12 Exploratory Essay Topics on Cultural Capital

Topics and ideas
Posted on February 17, 2016

An exploratory essay is a form of paper that discusses a theme, topic or merely answers a question. While most are short, they require quite a good understanding of the topic to avoid repetitive or incorrect content. Writing an exploratory essay is no easy feat, especially if it is supposed to be on a difficult topic such as “cultural capital”. Before you embark on your way to working on this task you may want to learn a few common facts about cultural capital, such as the following:

1) Cultural Capital Can Exist in Three States

Cultural capital has been divided into three separate forms: objectified, institutionalized and embodied. Each differs from the other in terms of content and usage in individual’s everyday life. While embodied and institutionalized cultural capital cannot be physically owned or objectified it can definitely be physically owned. Embodied cultural capital is what you generally obtained from your family members, while institutionalized cultural capital is attained from schools and colleges.

2) According to Bourdieu, Cultural Capital is an Area Where Social Inequality is Maintained

Pierre Bourdieu has explained how different social classes have a different set of educational merits, knowledge, etc. The classes that show primary cultural transmissions are helped by educational systems to strengthen the transmissions. But on the way, the rest of the social classes is left behind, automatically giving rise to social inequality. Unfortunately, this merely reduces the cultural capital present in the given area/city/country.

3) Embodied Cultural Capital Is Attained Consciously

An individual generally inherits this form of cultural capital from his/her predecessors. This capital includes patterns of behavior, tastes, learning patterns, etc.

4) Institutionalized Cultural Capital Consists of Education

This type of cultural capital is the recognition that is received from institutions, usually in the form of educational merits. Institutionalized cultural capital helps people raise their social and financial capital.

5) Objectified Cultural Capitals Are Physical Objects That Could Be Possessed

Objectified cultural capital is all that could physically be owned by an individual, be it a vehicle or even food rations. This cultural capital also helps one achieve economic benefit.

6) Early Education Drive Is Promoted among Children to Make Up for Any Cultural Capital Inequalities

Since children start learning at a young age, educational institutes and schools try to promote the accumulation of cultural capital. In this way it does not matter if these children are from different socioeconomic classes, they all learn to enhance their cultural capital. This cultural capital will help children rise and attain their own place in the future of this world. Cultural capital is something that you learn at a tender age and carry all the way through your secondary school, high school, undergraduate school and even graduate school. The amount of cultural capital that you possess will determine how successful you will be. As understood, the higher the amount of cultural capital, the better the chances of you being prosperous in the long run.

7) Cultural Capital Could Be Increased by Exposing Yourself and Your Family to the Likes of Art and Theatre

A number of experiments have been done to understand if being exposed to cultural activities could help increase the cultural capital attained by an individual or a family. In one such experiment, five families from different social classes and age groups were taken to visual arts galleries and cultural events. While some understood and recognized these well, others found it to be foreign. However, experts are certain that subjecting different people to cultural activities could certainly increase cultural capital of a particular nation.

8) Cultural Capital is Acts as an Asset

These assets could be both perceptible and imperceptible, making sure that we attain social benefits and are able to climb up the social ladder with ease. These assets help us obtain financial capital as well.

9) Cultural Capital Promotes Human and Social Capital

Human capital unites the personality features, knowledge and just about any kind of knowledge that help in producing an economic value of the individual in question. On the other hand, social capital is the overall value of the relationships that you have in the society. Experts state that cultural capital such as intellect, education is what enhances a person’s human and social capital.

10) Cultural Capital Promotes Health

As per several researches and studies, health has a direct connection with cultural capital, which we do not seem to realize. Self-presentation is one of the many examples of cultural capital. Therefore, those who take care of their health are in turn taking care of their self-presentation, which proves that health has a link to cultural capital. Also, it has been noted that different classes that have different sets of cultural capitals take a different approach towards maintaining their overall health.

11) Embodied Cultural Capital Has Sub-Types

As per Pierre Bourdieu, embodied cultural capital has three subtypes, each belongs to a specific social class. The three subtypes are: working class, middle class and bourgeoisie.

12) Technology is a Form of Cultural Capital

In today’s world, technology is a great factor in terms of advancements in education. Not so surprisingly, technology makes of quicker and better learning. Therefore, experts have been seen claiming that certain forms of technology are actually cultural capitals. They have also done experiments between groups of students with and without any forms of technology. The results showed that the group of pupils, who were making use of certain forms of technology, such as computers and laptops, to study, performed better than those who did not.

Not only are these facts intriguing, they also help us appreciate cultural capital. Once you get a complete understanding of the points stated above, it will be simpler to work on an exploratory essay. Along with coming up with an exceptional topic to break down and discuss, you could also jot down some solid points to make your essay a success. Don’t forget to check our guide that deals with expository essay on cultural capital as well as 20 topics on this matter for you to choose from.

“Thomas Abel. Cultural Capital in Heath Promotion.”
Susan A. Dumais. Sociology of Education. Volume 75, No. 1 (Jan., 2002). pp. 44-68.
Eric L. Lesser. (2000). Knowledge and Social Capital: Foundations and Applications.
Mick Matthys. (2013). Cultural Capital, Identity, and Social Mobility: The Life Course of Working-Class University Graduates.
Pierre Bourdieu. The Forms of Capital.
William E. Deal and Timothy K. Beal. (2004). Theory for Religious Studies.
Louise C. Johnson. (2009). Cultural Capitals: Revaluing the Arts, Remaking Urban Spaces.

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