Cultivated Citizens? Cultural Capital, Class, Gender and Generations in Contemporary Turkey

Özgür Arun


Cultural capital can be defined as the sum of skills acquired through education and it can also be said that it is tantamount to knowledge regarding high culture (Bourdieu, 1986). In this regard, it may not only be the means for upward social mobility, but also the source of the social inequality. In that case is it possible to talk about differentiation in the distribution of cultural capital empirically, besides, what statistical regularities can be observed in differentiated cultural capital distribution in Turkey? The focus of this study is on the composition of cultural capital at the individual level, and efforts will be made to assess whether cultural capital has led to distinctions among different generations in Turkey. The European Quality of Life Survey, 2004 is utilized while analyzing the distribution of cultural capital in Turkey. It is found that, the group enjoying the highest level of cultural capital consists of professionals and managers within the 18-49 age groups. This state of younger generations enjoying relatively more cultural capital than older generations is also the source of symbolic conflict between generations.


cultural capital, social class, generation, gender, Bourdieu, Turkey

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