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Habitus, Capital, Agency, and Distinction in Entrepreneurial Field Dynamics: The Case Lafayette
  • Anderson Sant'Anna
Anderson Sant'Anna

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This paper aims to investigate process of requalification of economic functions in the ongoing transition to the digital economy experienced by the American city of Lafayette, in the state of Louisiana. As a starting point an extensive analysis of the history of the city and its surroundings was carried out, accompanied by semi-structured and in-depth interviews with respondents involved in the current process of reconversion investigated. In this transition it was relevant the Lafayette’s historical, demographic, cultural, spatial, and socioeconomic dynamics. According to Bourdieu’s theoretical framework, it was sought to identify the main cognitive categories, both in relation to the socio-institutional dynamics and individual variations, emerging from the interviews. As result, the analysis of the habitus and the main economic, cultural, social, and symbolic capitals mobilized by community members it was possible to identify themes and categories used to describe the local business ecosystem and its components. It was also possible to reveal alliances and disputes that forge and characterize Lafayette’s business environment, taking into account relationships among its main historical agents: White Americans vs. Indians, White Americans vs. Cajuns, White Americans vs. Blackcreoles.