Tony Bennett is Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and Honorary Professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. Among his many books are
Conclusion: The Arbitrariness of Habit
In reviewing the book's main arguments, the conclusion outlines how several of the ways in which habit has been placed on the line in contemporary debates bear witness to the legacies of habit's longer political histories shaped by its relations to the inequalities of class, gender, race, and colonialism. It also reviews habit's operations in relation to more distinctively contemporary concerns around issues like climate change, waste disposal, and digital surveillance. In doing so, it asks whether, beneath the various ways in which habit has been interpreted and put to work in different programs of governance, there is an underlying basis for some degree of constancy in its definition. This possibility is explored via a discussion of Pierre Bourdieu's concept of “conditionability” as a natural capacity to acquire nonnatural characteristics. The implications of this position for “the arbitrariness of habit” are explored.