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Cultural Capital, Cultural Knowledge and Ability

By Alice Sullivan


Bourdieu’s theory of cultural reproduction has been interpreted in various ways, and several authors have criticised an overly narrow interpretation of cultural capital as simply consisting of ‘beaux arts’ participation. For researchers, this raises the challenge of developing a broader interpretation of cultural capital which is still specific enough to be operationalised. This paper discusses the ways in which parents may transmit educational advantage to their children through cultural rather than economic means, and the forms of knowledge and skill which may be considered as ‘cultural capital’. An operationalisation of cultural knowledge is discussed, and empirical evidence is presented on differences in levels of cultural knowledge between the children of graduates and non-graduates

Year: 2007
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