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18

CULTURAL REPRODUCTION AND

SOCIAL REPRODUCTION

Pierre Bourdieu

•••
T he specific role of the sociology of education is assumed once it has estab-
lished i[Se1f as the science of the relations between cultural reproduction
and social reproduction. This occurs when it endeavours to determine the con-
tribution made by the educational system to the reproduction of the Structure
of power relationships and symbolic relationships between classes, by con-
tributing to the reproduction of the structure of the distribution of cultural
capital among these classes. The science of the reproduction of Strucrures, un-
derstood as a system of objective relations which impart their relational
properties to individuals whom they preexist and survive, has nothing in com-
mon with the analytical recording of relations existing within a given
population. be it a question of the relations between the academic SUccess of
children and rhe social position of their family or of the relations between rhe

Pierre Bourdieu, "Cultural Reproducrion and Social Reproduction," in Know/edge, Educlltion, ilnd Cu/-
film/ Ch/mge, edited by Rich;lrd Brown, pp. 71-8'1. Copyrighr 1973 by Taviswck. We have omitred the
tables and figures appearing in the appendix of the original re,XL

257
258 PIERRE BOURDIEU CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 25!

positions filled by children and their parents. The substantialist mode of all ~ducational systems from their function of social reproduction. Tram
thought which stops short ar directly accessible elements, that is to say individ- pOSIng, as they do, the representation of culture and of culture
uals, claims a certain fidelity to reality by disregarding the srructure of relations tr~nsm~ss.ion, ~ommonly accepted by the ethnologists, to the case of sac;
whence these elements derive all their sociologically relevant determinacions, etles dI~Ided Into clas.ses, these theories are based upon the implici
and thus finds itself having to analyse intra- or inter-generational mobility assumption that the dIfferent pedagogic actions which are carried ou
processes to the detriment of the study of mechanisms which tend to ensure the wit~in the framework of the social structure, that is to say. those which ar
reproduction of the structure of relations between classes; it is unaware that the carned out by families from the different social classes as well as that whic
conttolled mobility of a limited category of individuals, carefully selected and is practised by the school, work together in a harmonious way to transmi
modified by and fur individual ascent, is not incompatible with the permanence a cultural heritage which is considered as being the undivided property t
of structures, and that it is even capable of contributing to social stability in the the whole society.
only way conceivable in societies based upon democratic ideals and thereby may In fact the statistics of theatre, concert, and above all, museum arrendanc
help to perpetuate the structure of class relations. (sinc~, in the I.ast case, the effect of economic obstacles is more or less nil) at
Any break with substantialise atomism, even if it does nor mean going as far suffiCient remmder that the inheritance of cultural wealth which has been ac
as certain structuralists and seeing agents as the simple "supports" of struc- cumulated and bequ~athed by previous generations only really belong
tures invested with the mysterious power of determining other structures, (although lr IS theoretically offered ro everyone) ro those endowed with th
implies taking as our theme the process of education. This means that our ob- means of appropriating ir for themselves. In view of the fact that the appre
ject becomes the production of the habitus, tbat sysrem of dispositions which henslOn andposs~sslOn of cultural goods as symbolic goods (along with th
acts as a mediation between structures and practicei more specifically, it be- sym~olrc sansfactlons whIch accompany an appropriation of this kind) ar,
comes necessary (Q study the laws that determine the tendency of structures pOSSIble ~nly for those who hold the code making it possible ro decipbe
to reproduce themselves by producing agents endowed with the system of them or, In othe~ words, th~t the appropriation of symbolic goods presup
predispositions which is capable of engendering practices adapted to the p~ses the posseSSIOn of the Instruments of appropriation, it is sufficient t<
structures and thereby contributing to the reproduction of the structures. If it gIVe free play to the laws of cultural transmission for cultural capital and fo
is conceived within a theoretical framework such as this, the sociology of ed- the structure of the distribution of cultural capital between social classes [(
ucational institutions and, in particular, of institutions of higher education, is ~e thereby reproduced. By this is meant the structure of the distribution 0
capable of malcing a decisive contribution to the science of the structural dy- Instruments for the appropriation of symbolic wealth socially designated a:
namics of class relations, which is an often neglected aspect of the sociology worthy of being sought and possessed.
of power. Indeed, among all the solurions put forward throughour hisrory ro In order to be persuaded of the truth of this, it must first be seen that th,
the problem of the transmission of power and privileges, there surely does not stru~ture of the distribution of classes or sections ("fractions") of a class ac.
exist one that is better adapted to societies which tend to refuse the most c~rdlOg to [he extent to which they are consumers of culture corresponds
patent forms of the hereditary transmission of power and privileges, than that WIth a few slight differences such as the fact that heads of industry anc
solution which the educational system provides by contributing to the repro- commerce occupy a lower position than do higher office staff, profession.
duction of the structure of class relations and by concealing, by an apparendy als. and even intermediate office staff, to the structure of distributior
neutral attitude, the fact that it fills this function. accotding ro the hietarchy of economic capital and power (see Table I 8. I)
By traditionally defining the educational system as the group of institu- . The ~~fferent classes or sections of a class are organized around three ma-
tional or routine mechanisms by means ofwhich is operated what Durldleim Jor posltlons: the lower position, occupied by the agricultural professions
calls "the conservation of a culture inherited from the past," i.e. the transmis- workers, and small tradespeople, which are, in fact, categories excluded fron:
sion from generation to generation of accumulated information, classical participation in "high" culture; the intermediate position l occupied on the
theories tend to dissociate the function of cultural reproduction proper to one hand by the heads and employees of industry and business and, on th,
Farmers Workers Small H11ite-collar Intermediate Heads of Professionals
Annual budget Agricultuml
tradespeople workers office staff industl)1 and and higher
coefficients workers
commerce office staff

