What is cultural capital? It is a way to teach children about culture and government. By understanding cultural capital, you can develop a curriculum that includes lessons on these topics. Ofsted looks at the cultural capital of the school in order to judge the quality of education. If you are unsure of what cultural capital is, read this article for a better understanding of cultural capital and its importance. In this article, we will look at the theory behind cultural capital and discuss the different versions.
Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital
Although Bourdieu’s sociology has had a significant impact on public and academic debates, its effects on concrete policy orientations are limited. The theory has indirectly inspired professional practices in cultural institutions, such as pedagogic action, mediation, and knowledge of cultural codes. In contrast, French cultural policymakers never adopted Bourdieu’s theory as a conceptual foundation for cultural democratization. But the influence of Bourdieu’s sociology cannot be ignored.
A crucial aspect of Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital is that it arose in opposition to economic capital. As such, the conflict between art and business reflects the tension between the two. Art strives for autonomy in its own right, and related cultural fields have done so in different places. Indeed, Bourdieu sums up the autonomous field of art as “an economic world turned upside down.”
Middle-class and upper-class versions of cultural capital
The concept of ‘cultural capital’ has been quoted frequently in English education policy. It suggests that all children can acquire cultural capital. Bourdieu’s concept originally intended to explain class privilege has been altered to explain the knowledge deficit. The current curriculum includes an emphasis on Jane Austen and classic literature. Some critics worry that such emphasis could make classical music seem inferior to other forms of art.
The new curriculum is aimed at ensuring that every pupil receives the same level of cultural capital regardless of background, social class, or educational level. But critics claim that this is merely a way of cementing cultural conservatism. Instead, some critics believe the term is ill-defined and that the government’s emphasis on cultural capital is discriminatory. However, a more honest view would show that it promotes equality by ensuring that children of all socioeconomic status have access to education.
Disadvantaged and/or minority pupils’ versions of cultural capital
Ofsted has increased its focus on developing a school’s cultural capital. In the framework for the inspection of schools, it asks teachers to develop the cultural capital of their pupils. The concept of cultural capital was first developed by Pierre Bourdieu in the 1970s to explain the transfer of power and social class. While Karl Marx argued that economic capital dictated one’s social status, Bourdieu argued that cultural capital played an important role. According to Bourdieu, the more capital an individual has, the more power they will hold.
However, this concept is often accompanied by a negative connotation. It implies a class-based model that privileges the knowledge and experiences of privileged people. It also implies that children from minority backgrounds do not possess the knowledge that can help them excel academically. The term “cultural capital” is often associated with middle-class experiences and classical music. This is problematic and is often used to stereotype students.
Challenges to developing cultural capital
There are a number of challenges that schools face in implementing cultural capital. First, schools will naturally be subject to staff biases and preferences. While integrating pop culture will help to counteract paternalism, ignoring other forms of culture will encourage cultural imperialism. And second, cultural capital cannot be seen as an adjunct to curriculum. The necessary ‘knowledge’ of students is based on the subject matter and context in each domain.
The definition of cultural capital has been a problem for practitioners for quite some time. While a few practitioners have attempted to define it, Ofsted hasn’t. There is no clear definition of how children’s knowledge, interests, and skills develop. Therefore, it is unclear how best to measure this, and how to assess it in schools. However, teachers can use their own judgement and experience to develop cultural capital.