Monday, March 29, 2010

To Change the World: Proposition One

Culture is a resource and as such, a form of power.
Think of culture as a form of capital, much like money itself. Dr. Hunter is referring to knowledge, technical know-how, credentials, and cultural accomplishments. While it can’t be transferred from one generation to another, or from one individual to another, cultural capital can be accumulated.

And so, a Ph.D. has more cultural capital than a car mechanic; a member of the national academy of sciences has more cultural capital than a high school science teacher; the winner of a Nobel prize in literature has more cultural capital than a romance novelist. Like money, accumulated cultural capital translates into a kind of power and influence. But what kind of power? What kind of influence? It starts as credibility, an authority one possesses which puts one in a position to be taken seriously. It ends as the power to define reality itself. It is the power to name things.

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