Cultural Capital Essay

360 Words2 Pages
Outline some of the ways cultural capital affects academic achievement (12) Cultural capital is the knowledge, attitudes, values and language that the middle class transmit to their children. For example middle class children have more cultural experiences than working class children, such as visiting museums, which means they are more likely to succeed in the education system. Firstly, Gewirtz identified three different types of approaches parents take when choosing their child’s school – privileged-skilled choosers, disconnected-local choosers and semi-skilled choosers. Privileged-skilled choosers are mainly professional middle-class parents who have cultural capital and use it to gain educational capital for their children. They are able to manipulate the education system to their advantage which means their children have a better chance at doing well in school. Disconnected-local choosers and semi-skilled choosers are working-class parents who have a lack of cultural capital and therefore their child’s academic progress suffers as they are usually sent to ‘local’ schools which they aren’t necessarily best suited for. Children who have cultural capital also have an elaborated code (wider vocabulary) which gives them an advantage at school as it is the code used by teachers and in textbooks. The elaborated code is typically used by middle class and helps with their academic achievement. Children with a lack of cultural capital are more likely to use the restricted code (limited vocabulary) which disadvantages them at school as they feel excluded and are therefore less successful. Working-class children typically use the restricted code. Bourdieu argues that cultural capital affects academic achievement as it ties in with educational capital. Middle-class children with cultural capital are better equipped to meet the demands of the school curriculum.
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