Thesis blog 14: Discovering the unexpected

Posted on: Nov 16, 2009

Last week, after finishing up the youth narratives of my respondents, I realized that what I have been writing about in Chapter 5 of my thesis is not making sense. In fact, I am contradicting myself by writing a separate chapter about the “individual” in istambay (using Bourdieu’s habitus) and another chapter about the social dimensions in istambay phenomenon (also following Bourdieu’s notion of fields).

What I eventually discovered was that this habitus argument about the istambay is intricately interconnected with the larger social contexts (social fields), and thus cannot be separated, if I want to fully examine the constitution of istambay status. This implies that youth inactivity in the Philippines is both deeply personal and social. A phenomenon that speaks volumes about the overlapping crises (economic, cultural and social) that these istambays navigate and negotiate in a country where the state is weak and futile.

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