Cultural capital

In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech, style of dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society.[1] Cultural capital functions as a social relation within an economy of practices (i.e., system of exchange), and includes the accumulated cultural knowledge that confers social status and power.[2][3] It comprises all of the material and symbolic goods, without distinction, that society considers rare and worth seeking.[4]

The concept was coined by Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron in "Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction" (1977). It was expanded on by Bourdieu in his essay "The Forms of Capital" (1985) and his book The State Nobility: Élite Schools in the Field of Power (1996). In the essay, Bourdieu describes cultural capital as a person's education (knowledge and intellectual skills) that provides advantage in achieving a higher social-status in society.[5]

There are three types of cultural capital: embodied capital; objectified capital, and institutionalised capital.