Publications of Kowalski, A.

Reflexive Habits: Dating and Rationalised Conduct in New York and Berlin

This paper builds on the work of Norbert Elias to examine how reflexivity varies across cultural contexts. We compare courtship practices in New York and Berlin and ask what kind of conduct people display during the course of ‘getting together’ with a sexual or romantic partner. Drawing on participant observation, analysis of discourses about courtship, and interviews we find that conduct associated with the practice of ‘dating’ among New York respondents is more rationalized as indicated by a greater awareness of timing, greater degree of intentionality and planning and a greater tendency to psychologise oneself and others. Berlin respondents negotiate timing to a lesser extent, observe themselves and others in less detail and tend to describe themselves as passive objects of the impersonal force of love. While conduct associated with dating is more reflexive in some ways, these forms of reflexivity are not fully conscious but have become taken for granted and habitual. These findings challenge us to think the concept of habitus in a way that does not reproduce the duality of habit and reflexivity but allows us to use the concept as a tool to capture variations in how reflexivity and habit are combined in modes of conduct.

Kowalski A. Mise en place institutionelle et territoriale de l’Inventaire : une conquête administrative et culturelle. In: André Malraux et l’Inventaire général des monuments et des richesses artistiques de la France : journée d’études, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 23 mai 2003. Paris: Amitiés internationales André Malraux., France. Ministère de la culture. Comité d'histoire; 2004.

Mise en place institutionelle et territoriale de l’Inventaire : une conquête administrative et culturelle

Special issue of the review Présence d’André Malraux