Cultural capital

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  • Cultural capital
    • Bourdieu- m/c possess more:
      • Cultural capital (m/c knowledge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and beneficial abilities)
        • W/c find school devalues their culture as rough and inferior-> exam failure. They 'get the message' that education isn't for them-> truanting, early leaving, not trying
        • Dennis Leech and Erick Campos- studied Coventry- m/c parents are more likely to be able to afford a house in the catchment areas of good schools- 'selection by mortgage'
      • Educational capital (qualifications)
        • Those with cultural capital are more likely to do well and gain this
        • Those with economic capital can use wealth to get private schools and extra tuition, and can afford houses in catchment areas of good schools
      • Economic capital (wealth)
    • Gerwitz- marketisation and parental choice:
      • Studied 14 London schools by interviewing teachers and parents and using secondary data, e.g. school documents:
        • Differences in economic and cultural capital-> class differences in how far parents can choose the secondary school
      • 3 parent types:
        • Privileged skilled choosers (professional m/c) used economic and cultural capital to gain educational capital. Understood school admission systems, how to approach schools, present and mount a case, maintain pressure, make an impact and be remembered. Could afford to move their children best around the education system
        • Disconnected local choosers (w/c) restricted by lack of capital- plumped for local comprehensive
        • Semiskilled choosers (w/c) ambitious for children, often lacks the knowledge or ability to help get their children into the desired schools; frustrated
      • 1988 Education Reform Act= more parental choice
    • Why do m/c have more cultural capital?
      • Parents are more likely to support
      • Parents are more able to influence
      • Leisure is more likely to be educational
      • Parents have more in common with (head) teachers
      • Parents are more likely to understand the education system and how to complain
      • Parents have similar employment positions as (head) teachers
    • Alice Sullivan- questionnaire with 465 pupils of 4 schools- the greatest cultural capital's held by children of graduates, most likely to succeed GCSEs. M/c still did better, even if w/c had equal cultural capital
    • Geoff Whitty- marketisation allows m/c to use wealth and knowledge more effectively


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