Cultural Capital

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  • Cultural Capital
    • Pierre Bourdieu (1984)- acknowledges that economic capital or financial help is important in ensuring M/C educational success, but argued that cultural capital is just as influential.
      • Cultural capital refers to the knowledge,tastes, language,values and behaviours transmitted by M/C parents. Giving them the ability and confidence to interact with teachers.
      • Marxists claim Bourdieu as one of their own- he argues that cultural capital leads to cultural reproduction.
    • Some evidence that the marketisation of both state and private schools focuses on educational experiences that might appeal to students with cultural capital.
    • Pierre Bourdieu (1984)
      • 1- M/C parents encourage cultural experiences.
      • 2- M/C parents encourage interest in books.
      • 3-M/C parents stress the importance of education
      • 4- Schools value children with high cultural capital as it is a M/C environment.
      • 5- W/C children experience cultural deficit
      • 6- 'Habitus'= set of values held by the dominant class
      • 7- dismissal of W/C culture as having less value than M/C is a form of symbolic violence contributing to their underachievment.
    • Educational capital- graduate parents often take it for granted that their children will go to university. Money time and effort will be spent enabling children to achieve this goal
    • Putnam's (1995) concept of social capital refers to membership of social networks that can bring about particular benefits
    • Alice Sullivan (2001)- researched bourdieu's concept via questionnaire survey of 465 students approaching school-leavers age.
      • Measured cultural capital by asking them about interests in books, TV, Music etc.
      • Concluded it is transmitted through M/C home
      • But describes the term 'habitus' and 'cultural capital' and unhelpfully vague.
      • Bourdieu does not account for individual agency and choice. According to Sullivan, CC only partly explains the social class effect.


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