Habitus and Habits

Building blocks © by DBduo Photography

Yesterday I gave the origin of the idea “habit”; I showed that habit is a borrowed word from Latin and that the English word for habits is “wonts”. This word comes from Indo-European “wen-“. But there are still some interesting things about the word “habit” that I would like to write about.

Habitus in Latin means to have, to own or to respond to. Aristotle used the Greek derivation of habitus, hexis, to describe a feature that is lasting and acquired. I.e. according to Aristotle habitus is not a feature that people have from birth.

In the beginning of the 20th century Marcel Mauss, French sociologist, introduced the idea that habitus is the part of our culture that we cannot express verbally. He claims that habitus is a kind of knowledge that ideologies are based upon. This shows the importance of habits as building blocks for a successful life. Habits are the foundation that you build your life upon.

Another French sociologist and philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu, said that habitus is cultural structures in peoples body and mind. These structures can be made both consciously and unconsciously. This means that we can use our conscious mind to create habits and we can do this by communicating with people in social relations.

By mastering the language you have power; you have the power to change your habits; you have the power to influence people and you have the power to master your own destiny.

Related posts:

  1. What Is a Habit?
  2. The Origin of Habit

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