The term cultural capital refers to the social assets of a person that allows them to have the ability to make a transition between different levels of the society or environment.

These social assets can include communication (embodied), dressing style (objectified), or education backgrounds (institutionalized). It blends into the compositions of behavior, knowledge, and skills that allow people to stand in the society and hence demonstrate cultural competence.

Cultural capital is more of a social relation within a system of mutual exchange of elements that are identified without any possible distinctions. These are the elements that the society considers to be rare and worth its foundation. The social relation of the cultural capital has the composition of status and power as well in terms of accumulation of knowledge that is bound to that specific culture.

States of cultural capital

1. Embodied state

Knowledge is embodied in us and as we progress towards it through means of communication and education, we grow more curious and become destined to acquire more of it and of similar things. Let’s take the example of pop or rock music. The more we get to explore the insights of these genres, the more we will explore the various trends and norms associated with them as proposed by the nature of the embodied state. Same is the case with food.

2. Objectified state

This state implies to the material property or objects that a person owns that can branch out to education in terms of books jobs in terms of tools or equipment, dressing, household for furniture/appliances etc. or even the food we buy and consume. These objects or materials indicate to those around us, the level of cultural capital that person possesses. It also marks the economic rank of the person.

3. Institutionalized state

This is the final state of cultural capital which is the authentic measure of a person’s cultural capital, usually through professional credentials or qualifications via an institution’s recognition. It also comprises of job/titles or social family roles like husband or wife.