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Socialization as a total social fact: introductory notes on the theory of habitus

The objective of this article is to reflect upon the process of socialization from the perspective of the sociology of education. More precisely, to discuss the theory of socialization starting from the relational point of view and articulating the chief current educational agencies. In order to understand better the phenomenon of contemporary socialization, we propose to consider this practice as a total social fact, that is, a social practice lived by a procedural dynamic based on an exchange of goods and symbolic messages between socializing agencies and agents which simultaneously involve all individuals in the task of maintaining the contract and the functioning of social reality. In order to develop this argument, we emphasize two theories of action which discuss the process of socialization: the first refers to Pierre Bourdieu's theory of habitus and the second to that developed by Bernard Lahire who, in a critical interpretation of Bourdieu, proposes a contemporary reading of socialization, coining the expression plural man.

total social fact; habitus; plural man

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