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Animal spirits and habitus: convergence and deepening

Michaël Lainé ()

Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, 2014, issue 66, 199-236

Abstract: For long, economics and sociology have been exploring rationality and decision-making with analytical tools of their own. This paper aims at comparing Keynes’s theories with Bourdieu’s in this regard. It hinges around three headings, namely: 1) a spontaneous, embodied view on action; 2) the analogical nature of expectations; 3) the organicism or the micro/macro connection issue. Animal spirits and habitus appear to be very much in tune with each other. Beyond the differences in the research topics, it seems that both theories are consistent and should benefit from cross-fertilization. In particular, the very concept of animal spirits could benefit from the habitus on six points: endogenizing of preferences, extension of the notion of capital not the least to other dimensions such as culture and symbol), practical sense, structural effects, power relationships and a refined articulation of the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics to the macroeconomic foundations of microeconomics.

Keywords: Animal spirits; habitus; rationality; decision making; action theory; organicism; atomism. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A14 D01 D21 D80 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2014:i:66:p:199-236