Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cultural Capital for Communication

Cultural capital in the Communication Capital Framework represents the capacity of movement members to understand and leverage the three states of culture capital as described by Pierre Bourdieu.

These three states are the embodied state, the objectified state and the institutionalized state.

“The accumulation of cultural capital in the embodied state, i.e.., in the form of what is called culture, cultivation, Bildung, presupposes the process of em-bodiment, incorporation, which insofar as it implies a labor of inculcation and assimilation, costs time, time which must be invested personally by the investor” (2002, p. 244). For example this would consist for this movement as the ability to speak a language of one or more of the immigrant groups in BC.

Bourdieu describes the objectified state of cultural capital as “…material objects and media such as writing, paintings, monuments, instruments, etc” (2002, p.246), which are materially transmissible. Movement members should actively be cultivating these material objects to increase the number and value of these objects and in relation the value of the subject they described or portrayed (i.e., the movements goals and values). Specifically movement members should contribute actively to the arts through photography, graphic arts, music, performance and film.

The institutionalized state of cultural capital is that which can be formalized, standardized and certified such as all forms of accreditation in the education system. This form of cultural capital would be most familiar to most movement members. A focus on the development of sustainability education programs, courses and content is of course part of the goal of the movement itself. What the focus in this area should be is on the promotion of these new programs, courses and content as a valuable asset to the BC education system that can be converted into real economic benefits for the province.

There are many levels of culture that the sustainability education movement is embedded within. Having the capacity to understand how each level of culture impedes or advances the movement is of utmost importance. Communicating effectively to advance the movement must take into consideration such things as the dominant values, perceptions and beliefs of the mainstream public, sub-culture beliefs such as in religious or counter-culture groups and the shared language and experiences of each culture with which the movement is attempting to communicate.

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