cultural capital

(in ‘Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction’, 1973) argues that middle-class parents endow their children with a cultural capital of various linguistic and cultural competences. Schools require these competences (whose content is controlled by the rich) for educational success, yet fail to teach them to working-class children. Thus, school assessment which looks neutral actually legitimates economic inequality, by transforming socio-cultural competences into hierarchies of attainment which appear to be the outcome of inequalities of natural ability.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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