Effects of Cultural Capital on Educational Attainment in Turkey

Cansiz M., Ozbaylanli B., Colakoglu M. H.



This study investigates the role of cultural capital on educational attainment of secondary school students in Turkey. In this context, the strong role suggested and hypothesized by Bourdieu (1986) between cultural capital and educational attainment is tested with a regression model that utilizes the data provided by the Ministry of Education. Thus, the levels of effects of different types of cultural capital and their various combinations on educational attainment are demonstrated. Differentiation between private schools and public schools is also analyzed. Deprivations of cultural capital are found to negatively affect educational attainment to an important degree, and the levels of mentioned effects are detailed. Private schools are observed to perform significantly better in alleviating these negative effects for the students deprived of cultural capital, as well as executing an additional attainment boost to the students who possess the highest levels of cultural capital. In this regard, a two-pronged approach regarding incentives related to private schools is proposed; which on the one hand suggests to prioritize on the students who are deprived mostly of cultural capital in order to improve the levels of social inclusion in education and on the other hand advise to specialize students with the highest levels of cultural capital to nurture and produce more star scientists and professionals. Several further studies based on these findings are suggested, and especially a similar study using university entrance examinations results will potentially produce quite insightful findings.