Cultural Capital

Over decades, educational researchers in the United Kingdom have tried to understand why the educational attainment gap between students from different ethnic, gender, and social class backgrounds has persisted throughout their school years. The concept of cultural capital as a sociological tool has been applied in education as a way of studying this inequality and cultural reproduction of a society in such a way. This entry offers an overview of the definition of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological tool of cultural capital and further examines his conceptualisation of how the education system serves a pivotal role in reproducing class structures and class inequalities.

Defining Cultural Capital

Bourdieu’s theory, or his logic of practice, is highly influenced by 19th century social theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber but also has ...

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