Marco Terraneo

The role of education and social origin on the intergenerational reproduction of culture

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Inequalities; Intergenerational Reproduction; Cultural Transmission; Cultural Consumptions; Structural Equation Models.

In the first part I discuss the relationship among education, family background and cultural consumptions. Afterward, I discern two process, the social and the cultural reproduction, to explain the transmission of cultural participation from parents to sons. The first analyses the effect of socio-economic resources; the second the effect of cultural capital in its three states (Bourdieu): the embodied state, the objectified state and the institutionalized state. I claim the latter process is more crucial to explain the intergenerational transmission of cultural practices than the former. In the second part of the essay, using data of the Italian Multipurpose Household Survey «Citizens and free time», I apply a structural equation model approach (SEM) to test hypothesis and to estimate the impact - total, direct and indirect - of education and family background on the intergenerational reproduction of culture. The results show sons of parents with lower cultural participation have lesser likelihood to participate in high culture. Second, family economic resources play a marginal role compared with cultural resources. Third, the effect of education on cultural consumption is positive and significant, but it's lower than the impact of cultural capital. Moreover, the effect of education on cultural consumptions is partly a spurious relationship: family background affects sons' education and cultural practices.

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