Should

My fascination with the ethical seems to be popping back into my mind. This could partly be because I am getting sidetracked with emails to my sister who is writing her philosophy honours thesis on something to do with ethics, aesthetics and art. The large amount of reading I did on morality last year that I did not use in my thesis could be appealing to some rationalising of effort impulse in me. Perhaps I am just getting really creative in the ways I avoid having to sit down and write something about social capital?

I think I planted the seed a while back when I took my supervisor’s suggestion for part of my plain language title of ‘One or many communities?’ and turned it into ‘Should we call it a community?’. I quite like the word ‘should’ in this context because it demonstrates I am not trying to prove whether or not people do so. I like the fact it is referring to ‘a community’, which suggests that it is singular with the entire suburb being a single community but also it could just be one of many levels or types of things that are called community. The ‘we’ is ambiguous, including those I talk to but possibly also myself as the researcher and anybody who comes into contact with any of the work that might result. Mostly I like the title because it is not ‘can’, ‘do’, or ‘is it accurate if’. I like to think that it invites consideration of what the consequences might be. The consequences might simply be that it is wrong, but describing can also bring things into being.

I have been returning to my idea of ‘investments’ on and off, but today I (luckily) got to the page in An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (1992) that told me Bourdieu has used the ‘notion of investment’. He says,

By investment I mean the propensity to act that is born of the relation between a field and a system of dispositions adjusted to the game it proposes, a sense of the game and of its stakes that implies at once an inclination and an ability to play the game, both of which are socially and historically constituted rather than universally given.

Wow, I am lucky that I read that. Is it possible for this project to take a single step without a reference to Bourdieu?

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