0.8 lA 2.8 1.5 3.6


Durable goods 0.6 0.5 0.8
2.2 3.2 3.6 3.3 6.2
Other expenditure 1.6 1.9 2.2
Household consumption, INSEE-CREDOC survey carried out in 1956 of 20,000 households-tables of household consumption by
socia-professional categories.

Table 18.1 Expenditure on Culture

Purchasers Dj' Readers of Regular theatre, concert, Have been to the theatre
books during books'! cinema attendance in at least once in year 19644
last month l the Parisian region 3 (all ofFrance)

Farmers 14 Farmers, 15.5 Fanners 18


agricultural
workers

Workers 22 Workers 33 Workers 21 8 70 17


Heads of industry 31 White-collar 53.5 Tradespeople 46 14 71 22
& commerce workers & craftsmen
White-collar 39 Craftsmen & 51.5 White-collar 47 22 80 32
workers, tradespeople, workers,
intermedia1e intennediate intennediate
office staff office staff office staff
Professionals" 50 Heads of industry, 72 Heads of industry, 65 33 81 63
higher office professionals, professionals,
staff higher office higher office
staff staff

I Syndicat national des editeurs (National Union ofPubJishers),"La clientele du livre," July 1967. survey carried out by the IFOP.
2 Syndicat national des cditeurs, "La lectUre et le livre en France," ]anuary-April19GO, survey carried out by the IFOP.
:> Survey of theatre attendance in the Parisian region carried out by the IFOP. 1964.
-I Survey of theatre attendance, SOFRES, June 1964.

