Symbolic capital and symbolic violence - Pierre Bourdieu

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  • Symbolic capital and symbolic violence
    • What is Symbolic capital?
      • 'Symbolic capital', which comes with social position and affords prestige which leads to others paying attention to you. Using symbolic power against another implies symbolic violence, and may take such forms as dismissal and judging the person inferior.
        • For example, a war hero will have symbolic capital, in the context of running for membership of a political party
    • Symbolic violence occurs when an individual uses this symbolic capital in a negative way.
      • For example, demonstrating superiority. This can be implemented in the form of attitudes, behaviours, etc.
        • School devalues the working -class habitus, so that working class pupils' taste(like clothing, appearance, accent) are labelled as worthless and tasteless.
  • Bourdieu says that by defining the working -class and their tastes and lifestyles as inferior, symbolic violence reproduces the class structure and keeps the lower classes 'in their place'.


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