Disentangling 'cultural capital': The consequences of cultural and economic resources for taste and participation

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Most studies of the determinants of cultural capital have used taste or participation as interchangeable indicators of embodied cultural capital. In this article, we propose to treat the two concepts separately. Specifically, we argue that participation is constrained to a larger degree by financial resources than by tastes and to a lesser degree by cultural resources (parental cultural capital, father's education, and respondent's education); we further argue that tastes are shaped to a greater degree than participation by socialization processes and through the habitus and, to a lesser degree, by financial resources. This article contributes to two aspects of the literature on cultural stratification. First, it deepens our understanding of the association between individuals' tastes and their cultural participation, an issue that has rarely been addressed before. Second, it raises a discussion of the relative influence of cultural versus economic resources on tastes vs. participation, which have not yet been modelled simultaneously. Data for this research was purposely collected by the authors in a survey that was conducted in 2007 in Israel. As expected, we find that cultural participation is constrained by tastes and economic resources, while tastes are constrained by cultural resources but not by income.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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