080/0048721X.2015.1104397

Abstract: Applications of the concept of habitus to research on religion have increased in recent decades. At present, Pierre Bourdieu’s interpretation of the concept is perhaps the most well known. Nevertheless, it has also met with criticism. This article utilizes Bourdieuan theorizations to discuss the habitus of elderly Finnish Orthodox Christian women. The author examines the women’s dispositions in relation to their changing minority position within Finnish society, and identifies the dynamic between reflexivity and routine practice as being central to their religion. The analysis demonstrates the value of Bourdieu’s understanding of habitus when studying the long-term effects of social power on subjectivity – as reflected, for instance, in lifelong minority religion. The author argues, moreover, that contrary to the claims of many critics, Bourdieu’s approach is suitable for inquiries into the conscious dimensions of practicing, in so far as these are conceived of as grounded in individuals’ past and present conditions of religious practice.

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