17/11/15

The term cultural capital refers to non-financial social assets that promote social mobility beyond economic means. Examples can include education, intellect, style of speech, dress, or physical appearance. Cultural capital  is a sociological concept that has gained widespread popularity since it was first articulated by Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron first used the term in “Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction” (1977).

Cultural capital has three subtypes: embodied, objectified and institutionalised. Bourdieu distinguishes between these three types of capital:

Embodied-  cultural capital consists of both the consciously acquired and the passively “inherited” properties of one’s self. Cultural capital is not transmissible instantaneously like a gift or bequest, rather, it is acquired over time as it impresses itself upon one’s character and way of thinking, which in turn becomes more attentive to or primed to receive similar influences. Linguistic capital, defined as the mastery of and relation to language, can be understood as a form of embodied cultural capital in that it represents a means of communication and self-presentation acquired from one’s surrounding culture.

Objectified- cultural capital consists of physical objects that are owned, such as scientific instruments or works of art. These cultural goods can be transmitted both for economic profit and for the purpose of “symbolically” conveying the cultural capital whose acquisition they facilitate. However, while one can possess objectified cultural capital by owning a painting, one can “consume” the painting only if one has the proper foundation of conceptually and/or historically prior cultural capital, whose transmission does not accompany the sale of the painting.

Institutionalized- cultural capital consists of institutional recognition, most often in the form of academic credentials or qualifications, of the cultural capital held by an individual. This concept plays its most prominent role in the labor market, in which it allows a wide array of cultural capital to be expressed in a single qualitative and quantitative measurement (and compared against others’ cultural capital similarly measured). The institutional recognition process thereby eases the conversion of cultural capital to economic capital by serving as a heuristic that sellers can use to describe their capital and buyers can use to describe their needs for that capital.

Analysed from – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_capital

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