Cultural capital is a set of tangible and intangible assets that allow us power and social mobility. Cultural capital ensures that we could rise up the social ladder without having to worry about acquiring financial capital. There are countless aspects of culture capital that are worth discussing in an exploratory essay. Here are some of our top picks:
Cultural capital has been described and discussed in depth by Pierre Bourdieu. According to him, there are three parts to cultural capital: institutionalized, objectified and embodied cultural capital. Bourdieu also mentions that embodied cultural capital is divided as per three social classes: working class, middle class and upper class. Corresponding to a recent survey conducted by Alice Sullivan, cultural capital is acquired within one’s home, which in turn helps the individual achieve success. The first step of success is often gaining sufficient educational credentials. However, it seems that according to Bourdieu, different social classes have different degrees of education attainment. Unfortunately, this point has been stressed by many experts since then. This is problematic, since everybody deserves an equal chance of being educated and achieving success in the future. However, this gap in educational attainment can only be fixed one level at a time.
The article written by Pierre Bourdieu that focused on cultural capital was issued in 1986. Along with him, many others have discussed how different social classes had varying cultural capital. This is worrisome in several ways; while one problem is related to education, others are connected to matters such as health. Pertaining to the education sector, over the decades it has been discussed how a fraction of pupils are underachievers, which is blamed on their lack of cultural capital such as etiquettes, manners, etc. Other experts have discussed how parents that have less cultural capital make decisions that are different from parents with higher cultural capital. For instance, working class parents do not educate their children as much as upper class parents. Furthermore, the working class generally cannot provide their children with supplies to aid in better education. Another example is that individuals from the working or middle class make different health choices, when compared to individuals from the upper class.
I believe that our current generation and the future ones are in dire need of equality in terms of education, to achieve economic capital and help in eliminating poverty altogether. There are several ways in which all social classes could have the same level of education. For instance, institutes could try to promote education in all social classes. They could provide technology to every student in order to better educate them; a group of students having access to a computer and the Internet will have better knowledge than a group that does not have them.
After doing some heavy research, I have found that many institutes wish to promote cultural capital within the students. As a matter of fact, early education is said to be promoted only to enhance the cultural capital in of the children. This sounds very promising in terms of producing better, knowledge-equipped batches of high school graduates, undergraduates and post-graduate students in the future. Not only will these students know how to be successful, they will also know how to make better choices regarding their health. Additionally, they will share their knowledge with others around them, in turn creating a better world to live in.
Jennifer, S. (2012). New York, Cultural Capital of the World? Discuss.
Alice, S. Nuffield College Oxford. Cultural Capital and Educational Attainment.
Prudence L. Carter. Harvard University. “Black” Cultural Capital, Status Positioning, and Schooling Conflicts for Low-Income African American Youth.
John H. Goldthorpe. “Cultural Capital”: Some Critical Observations.
Lawrence E. Harrison. (2013). Jews, Confucians, and Protestants: Cultural Capital and the End of Multiculturism.
Johanna L. Waters. (2008). Education, Migration, and Cultural Capital in the Chinese Diaspora.
Arnd-Michael Nohl, Karin Schittenhelm, Oliver Schmidtke and Anja Weib. (2014). Work in Transition: Cultural Capital and Highly Skilled Migrants’ Passages into the Labour Market.
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