Social Capital in the Creation of Cultural Capital, Habitus, and Achievement: Access vs. Mobilization for Low-Income and Racial Minority Adolescents

23 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018

See all articles by S. Michael Gaddis

S. Michael Gaddis

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research

Date Written: April 12, 2018

Abstract

While scholars acknowledge the importance of both social and cultural capital to educational inequality, no research has examined how social capital might lead to increased cultural capital and habitus and thus improve academic achievement. In this research I use quasi-experimental longitudinal data from mentoring relationships to examine whether access to a mentor and mobilization of that mentor’s educational resources affect an adolescent’s cultural capital, habitus, and academic achievement. The results suggest that access to college-educated mentors has some positive effects on adolescents’ cultural capital, habitus, and academic achievement, while access to less educated mentors has limited effects. Moreover, only those relationships in which mobilization of the mentor’s educational resources occurs through educational discussions and activities lead to positive outcomes. These findings suggest that matching low-income and racial minority adolescents with adults who are both college educated and willing to engage in educational activities and discussions with adolescents may serve to attenuate inequality through increased cultural capital, habitus, and academic achievement.

Keywords: social capital, cultural capital, habitus, academic achievement, educational inequality

JEL Classification: 124

Suggested Citation

Gaddis, S. Michael, Social Capital in the Creation of Cultural Capital, Habitus, and Achievement: Access vs. Mobilization for Low-Income and Racial Minority Adolescents (April 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3161606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3161606

S. Michael Gaddis (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research ( email )

337 Charles E Young Dr E
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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