The Role of Cultural Capital in Higher Education Access and Institutional Choice

  • Iva Košutić
Keywords: cultural capital, educational decisions, educational inequality, school achievement

Abstract

This paper aims to explore social inequalities in school achievement and educational decision-making of the final-year students of secondary schools in the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County, Croatia (N = 534). The theoretical framework of the paper was Bourdieu’s theory of cultural and social reproduction (1977a). The main objectives were an analysis of the association between the students’ cultural capital and their school achievement and analyses of the predictive power of the cultural capital theory in the context of educational decisions in the transition to tertiary education. In the analysis of school achievement, sequential multiple regression analysis was used, while in the analyses of educational decisions
logistic regression analyses were performed (binary and multinomial logistic regression). The results indicated that cultural capital had statistically significant correlation with school performance. Among the cultural capital indicators, statistically significant predictors of the probability of the intention to enrol into vocational higher education were the material dimension of cultural capital and naturalness of higher education aspirations of students. For the prediction of the probability of intention to enrol in university, significant predictors were embodied cultural capital, the naturalness of higher education aspirations of students, and father’s educational level. The study results on a selected sample of graduates tend
to support Bourdieu’s theory of cultural reproduction through education.

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Published
2017-03-31