File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2000/bourdieu.0004, message 37

Date: 17 Apr 2000 10:25:00 -0500
Subject: Re: measuring negative/positive cultural capital...

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Here's my understanding:

All cultural capital is useful at some level in a pragmatic sense, and 
therefore "positive".  If not, it would not be capital in any "market", 
and would be merely an obstacle.  This is to say, by definition, 
anything we identify as cultural capital has some value--somewhere, for 
its bearer in that (metaphorical) place.

However, in the wrong market, some capital loses its value and may even 
have a negative value in the sense that it marks the bearer as a certain 
kind of player (to mix two of Bourdieu's metaphors)--say a beginner, or 
worse, an outsider with no legitimate claim to participate.

One might study fairly formalized ways of interacting among young men 
from predominantely Hispanic or African American neighborhoods in 
Houston, for example, in order to compare how the relatively high status 
associated within those groups with certain individuals plays out as a 
self-perceived discrepancy when the same individuals step into 
situations where dominant ways of interaction are expected by all 
involved.  Those discrpancies can lead to self-exile from the mainstream 
and eventually prison, or self-hate and life-long acceptance of a 
dominated position in society.

Bill Hord

Date: 15 Apr 2000 20:48:13
From:Gavin Pat Young <>
Subject:measuring negative/positive cultural capital... 
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Dear Listserve members,

It seems that when considering cultural capital it
is always viewed in a positive stance (it enables) but is there such a
thing as negative cultural capital (it disenables).

Another difficult question would be how a researcher measure either

Can you think of any negative cultural capital that might disenable
academic attainment?  (((Would a kinesthetic learner (one who learns by a
hands-on approach) possess a negative cultural capital as a result of this

Thank you.


Gavin Young




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