Research on Finnish Society 10(1):2017

Intergenerational transmission of cultural capital in Finland

Jarmo Kallunki & Semi Purhonen
University of Tampere

Cultural resources and assets inherited from one’s family of origin can be an important source of social inequality. In Finland, research on the intergenerational transmission of cultural capital is very limited. To fill this gap, we ask whether there is an association between the cultural capital of parents and that of their children in Finland and, if so, how significant it is. We used a two-fold operationalization of cultural capital for respondents and their parents comprising educational attainment (institutionalized cultural capital) and interestedness or participation in highbrow culture (embodied cultural capital). Our multinomial logistic regression analysis of nationally representative survey data from 2007 (N=1,279) showed close links between respondents’ cultural capital and that of their parents. Respondents’ educational attainment was strongly influenced by their parents’ education level but not their cultural interestedness; in contrast, respondents’ cultural participation was influenced by both their parents’ education and cultural interestedness.

Keywords: Cultural capital, social reproduction, intergenerational transmission, education, cultural participation

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