Many studies invoke the concept of the Bourdieusian habitus to account for a plethora of stratified patterns uncovered by conventional social-scientific methods. However, as a stratumspecific, embodied and largely non-declarative set of dispositions, the role of the habitus in those stratified patterns is typically not adequately scrutinised empirically. Instead, the habitus is often attributed theoretically to an empirically established link between stratification indicators and an outcome of interest. In this research note, we argue that combining conventional methods in stratification research with latency-based measures such as the Implicit Association Test enables better measurement of the habitus. This sociological application of Implicit Association Tests enables researchers to: (1) identify empirically the existence of different habitus among different social strata; and (2) determine their role in the stratified patterns to which they have thus far been attributed theoretically.

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Keywords Bourdieu, cultural class, habitus, Implicit Association Test, social stratification
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Journal Sociology
Schaap, J., de Koster, W, & van der Waal, J. (2019). Improving Empirical Scrutiny of the Habitus: A Plea for Incorporating Implicit Association Tests in Sociological Research. Sociology. doi:10.1177/0038038519846417