Bordieu's theory of cultural capital and the criticisms

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  • Created by: megshep
  • Created on: 03-04-16 13:49

Bordieus theory of cultural capital

this is a marxist theory which sees that the school has an in built advantage on middle-class children. this is because each social class possesses its own cultural framework which is called a habitus. The framework is based on; media, books and which is classed as a good or bad taste. Children in the family will pick up this habitus through socialisation in the family. 

The reaason why schools benefit the middle-class is because the dominant class has the power to impose a set culture instead of the overall culture of society. This means people from working-class backgrounds have a disadvantage as they do not have the same habitus. This advantage is known as cultural capital. 

Robson (2003) found that if you posess cultural capital in the activities that you do, such as; reding books for pleasure, listening to classical music and participating in artistic activities greatly improves chances of success in education. the cultural capital can then be turned into educational capital which in turn can lead to better qualifications and a higher income. 

Bordieu suggets that schooling is not in fact neutral as people are being judged on the same standards which are the standards of the ruling class. This is unfair as the middle-class already possess these values where as the working-class do not. the social capital can also affect education, for example if you live in a highly esteemed area you are surrounded by people who have the culture of the ruling class where as if you live on a rough estate you are surrounded by people who have no values from the…


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