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Bourdieu and Postcolonial Studies$
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Raphael Dalleo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382967

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382967.001.0001

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Style as Habitus: World Literature, Decolonization and Caribbean Voices

Style as Habitus: World Literature, Decolonization and Caribbean Voices

(p.119) Chapter Five Style as Habitus: World Literature, Decolonization and Caribbean Voices
Bourdieu and Postcolonial Studies

Michael Niblett

Liverpool University Press

This chapter yokes a world-systems perspective to Pierre Bourdieu’s insights into the production of the meaning and value of cultural works. Drawing on Franco Moretti’s recent suggestion that we consider literary style as habitus, the chapter analyses how transformations in global political economy might be related to struggles over the style of submissions to the BBC radio programme Caribbean Voices, broadcast between 1944 and 1958. Specifically, it explores how the changing configuration of class alliances in the post-war era may have inflected the kinds of tastes and preferences expressed by the programme’s editor Henry Swanzy. More than simply an effort to contextualize Swanzy’s attitude to the material he broadcast, this approach seeks to show how the logistics of the capitalist world-economy manifest themselves in the dispositions of the agents of cultural production and the work they create.

Keywords:   Pierre Bourdieu, Caribbean literature, world literature, world-system, decolonization, habitus, Caribbean Voices, Henry Swanzy, Roger Mais

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