Table 18.2 Cultural Activities of Different Occupational Categories


CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 263

~ ~ ~
~
~
-2 ~
E ~1
~1 other hand, by the intermediate office staff (who are just about J..<; removed
-s .,.
0 ~
'" ~1

from the two other categories as these categories are from the lower cate-
-s gories); and, lastly, the higher position, which is occupied by higher office
" jj '"-s
§
0
~
t;
~
~

~
.,. 00
.,. '";::;0
~
staff and professionals.
The same structure is to be seen each time an assessment is made of cul-
~1
~ 'i; c0 '" tural habits and, in particular, of those that demand a cultured disposition,
:l! ~
0 oB"
E
, ;::;'" 0
such as reading, and theatre, concert, art-cinema, and museum attendance.
In such cases, the only distortions are those that introduce the use of differ-
~ '"
0
ent ptinciples of classification (Table 18.2).
."
1:: -0
~
'"'" oB"
ti
'" G t
">-
u
,
>-
""
Although statistics based like these upon the statements of those being
questioned and not upon direct observation tend to overestimate the extent
c0 S "t 0
-0
to which an activity is practised by reason of the propensity of the persons
~ Oi
~ ~ 00
0
'" '"
~ ~ 00 "
-~
" G
0
'" ~
u questioned to align themselves, at least when talking, to the activity that is
"~
'"'"
~
~ recognized as legitimate, they do malce it possible to make our the real struc-
.s 1::
0
c ~ 'n .,.'" % ~
t
Oi ture of the distribution of cultural capita1. In order to achieve this, it is
[0 ~
'" 0 sufficient to note that the statistics for rhe purchase of books omit all dis-
'" cS
1 '" ;':: ~
'" tinction between small self-employed craftsmen and tradespeople, whose
";:;~ 00
:;;: ~

'" '"
~
-0" l
.""
-"
c
ii:-
;'::

'";::;
0
activities are known to be very similar to those of the workers, and indus-
trial and business management, whose cultural consumption is close to that
:.:a ""c oB" of intermediate office staff; it is also to be noticed thar the statistics for the
i:- " " ~
>-
" "
"0
C
0
u
"
on
~
~

0:
""3" J!" u ""
C
"
-0
0
0

,g"
teaders of books (books which have been purchased, but doubtless also
books which have been borrowed or read in libraries, which explains the
movement of the structure rewards the upper part) group together small
:E c 'E"
0-
0
"~ "u u" self-employed ctaftsmen and tradespeople, who seldom practise a cultural
~
0 ~
C
0
-0" activity, and intermediate office staff, who practise culrural activities re a
00
~1
0
'"
0
00 c
-"
'So
'"
~

."
;:J
0
~
~
~
c
"
0
-,;
....,">
greater extent than do white-collar workers.
Although they remain relatively disparate, the categories made use of in
c
'C' ", -;; §
'-
~

~ ~ "c
"0 fa c
'C
0
-" ~ -0
C
terms of level of education make possible a more direct comparison, and all
u
0 l:E " "
"" 0 oB
,g" throw light upon rhe existence of an extremely pronounced relationship be-

" "" "


0
0
0 ~
u
0:; 2;
"
on .5
'" 0
B
0 u
c :§u
tween the different "legitimate" activities and rhe level of education (Table
18.3).
:E" " 'iJ
-<
.,..,. .,. -0il -0."~ c~
-0
If, of all cultural activities, cinema attendance in its common form is rhe
"<
0 '" ~
~
0 '" -;; -;;
c c
"~
8 one rhat is least closely linked to level of education, as opposed re concert-
:J
'gc going, which is a rarer activity than reading or theatre-going, the fact
""
0 0

"",~ -S§
0:; '~ U
of -;; c "is
"'
OD
~
HO
remains that, as is shown by the statistics for art-cinema attendance, the cin-
'0 d 0

