Discuss the Concept of Cultural Capital Essays

Words: 1852
Pages: 8

Discuss the concept of cultural capital

Pierre Bourdieu developed the concept of cultural capital in order to attempt to explain the differences in educational outcomes in France during the 1960’s. Cultural capital is theorised as the forms of knowledge, skill, education; any advantages a person has which, give them a higher status in society, including high expectations (Nick Stevenson, 1995.pp.46-48). This differentiates economic and social status from the class agenda which, is rigidly sustained through an exclusive cycle. Cultural capital itself can be used in analysis of the class system, and how the dominant aesthetic and ideology is sustained from generation to generation.

There are three defined subtypes of cultural
…show more content…
1995, p.49. cited). Thus, leaving children of ethnic origin in inner city schools with basic or few facilities.

The appropriation of choice in education has developed several nuances which can be attributed cultural capital. The choices which are available to parents in the new UK educational markets provide four main strategies. Parents have the powers to influence collective decisions on their child’s education using their voice; they can choose to live in an affluent area where the local schools provide the level of educational attainment they seek, voting with their feet; if their child has the intellectual aptitude to pass entrance examinations they may choose a selective school, exiting the public school arena; or they may choose to move out of the state system opting for private education, self-exclusion from the system. The education system is active in perpetuating the dominant aesthetic in society, through inherent reproduction of cultural inequalities and strengthening the boundaries between classes. Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital went some way to explaining the differentiation between the classes however, he failed to take his concept far enough.

Researcher’s evaluating the inequalities within society has sought to further develop the initial concept. Anthony Gidden’s noted that cultural capital denoted an ‘unequal distribution of material and symbolic