The Persistence of Inequality
DOI link for The Persistence of Inequality
The Persistence of Inequality book
The ways in which education is complicit in the reproduction of social class was an interest of Bourdieu’s throughout his life. His notion of cultural capital stems from his work in this area providing further explanation, beyond the economic, regarding the persistence of educational inequality. This chapter briefly considers the significance of Bourdieu’s work around cultural capital within the sociology of education before drawing on data from the Australian Cultural Fields survey to show the unequal distribution of forms of institutionalised capital within the Australian education system. With a particular focus on higher education, it reveals how, despite the massification of this sector, the dominant classes retain their advantage with unequal representation in Australian universities and the elite forms of schooling that secure their access to the more prestigious institutions and fields of study. Together with data highlighting the inheritance of this capital across generations, the chapter provides continuing evidence of the strong relation between education, cultural capital and social inequality.