Cultural Capital: What Does It Offer Students? A Cross-National Analysis

Research BriefHealthy SchoolsJan 1 2008

This study continues the refinement of the cultural capital concept, addressing gaps in existing scholarship by analyzing data from two major international datasets: the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). Using these datasets, the relationship between student participation in culturally enriching activities and the possession of cultural resources and student academic outcomes across nine western industrialized countries is examined. This study focuses on European and North American countries that share a Western cultural history. Caution is warranted in generalizing the literature or results summarized below to countries that have not been shaped by a similar cultural history due to this sampling limitation. This study provides a basis on which to measure the extent to which the effect of cultural capital differs across national borders, even those that share common cultural histories.