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What is Symbolic Capital

Autoethnographic Perspectives on Multilingual Life Stories
A term used by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to refer to the power of language in providing its speakers with resources for recognition, acceptance, and prestige in various social settings.
Published in Chapter:
A Critical Autoethnography of a Multilingual English Composition Instructor
Bashak Tarkan-Blanco (Florida Memorial University, USA)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3738-4.ch017
This chapter details the author's learning English as a foreign language in her home country, Turkey, followed by a critical incident that took place in a freshman composition class in the United States. The author reflects on the ways in which that pivotal experience changed her perception of self, as well as how she coped with similar occurrences throughout her teaching career. Combining World Englishes with mutuality, the author makes recommendations for dealing with negative student comments proactively.
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Black African Entrepreneurship in the UK
Refers to the resources available to a group or individual on the basis of honor, prestige, or recognition, and serves as the value that one holds within a culture.
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The Labor Politics of Scratching an Itch
The amount of prestige a person holds acting within a certain set of social structures. The use of the word capital implies its location as part of a system of exchange.
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Applying Bourdieu to eBay's Success and Socio-Technical Design
Symbolic capital is said to refer to a: “degree of accumulated prestige, celebrity or honour and is founded on a dialectic of knowledge (connaissance) and recognition (reconnaissance)” (Bourdieu, 1993, p. 7). In Distinction (1984), Bourdieu refers to symbolic capital as: “the acquisition of a reputation for competence and an image of respectability and honourability…” (1984, p. 291). Bird and Smith (2005) note the convergence between Bourdieu and consumption theorist Veblen (1994) in that a seeming lack of interest in building economic capital in the form of conspicuous consumption or generosity attain the highest profits in terms of symbolic capital. There is a cost to building symbolic capital in terms of time, wealth or energy.
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