Crowd sourcing

Two quick questions I could really use help with:

1. Anybody know of a comprehensive index of social and cultural capital measures? If not, how about “sort of” comprehensive?

2. What social science concept or construct would you use to describe the attributes of a person that are socially conditioned, but not reducible to “cultural capital?” (or any other the other capitals…) For example, in my work on music, I know that (class) origins influence a lot of their behavior and identity.  But I also know they respond to (aka construct their persona in light of) local circumstances–being a musician in Detroit, or being a rock musician, or combinations: being a male rock musician working in Detroit. Do we have a way of bundling this other stuff into a concept? “Identity” is too vague, “cultural capital” has already been accounted for, my concept of “genre ideal” gets close but is idiosyncratic to my work. I’m thinking someone else has got a gizmo. I feel like it’s on the tip of my brain and I just can’t conjure it up. Has to–of course–be conceptually autonomous from cultural, social, and economic capital (conceptualized by Bourdieu) to work.

ANY help would be appreciated. Point me to things in the comments or message me directly. MUCH THANKS.



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2 responses to “Crowd sourcing

  1. I’d love to see an index like that. The closest thing I’ve seen to a comprehensive list of cultural capital measures is Lareau & Weininger’s 2003 Theory & Society paper. Although it is limited to how cultural capital has been operationalized in educational resource, it has a couple of helpful tables with the various measures. I can also dig up a short list of the most-cited papers on how CC has been measured in white-collar workplaces (email me if you’d like that).

    Re: your second question, I have long thought that there is great value in merging cultural and social psychological work on questions like this. In fact, I stored it away as one of my first Really Great Ideas after having receiving positive feedback in a long conversation with Cecilia Ridgeway, but did not have the time to do anything with it. A year or two ago, there was an invited ASA panel on “What Cultural Soc Can Learn From Social Psychology” (or maybe vice-versa, I can’t remember — it’s early and I have a headache). My particular interest was in people who are exceptions to the rule, whose cultural capital exceeds what their class and upbringing would suggest? Perhaps there was a trigger of some sort that produced an identity that was out of line with her class. Which led me to the soc psych work on identity. But I digress…

    My point is that habitus would seem to mold one’s identity as well, and that one’s cultural and social capital and identity (particularly one’s social identity) are clearly closely aligned, yet we seem to not about this very much, or at least not that I’m aware of. Your specific question is relevant to me as I often tease out these questions in my own life: i.e., as a working-class kid turned academic who is also a lifelong musician.

    Email me if you’d like to chat further, I think it’s a fascinating question and I haven’t had time to pursue it.

  2. Jenn Lena

    Thanks! The suggestions aren’t for work I am doing but rather work I am facilitating. It’ll take a bit of time for me to get feedback for the many wonderful ideas that have come over the transom.

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