What is Cultural Capital?
Cultural capital, when used in relation to education, promotes the idea that schools should support the modern definition of what ‘cultural capital’ means. That is an individual who is knowledgeable about a wide range of culture, is comfortable discussing its value and merits, and has been given a vast array of experiences and access to skill development.
Bourdieu identified three sources of cultural capital – objective, embodied and institutionalised. In education, this could look like:
Objective: cultural goods, books, works of art
Embodied: language, mannerisms, preferences
Institutionalised: qualifications, education credentials
Therefore, cultural capital in education could potentially be realised through all aspects of the curriculum – exposing students to a large variety of subject areas and arts; promoting character-building qualities that lead to creating well-rounded, global citizens, and of course the more typical expectations of education, which is to provide young people with recognised and meaningful qualifications that will open up doors to paths in later life.