bourdieu, foucault, and althusser

Ahh, a joy of studying for a prelim....

I'm wondering whether it's reasonable to conceptualize Foucault's
"governmentality" in terms of Bourdieu's "habitus" (and vice versa).
According to Foucault, "government is the right disposition of things...
[that is] with government it is a question not of imposing law on men, but
of disposing things" (1991:93;95). In other words, governmentality entails
inculcation of certain, govern-mental, durable dispositions--habitus--into
actors, which can render them docile. Put in Althusser's words, actors
become willing to submit to their own subjugation "all by themselves" due to
a set of practices conducive to the emergence of such a "govern-mental"
self, which is embedded in state apparatuses (1971).

In this respect, I'm also wondering about the difference/relationship
between Foucault and Althusser. Their arguments about the production of a
certain form of self sound similar. But, at the same time, I tend to think
that Althusser's argument assumes the systematicity and coherence of
practices and institutions within which a certain subjectivity emerges, as
his student Poulantzas emphasizes a "specific internal unity" of state
apparatuses 1969:301), contrary to Foucault who argues that those practices
and institutions can be incoherent and sometimes contradictory.

What do you think?

Hiro Saito

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