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Intergenerational Educational Mobility Essay

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Intergenerational educational mobility refers to changes in the level of education between different generations within a family. A higher level of education is widely associated with an improvement in socioeconomic position. Educational qualifications can be seen as a form of cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986).
Bourdieu (1986) defines three types of capital: economic capital, which is directly convertible into money and cultural (knowledge, skills, education) and social capital (social networks), which can be converted into economic capital under certain conditions.
Bourdieu argues that cultural capital can occur in one of three forms: the embodied state, which relates to stable dispositions, the objectified state, which relates to cultural goods such as books and pictures, and the institutionalised state, which relates to educational qualifications. According to Bourdieu, the institutionalised state must be taken separately, because of the unique effects of
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He argues that economists tend to overlook what he calls “the best hidden and socially most determinant educational investment”: the domestic transmission of cultural capital. They ignore the contribution the educational system makes to the reproduction of the social structure by permitting the hereditary transmission of cultural capital. Bourdieu argues that a definition of human capital does not move beyond an economic paradigm and therefore ignores the fact that the product of education depends on cultural capital previously invested by the family.

Bourdieu thus emphasises the importance of the hereditary transmission of cultural capital. In the light of this, it is interesting to look at intergenerational mobility. However, the determinants of intergenerational mobility are complex and vary based on a variety of
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