"'~
-
~

";::: d C ii) ""E '2-;;u -0~ u 'iJu>-


~

C
jc ~
t
06
~

"
ema has a tendency to acquire the power of social distinction that belongs to
traditionally approved arts.
" 'CE" .~" U0 "'Bu u0 -§," -<n
E ~
<n
>- <n 0
::0
~ ·5 0- C4
"" f"
m
"' The greater reliability of the survey carried out by the Centre of European
" ::E
on
Sociology (Centre de Sociologie Europeenne) of the European museum
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 265

public is due to the fact that it was based upon the degree of effective prac-
tice and not on the statements of those being questioned. It makes it
possible, moreover, to construct the system of social conditions for the pro-
duction of the "consumers" of cultural goods considered as the most worthy
of being consumed, i.e. the mechanisms of reproduction of the structure or
the distribution of cultural capital which is seen in the structure of the dis-
tribution of the consumers of the musewn, the theatre, the concert, the art
cinema, and, more generally, of all the symbolic wealth that constitutes "le-
gitimate" culture. Museum attendance, which increases to a large extent as
the level of education rises, is almost exclusively to be found among the priv-
ileged classes. The proportions of the different socia-professional categories
figuring in the public of the French museums are almost exactly the inverse
ratio of their proportions in the overall population. Given that the typical vis-
itor to French museums holds academic qualifications (since 55 per cenr of
visitors have at least the baccalaurtat, the French school-leaving certificate), it
is not surprising that the structure of the public distributed according to so-
cial category is very similar to the structure of the population of the students
of the French faculties distributed according to social origin: the proportion
": of farmers is 1 per cent, that of workers 4 per cent, that ofskilled workers and
o
N
tradesmen is 5 per cent, that of white-collar workers and intermediate office
staff is 23 per cem (of whom 5 per cent are primaty-school teachers), and the
proportion of the upper classes is 45 per cenr. If, for the rate of attendance of
the different categories of visitors in the whole of the museum public, we
o substitute tlle probability of their going into a museum, it will be seen (in
~;
Table 18.4) that, once the level of education is established, Imowledge of rhe
sex or socio-professional category of the visitors generally provides only a
small amoum of additional information (although it may be noted in passing
that, when the level of education is the same, teachers and art specialists prac-
tise this activity to a distinctly greater extent than do other categories and,
N
o particularly, other sections of the dominant classes).
In short, all of the relations observed between museum attendance and
such variables as class or section of a class, age, income, or residence come
down, more or less, to the relation between the level of education and atten-
dance. The existence of such a powerful and exclusive relationship between
the level of education and cultural practice should nor conceal the fact thar,
in view of the implicit presuppositions that govern it, the action of the edu-
cational system can attain full effectiveness only to the extent that it bears
upon individuals who have been previously granted a certain familiarity with
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 267
PIERRE nOURDIEU
266
"pedagogic action" here were it not for the fact that it is rather, in this case,
. . I d d· ould seem that the
the world of art by their fam:J upbnngmgal' (n ;~Iy' ~: the point of view a non-pedagogic action), implicitly requiring of those on whom it bears that
. f th h 1 whose wect IS unequ 1f they possess the conditions necessary to its full productivity,
acftldon 0 )e:::g'children from different social classes, and whose succ~ss
o uratlon h ·t has an effect tends to rem-
