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Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is a concept used in educational research to explain the role of culture in establishing and reinforcing inequality between and within class, racial, and gender groups. There are two major approaches to cultural capital in education. The first approach examines how the culture institutionalized in schools gives advantages to particular students, and the second approach investigates how the culture that students are socialized into within schools gives them advantages in elite social and occupational contexts.

Theory and Research

The concept of cultural capital was first developed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and his colleagues in the 1970s to explain persistent class inequality across generations. This theoretical approach views the educational system as a main institution through which culture reproduces social class. According to Bourdieu, the ...

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