Capitalizing on Culture: How Cultural Capital Shapes Educational Experiences and Outcomes



Social reproduction theory suggests that the educational system perpetuates inequality by rewarding the cultural capital of students from privileged social classes. This article reviews the empirical evidence for this view of education, highlighting debates in the field and directions for future research. Questions of exactly what cultural attributes constitute cultural capital, why cultural capital is linked to improved educational outcomes, and what kinds of students benefit from cultural capital are addressed.