The educational sysrem reproduces all the more perfectly the sttucture of
. 'd bl ng those upon w om 1 ' the distribution of cultural capital among classes (and sections of a class) in
vanes const era y amo. ' t h e initial inequalities. .As may be
force and to consecrate by Its s~CtlO~S h ha have received from their that the culture which it transmits is closer to the dominant culture and that
seen in the fact that the p[~port1on. 0 t DSC W marked extent along the mode of inculcation to which it has recourse is less removed from the
families an early initiation mto a~t lllcreases to :U::s of the level of educa- mode of inculcation practised by the faruily. Inasmuch as it operates in and
with the level of education, what IS measureId by f the effects of uaining through a relationship of communication, pedagogic action directed at incul-
1. h h n the accumu atlon 0 cating the dominant culture can in fact escape (even if it is only in parr) the
don ,is dnot.thl1~g tOhte ~:~ilya and the academic apprenticeships which them-
acqUlre Wl m . . general laws of cultural transmission, according to which the appropriation
cl this previous trammg. .' f of the proposed culrure (and, consequently, the success of tl,e apprenticeship
seIyes presuppose . fi t that the approprIanon 0
If this is the case, the mam reasons are, l f S , . . which is crowned by academic qualification) depends upon the previous pos-
ds in its intensity, its modality, and ItS very eXIstenCe up~n
works of art d:pe~
session of the instruments of appropriation, to the extent and only to the
ectator has of the available instruments of appropna-
extent that it explicitly and deliberately hands over, in the pedagogic com-
the mastery t at e. ~p all of the generic and particular code of the work or,
munication itself, those instfumems which are indispensable to the success
:~oi~ ~;:;:r:~;:;,P;~lt~Ce ~CUli~rl~ artistit l~:sa;ef~~::~::st::~::~~:t~;~~~~ of the communication and which, in a society divided imo classes, are very
recdy a~prop.riate ~o ~ach p~r~lcuc:~;o~l~a~, in the specific case of works of unequally distributed among children from ,he different social classes. An
the declphenng a t e war c, s e , tall ac uired by means of educational system which pUIS into practice an implicit pedagogic action, re-
"h· h" culture mastery of the code cannot be to y. q . b quiring initial familiarity with the dominant culture, and which proceeds by
19, . .d d b d lly eXIStence ut pre-
the simple and diffuse appr~t~ces~:pso~~::~z:d b~ a~ institution specially imperceptible familiarization, offers information and training which can be
supposes an educatlon met a ~ca y be noted however, that the yield of received and acquired only by subjects endowed with the system of predispo-
equipped for this ~ur~ose. It I~s~~d among ~ther functions, with the re- sitions that is the condition for the success of the transmission and of the
t inculcation of the culture. By doing away with giving explicitly to everyone
pedagogic commUnication, en r d ' f I f "Iligh" culture along with
.,. f . , thecoeowor{5o ' what ir implicitly demands of everyone, the educational system demands of
sponslblhcy 0 transmItting . . . . cl out is itself a func-
the code according (0 which this tl'ahnsmlhsslOn IS. c;~r:wes t~ his family up everyone alike that they have what it does nor give. This consists mainly of
. f I 1 ral competence t at t e recelV linguistic and cultural competence and that relationship of familiarity with
tlon 0 t le cu tu I h "h· I" culture transmitred by the
bringing, which is m~re
d
0: l~ss c odse tol ' ale ml~~els according to which this
the lmgUlstlC an cu tur .a1
culture which can only be produced by family upbritlging when it transmits
the dominam culture,
co IIeges a.n ~o . d I. f the fact that teception of the picton
t smlsSlOn IS carne our. n VIew 0 1 at In short, an institution officially entrusted with the transmission of the in-

