Cultural capital: Strengths, weaknesses and two advancements

  • van de Werfhorst H
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In this paper I discuss two weaknesses in Bourdieu’s work on cultural capital, both of which are related to his integration of the multidimensional nature of social space in different domains of life: social mobility, lifestyle differentiation, and political orientation. First, there is an anomaly between the work on social mobility and on lifestyles. Multiple dimensions of social origin (cultural and economic capital) are related to uni-dimensional outcomes (e.g. schooling levels), whereas it would be more appropriate to study multidimensional schooling outcomes too. Secondly, although Bourdieu sees a close resemblance in the type of resources affecting lifestyle preferences and political orientations, I argue that these outcomes are affected by two different types of resources: cultural and communicative resources. Proposals for progress, including a review of the empirical results supporting these, are given. Keywords:

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cultural capital
  • Education
  • Field of study
  • Politics
  • Social mobility

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  • Herman G. van de Werfhorst

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