Discuss the Concept of Cultural Capital Essay

1845 Words Aug 13th, 2008 8 Pages
Discuss the concept of cultural capital

Pierre Bourdieu developed the concept of cultural capital in order to attempt to explain the differences in educational outcomes in France during the 1960’s. Cultural capital is theorised as the forms of knowledge, skill, education; any advantages a person has which, give them a higher status in society, including high expectations (Nick Stevenson, 1995.pp.46-48). This differentiates economic and social status from the class agenda which, is rigidly sustained through an exclusive cycle. Cultural capital itself can be used in analysis of the class system, and how the dominant aesthetic and ideology is sustained from generation to generation.

There are three defined subtypes of cultural
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They source information from knowledgeable friends, academic professionals and directories of information. The privileged chooser has the confidence to attain information and act with precision on its merit. This confidence is attributed to the parents own cultural capital, many middle-class parents had themselves done well at school which, has transcended into a sense of entitlement. This allows them to succinctly get their viewpoint across and liaise with teachers in an open dialogue.

The semi-skilled chooser also, wishes to engage actively in their child’s education yet, they are slightly disadvantaged in terms of having fewer cultural resources. Their access to knowledgeable resources in either personal or professional fields is limited by a smaller relationship network. Wider acceptance of media influence is characterised by the semi- skilled chooser who utilises news coverage as factual knowledge e.g. they utilise league tables and ‘good press’ as a means of grading school merits.
The disconnected chooser are generalised as a working class chooser who believe that schools are broadly similar, and often leave the final decision to the child. The illusion of differentiation between schools for academic achievement is not a primary basis for rejection by the however, ethnic composition can be.
Racism in the education system has generated a difficulty in inner cities, with white parents preferring to send their children to school with other white
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