Loughborough University
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Embodied social capital and geographic perspectives: performing the habitus

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-09-05, 10:21 authored by Louise HoltLouise Holt
This paper reopens debates of geographic theorizations and conceptualizations of social capital. I argue that human geographers have tended to underplay the analytic value of social capital, by equating the concept with dominant policy interpretations. It is contended that geographers could more explicitly contribute to pervasive critical social science accounts. With this in mind, an embodied perspective of social capital is constructed. This synthesizes Bourdieu’s capitals and performative theorizations of identity, to progress the concept of social capital in four key ways. First, this theorization more fully reconnects embodied differences to broader socioeconomic processes. Second, an exploration of how embodied social differences can emerge directly from the political-economy and/or via broader operations of power is facilitated. Third, a path is charted through the endurance of embodied inequalities and the potential for social transformation. Finally, embodied social capital can advance social science conceptualizations of the spatiality of social capital, by illuminating the importance of broader sociospatial contexts and relations to the embodiment of social capital within individuals.


This work was supported by the EPSRC.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment


HOLT, L., 2008. Embodied social capital and geographic perspectives: performing the habitus. Progress in Human Geography, 32 (2), pp.227-246.


© SAGE Publications


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This article was published in the journal, Progress in Human Geography [© SAGE Publications] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309132507087648




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