My mother was a smart woman (and still is). Growing up, she would plan these excursions to culturally enriching places such as castles, museums and beaches, for my siblings and I. At the time, I found it all so tedious and tiresome, but now I've grown up I can see that she was enriching our subconscious intellect with cultural capital. Pierre Bourdieu (1973) defined it as non-financial assets that promote social mobility beyond economic means, and it is thought to be the reason why middle & upper class children achieve better than lower class counterparts in education, and later on in the professional world. Parents, by exposing their children to culturally enriching material, transmit the knowledge necessary for them to succeed in the big wide world.
Crop Top (in reverse) : Burju | Joni Jeans : Topshop | Bag : H&M
However, it isn't as abstract as one may think. Such capital takes the form of intellect, style of speech, and of course, physical appearance. Think back to the style of uniform a comprehensive pupil adorned in comparison to the private school kid; blazers, ties, shoes...all on a different grade. I speak all too frequently about gender inequality on BLEURGH, but our dear friend Kanye West was on to something in his infamous Kimmel interview, when he ranted about the world being discriminatory not based on one's race anymore, but one's class.
Roman Baths, Bath
Living and working in Nigeria, earlier this year, exposed me to this 'classism' theory. Unlike the UK, a dominant percentage of the Nigerian population are indegenes and thus, the main means of differentiating individuals is based on class or culture. However, delving into the latter, class still takes a prominent seat in categorising individuals. What Yeezy was raving on about, is the equivalent happening in the free world. It seems he is only now being exposed to the truth that old money runs business, and in order to identify oneself with that culture, you must be equipped with it prior. I came to realise this hard fact in law school where I was thrust in an alien environment, schooling with oxbridge graduates and dining with silver-spooned-snobs. Thankfully, my earlier years basking in art and roaming through castle mazes amply stocked me with enough cultural capital to tap into in order to confidently work the room and fluently converse with the airs and graces necessary. You see, surviving in such a world goes beyond dressing the part (which Yeezy so flawlessly achieves) but speaking and, more importantly, BEING the part.
Necklace : Dorothy Perkins | Watch : Guess | Sandals : Market (Enugu, Nigeria)
Unfortunately, cultural capital is not transmittible instantaneously, but must be acquired over time. This is why the lower class entrepreneurs who have made it big may initially struggle to network and mingle with the greats, as they aren't yet equipped with the cultural capital necessary to thrive in such environments. That is not to say all hope is lost. Look at the likes of Richard Branson or the Beckhams, for instance. Yeezy concludes that "the only luxury is time", and in time, once immersed in culturally enriching product and becoming linguistically fluent in it, one can be regarded as being akin to an upper-class counterpart. Why do you think Jigga is so infatuated with art and yachts? There is hope for Blue Ivy yet...
The world is rich with culture, so immerse yourself in it and enrich your capital to thrive instead of living a life so woefully deprived that you're constantly forced to strive. BLEURGH