Habitus in Operation: Cultural Conflict in the Developing Rural West
Vickery, Kathryn Koebert
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The following study examines the cultural conflict occurring in a rural farming community rapidly becoming a recreationally based economy. The study took place in Teton County, Idaho, where the influx of newcomers into the well-established community-founded by Mormon pioneers in the late 1800s-has forced residents to examine development regulations and environmental standards. The technical aspects of development and its economic effects are not dwelled upon in this study; the focus here is on the social changes and the reasons behind the conflict between newcomers and old-timers over development, land use, and environmental issues. This study concludes, using Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework, that the root of the conflict is the deeply ingrained, historically supported, socially constructed habitus of each group that is the root of the conflict. The Mormon religious structure of the old-timer population is examined in its contribution to the old-timer habitus; the way in which the conflict is playing out in environmental regulation is also discussed.