This paper is an attempt to establish the place occupied by the concept of cultural capital proposed Pierre Bourdieu in American sociology. This category enjoys enduring popularity and is even considered to be one of the main achievements in cultural sociology as a research tool and a subject of analysis. At the same time cultural capital is an operationalised concept which is frequently used in a way which is completely detached from its original sense and meaning. The paper below presents Bourdieu's main assumptions concerning the relations between culture and society and the role played by cultural capital within his theory. In addition, it explains a series of theoretical and empirical doubts concerning the concept of cultural capital as formulated on the basis of American experience. Of particular interest is the question of the nature of cultural resources which can be called capital, the problem of their social distribution, the rewards which they bring and, thus, their usefulness as a marker and guarantee of social position. The paper also raises the issue of the definition and effectiveness of the cultural signs of social status in the broader context of the conditions which define late modern society.
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