:~~e~g:~:~ i:h~~.::~~i:~:~ai~ ;:;~:~:r,~i:a~d1l;1;:~?~;~~~:u~1~!~~


the same laws, It IS not surpnsmg t a . l The museum that demar-
stfuments of appropriation of the dominant culture which neglects
methodically to transmit the instruments indispensable to the success of its
underraking is bound to become the monopoly of those social classes capa-
which cultural capital is added to c~~ral ~aplt: . the mere effect of its "level ble of transmitting by their own means, ,hat is to say by that diffuse and
cates its public and legmiluzes 115 saCl q~ It)' Y ion of the implicir conrinuous educarional acrion which operates wirhin culrured fam-
, . ",. by the simple fact that It presupposes the possess . ilies (often unlmown to those responsible for it and to those who are
of emlSSlOn, l.e. d h' h . essary m
fairly complex, and thereforle faxhirlYb~ared' cmula,yur~~ ~~e~ :s It~e l~i:~~ towards subjected to it), the instruments necessary for the reception of its message,
d cl' h the wor cs e. 1 Ite , and thereby to confirm their monopoly of the instruments of appropriation
:hi~h ':n e~~~at~;nal action is directed (it might be possible to use the words
268 PIERRE BQURDIEU CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 269

of the dominant culture and thus their monopoly of that culture.! The closer stance) and on the economic market (at least to the extent that its sanctions
that educational action gets to that limit, the more the value that the educa- depend upon academic ratification) in that the mode of symbolic produc-
tional system attributes to the products of the educational work carried OUt tion of which they are the product is more removed from the dominant
by families of the different social classes is directly a function of the value as mode of production or, in other words, from the educational norms of those
cultural capiral which is attributed, on a market dominated by the products social classes capable of imposing the domination of criteria of evaluation
of the educational work of the families of the dominant classes, to the lin- which are the most favourable to their products. It is in terms of this logic
guistic and cultural competence which the different classes or sections of a that mUSt be understood the prominent value accorded by the French educa-
class are in a position to transmit, mainly in terms of the culture that they tional system to such subtle modalities in the relationship to culture and
possess and of tlle time thar they are able to devote to its explicit or implicit language as affluence, elegance, naturalness, or distinction, all of which are
transmission. That is to say that the transmission of this competence is in di- ways of malting use of the symbolic products whose role of representing ex-
rect relation to the distance between the linguistic and cultural competence cellence in the field of culture (to the detriment of the dispositions produced
implicitly demanded by the educational transmission of educational culture by the school and paradoxically devalued, by the school itself, as being "aca-
(which is itself quire unevenly removed from the dominant culture) and the demic") is due to the fact that rhey belong only to those who have acquired
linguistic and cultural competence, inculcated by primary education in the culture or, at least, the dispositions necessary for the acquisition of academic
different social classes. culture, by means of familiarization, i.e. imperceptible apprenticeships from
The laws of the educational market may be read in the statistics which es- the family upbringing, which is the mode of acquisition of the instruments
tablish that, from the moment of entering into secondary education right up of appropriation of the dominant culture of which the dominant classes hold
to the gran des icoles, the hierarchy of the educational eStablishments and the monopoly.
even, within these establishments, the hierarchy of the secdons and of the The sanctions of the academic market owe their specific effectiveness to the
fields of study arranged according to their prestige and to the education fact that they are brought to bear with every appearance oflegitimaey: it is, in
value they impart to tlleir public, correspond exactly to the hierarchy of the fact, as though the agents proportioned the investments that are placed in
institutions according to the social Structure of their public, on account of production for the academic market-investments of time and enthusiasm
the fact that those classes or sections of a class which are richest in cultural for education on the part of the pupils, investments of time, effort, and
capital become more and more over-represented as there is an increase in the money on the part of families-to the profits which they may hope to obtain,
rarity and hence in the educational value and social yield of academic quali- over a more or less long term, on this market, as thought the price that they
fications. If such is the case, the reason is that, by virtue of the small real attribute to the sanctions of the academic market were in direct relation to the
autonomy of an educational system which is incapable of affirming the price attributed to them by the sanctions of this market and to the extent to
specificiry of its principles of evaluation and of its own mode of production whicll their economic and symbolic value depends on the value which they
of cultured dispositions, the relationship between the pedagogic actions car- are recognized to possess by the academic market. It follows from this that the
ried our by the dominated classes and by the dominant classes may be negative predispositions towards the school which result in the self-elimina-
understood by analogy with the relationship which is set up, in the economic tion of most children from the most culturally unfavoured classes and sections
field, between modes of production of diffetent epochs when for example, in of a class-such as self-depreciation, devaluation of the school and its sanc-
a dualist economy, the products of a traditional local craft industry are sub- tions, or a resigned attitude to failure and exclusion-must be understOod as
mitted to the laws of a market dominated by the chain-produced products of an anticipation, based upon the unconscious estimation of the objective prob-
a highly developed industty: the symbolic products of the educational work abilities of success possessed by the whole categoty, of the sanctions
of the different social classes, i.e. apart from knowledge and know-how, styles objectively reserved by the school for those classes or sections of a class de-
of being, of spealcing, or of doing, have less value on the educational market prived of cultural capiral. Owing to the fact that it is the product of the
and, more widely, on tlle symbolic marker (in matrimonial exchanges, for in- internalization ofvalue that the academic market (anticipating by its formally
270 PIERRE BOURDIEU CULTURAL AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION 271

