Cultural Capital in an Early Modern Elite School: The Noble Cadet Corps in St Petersburg, 1732-1762

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 Last revised: 2 Feb 2019

See all articles by Igor Fedyukin

Igor Fedyukin

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Salavat Gabdrakhmanov

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 20, 2014

Abstract

This study employs a unique database covering 2,293 cadets who graduated from the Noble Land Cadet Corps in St Petersburg from 1732-1762 to investigate the role of cultural capital in early modern Russia. Our analysis suggests that within this sample cultural capital was negatively correlated with wealth, but positively with father’s rank within the state service. At the corps itself, wealth and social status of families did not directly affect the success of their sons. The only significant factor of success at this school (promotion to a particular rank at graduation) was the family’s access to "Western" education and cultural skills. The results indicate the state was able to create an institutional framework where the possession of new "imported" knowledge and social skills gave the holder a measurable advantage over his peers. This could be considered one of the mechanisms which contributed to the sustainability of the cultural and social regime created by Peter I.

Keywords: cultural capital, nobility, education, early modern state, Peter I, Noble Cadet Corps, Russia

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Fedyukin, Igor and Gabdrakhmanov, Salavat, Cultural Capital in an Early Modern Elite School: The Noble Cadet Corps in St Petersburg, 1732-1762 (August 20, 2014). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 59/HUM/2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2483787 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2483787

Igor Fedyukin (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Salavat Gabdrakhmanov

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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