Social and Cultural Capital in Creativity

A great part of creative activities arises from  the interactions between individuals and their socio-cultural environments. The aim of this article is to explore the relationship between learners’ creativity and their social and cultural capital. The findings of the present study shed light on and strongly confirm the importance of the socio-cultural dimensions of creativity. This is quite in line with Bourdieu’s claim that students possessing higher levels of social and cultural capital enjoy higher levels of creativity and novelty than those of their working-class counterpart. In other words, those students who more frequently visit museums, theaters, or attend concerts, and those who have stronger ties in society and with other people tend to be more creative learners.

Cultural capital refers to a certain linguistic and verbal knowledge which derives from long-lasting dispositions of body and mind, possession of cultural goods, and academic qualifications and degrees. In our study, highest scores in cultural competence, which is a subscale of cultural capital, were associated with highest scores in creativity. This finding shows that those people who enjoy higher levels of linguistic proficiency and verbal knowledge, those who possess or are able to understand and use a variety of cultural goods (e.g. books, paintings, monuments, instruments, pictures, and pieces of music), and those who are more academically oriented and intellectually gifted are more creative; that is, according to Dörnyei they are more concerned with factors such as originality, invention, and discovery. This is supportive of Glaveanu’ claim that  a great deal of creativity encompasses individuals’ engagement with cultural artifacts and participation in cultural activities.



About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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