Cultural Capital

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  • Cultural Capital
    • Bourdieu: three types of capital
      • Educational and economic capital
        • Can be converted into one another
          • Middle class children with cultural capital are better equipped to meet demands of school curriculum and gain qualifications.
          • Wealthier parents can convert their economic capital into educational capital by sending child to private school and can pay for extra tuition.
        • Dennis Leech and Erick Campos'  (2003) study
          • Middle class parents more likely to afford house in catchment area if a school highly placed in exam league tables.
            • Known as 'selection by mortgage' as it drives up cost of houses near successful schools.
    • A test of Bourdieu's ideas
      • Alice Sullivan (2001) used questionnaire to conduct a survey of 465 pupils in four schools.
        • Asked them about range of activities e.g. reading, watching TV (habits) and whether they visited galleries, museums etc.
          • Also tested vocab and knowledge of cultural figures.
          • Those who read complex fiction and watched serious TV documentaries has a wider range of vocab and greater cultural knowledge.
            • Children of greater knowledge were children of graduates and more likely to be successful at GCSE.
        • Although successful pupils with greater cultural capital more likely to be middle class - cultural capital only accounted for part of class difference in achievement.
          • Pupils of different classes had same level of cultural capital, middle class still did better
            • Sullivan concludes that the greater resources and aspirations of middle class families explain the remainder of class group in achievement.
    • Educational and economic capital
      • Can be converted into one another
        • Middle class children with cultural capital are better equipped to meet demands of school curriculum and gain qualifications.
        • Wealthier parents can convert their economic capital into educational capital by sending child to private school and can pay for extra tuition.
      • Dennis Leech and Erick Campos'  (2003) study
        • Middle class parents more likely to afford house in catchment area if a school highly placed in exam league tables.
          • Known as 'selection by mortgage' as it drives up cost of houses near successful schools.

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