Although Bourdieu's theory of practice has drawn widespread attention to the role of the body and space in social life, the concept of habitus is problematic as an explanatory account of dynamic embodiment because it lacks an adequate conception of the nature and location of human agency. An alternative model is presented which locates agency in the causal powers and capacities of embodied persons to engage in dialogic, signifying acts. Grounded in a non-Cartesian concept of person and 'new realist', post-positivist philosophy of science, vocal signs and action signs, not the dispositions of a habitus, become the means by which humans exercise agency in dynamically embodied practices. Ethnographic data from the communicative practices of the Nakota (Assiniboine) people of northern Montana (USA) support and illustrate the theoretical argument.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute|
|State||Published - Sep 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)