SY101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Pierre Bourdieu, Cultural Capital, Symbolic Power

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1 Nov 2018
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SY101 Lecture 11 Social Stratification
Pierre Bourdieu
- A figure with a lot of public intellect
- He combined Marxist and Weber’s theory
- Presented the idea that economic and social status don’t always vary the same
way
o A person with high social status may not have high economic status
o i.e. many religious figures
- introduced the idea of cultural capital
4 Types of Capital
- Economic Capital:
o Control over economic resources
o Examples: money, natural resources, property
o This isn’t the only variable when it comes to capital
- Social Capital:
o Resources based on a group, social connections and networks
o This requires economic and cultural capital
o Having relationships with important people
o More networks = more social capital
o Weak ties are more important that strong ties- they provide new
information
o Example: trying to get a job or get a reference letter
- Symbolic Capital
o Having power to make up reality
o Dominant groups may express symbolic violence on minorities
Construct symbols to provoke violence
o Examples: some government figures, holidays
- Cultural Capital
o Knowledge, skills/abilities, education, aesthetic
o Attitudes, personal preferences, goals: can be used to mark who is
included/excluded from a group
o Cultural capital influences economic capital
o One’s aesthetic criteria influences people’s economic standing
o Example: Museums
Considered middle class aesthetic
Want to be seen as upper class or try to attain that feeling
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