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. 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. It comprises all of the material and symbolic goods, without distinction, that society considers rare and worth seeking.
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.
There are three types of cultural capital: embodied capital; objectified capital, and institutionalised capital.