Practices of everyday life of teen mothers: Their use of habitus and symbolic power in the community
Keywords:habitus, practice, symbolic capital, teen mother
In traditional societies, teen mothers often face rejection from the community they live in. This article proposes that although teen mothers face such problems, they do not necessarily surrender to the domination of society if they fight for dignity and identity. The study focused on the use ofhabitus and symbolic capital in the practice of everyday life by 16 teen mothers living in various communities in Khan Kaen province. The data were analyzed under the framework of the practice of everyday life of Pierre Bourdieu. Qualitative research methods were employed in the study. The data were collected by recording the participants' life histories together with in-depth interviews and observation. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. The results of the study revealed that when the teen mothers confronted bias, gossip, discrimination, and rejection from the community, they used certain kinds of habitus, including "not responding" or "responding with irritating actions;' or if they were treated harshly; they responded in the same manner in order to handle the situations under their individual capital. This included the use of symbolic capital, including having the father of their child, motherhood, and the prestige of the partner's parents, to negotiate with the community in order to be recognized. It also included the conversion of these kinds of capital into another kind of capital which was beneficial to their everyday practices. Therefore, habitus and symbolic capital were the major forces in transforming the teen mothers from the status of "victim" to one of "agency" that can be used to negotiate for social positions.
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/