Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

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For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

The transmission of cultural resources as basis for young people’s school choices

TitleThe transmission of cultural resources as basis for young people’s school choices
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSantagati M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedFebruary 2011
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsCultural capital; Cultural consumption; Educational choice; Intergenerational transmission; Increasing/decreasing of cultural capital

This paper analyzes the role of the family in the construction of adolescents’ choices and life projects examining. The study considers material and symbolic resources as either possibilities or constraints for young people, for whom the intergenerational relationship can be viewed as an opportunity for the transition to adulthood. The aim of this article is to offer a critical review of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital, reconstructing the main processes of intergenerational transmission of cultural resources. In particular, through an analysis of a set of qualitative data from the nationwide PRIN study, two ideal types of processes of intergenerational transmission are identified, transversal to all social groups, which are linked to a different understanding of education. On the one hand, we have education as capital, that is to say a conception of education as a family patrimony that gives access to rewards and can be accumulated or lost. On the other hand, we have education as an entitlement to be fully enjoyed, a real opportunity to develop one’s abilities, a space to learn and test out useful skills to navigate complex decision-making processes, and which is the result of an educational style that promotes responsibility-taking.