You will prepare and submit a term paper on Controversial Issue of Tastes among Individuals in Various Social Classes. Your paper should be a minimum of 2000 words in length. The paper presents arguments and applies theoretical models as analytical tools to analyse these arguments. It uses examples drawn from history as well as from the present in discussing Bourdieu’s term, cultural capital.
Cultural capital refers to the knowledge, connections or experience that people go through in the course of their lives that make them succeed more than those who did not go through a similar experience. Pierre Bourdieu, a great French sociologist, worked with a number of his colleagues and came up with the cultural capital concept, aimed at addressing a particular pragmatic problem. This problem is the reality that economic barriers are not adequate in the explanation of the disparities that exist in the attainment of education among children who come from dissimilar social classes (Bourdieu, 1984).
Bourdieu was of the argument that beyond and above economic factors, cultural dispositions and habits that the children inherit from the family are vital to success in school and beyond. In so doing, Bourdieu sharply differed with the conventional sociological notions of culture (Bourdieu, 1984). It viewed it mainly as a basis of shared values and norms or as a collective expression vehicle.
Bourdieu instead insisted that culture has many properties that characterise economic capital. Particularly, Bourdieu made an assertion to the effect that cultural dispositions consist of resources that can generate profits (Bourdieu, 1984). They, however, have the potential of being monopolised by groups as well as individuals and, under suitable conditions, can be passed on from one generation to another.
Being the originator of the cultural capital concept, Bourdieu often showed reluctance in elaborating what some concepts outside empirical research mean and what their significance is. According to Bourdieu, competence is capital as long as it can facilitate the appropriation of the cultural heritage of a society. However, this capital is unequally distributed and has, as a result, created opportunities for restricted advantages .(Bourdieu, 1984). .