Food Spaces: The Relationship between Economic and Cultural Capital

The notion of different types of “capital” (economic, cultural, social, spatial…) has become increasingly significant for students of a-level sociology – particularly through the work of writers such as Bourdieu – and while the concepts themselves may be relatively easily understood the relationship between them is not always so clear.

A deceptively-easy to illustrate the relationship between economic and cultural capital, however, is through an interesting chart I chanced upon while rooting through Pinterest (as you do. Apparently).

It’s broadly taken from Bourdieu’s “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” (1979) and updated by Molly Watson into an informative teaching device that could be used in a number of different ways – from a bare-bones version which students have to fill with their own “food suggestions” to a simple discussion-piece around the idea of different types of capital and what they signify.

Although this chart’s based on food, it’s not difficult to envisage teachers / students creating alternatives based on a range of different ideas, such as one on the UK education system, for example.

An interesting speculation here might be whether or not it’s possible to incorporate social capital into such a chart?

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