neutral sanctions the sanctions of the symbolic or economic market) confers nature of the actual demarcation of its public, thereby imposing more subtly
upon the products of the family upbtinging of the different social classes, and the legitimacy of irs products and of its hierarchies.
of the value which, by their objective sanctions, the economic and symbolic By mal<ing social hierarchies and the reproduction of these hierarchies ap-
markets confer upon the products of educational action according to the so- pear to be based upon the hierarchy of "gifts," merits, or skills established
cial class from which they originate, the system of dispositions towards the and ratified by its sanctions, or, in a word, by converting social hierarchies
school, understood as a propensity [Q consent to the investments in time, ef- into academic hierarchies, the educational system fulfils a function of legiti-
foft, and money necessary to conserve or increase cultural capital, tends to mation which is more and more necessary to the perpetuation of the "social
redouble the symbolic and economic effects of the uneven distribution of cul- order" as the evolution of the power relationship between classes tends more
tural capital, all the while concealing it and, at the same time, legitimating it. completely to exclude the imposition of a hierarchy based upon the crude
The functionalist sociologists who announce the brave new world when, at and ruthless affirmation of the power relationship.
the conclusion of a longitudinal study of academic and social careers, they
discover that, as though by a pre-established harmony, individuals have
NOTES
hoped for nothing that they have not obtained and obtained nothing that
they have nor hoped for, are simply rhe least forgivable victims of the ideo- I Concerning this concept, see Bourdieu & Darbel (l969: 1O~10).
2 The extremely close relationship that may be observed between museum attendance and
logical effect which is produced by rhe school when it curs off from their
level of education, on the one hand, and early attendance at museums, on the other hand, fol-
social conditions of production all predispositions regarding the school such lows thc same logic.
as "expectations," "aspirations." "inclinations," or <'desire," and thus tends to
cover up the fact that objective conditions-and in the individual case, the REFERENCES
laws of the academic market-determine aspirations by determining the ex-
Bourdieu, P. & Darbd, A. 1969. L'Amollr de L'art: les musees dart mmpeens et leur public.
tent (Q which they can be satisfied. Paris: l.es Editions de Minuit.
This is only one of the mechanisms by which the academic market succeeds SOFRES. 1964. Le A-farche des cadres Stlperieurs [raT/eau. Paris.
in imposing upon those very persons who are its victims recognition of the ex- Syndicat national des edireurs (National Union of Publishers). 1960. La lecture er le livre
istence of its sanctions by concealing from them the objective truth of the en France Oanuary-Aprill960, survey carried our by the IFOP).
Syndicat national des edircurs. 1967. La clientele du Iivre Uuly 1967, survey carried our by
mechanisms and social motives that determine them. To the extent to which the IFOP).
it is enough for it to be allowed to run its own course, that is to say to give
free play to the laws of cultural transmission, in order to ensure the repro-
duction of the structure of distribution of cultural capital, the educational
system which merely records immediate or deferred self-elimination (in the
form of the self-relegation of children from the underprivileged classes ro rhe
lower educational streams) or encourages elimination simply by the effective-
ness of a non-existent pedagogical practice (able to conceal behind patently
obvious procedures of selection the action of mechanisms tending to ensure
in an almost automatic way-that is to say, in a way which conforms to the
laws governing all forms of cultural transmission-the exclusion of certain
categories of recipients of rhe pedagogic message), this educational system
masks more thoroughly than any other legitimation mechanism (imagine for
example what would be rhe social effects of an arbitrary limitation of the
public carried out in the name of ethnic or social criteria) the arbitrary