Cultural Capital: A Concept Analysis

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Harnessing community assets may help public health nurses address health inequalities. Cultural factor is one such asset, which is assumed to be capital in a community. Cultural capital is a key concept for understanding the causes of public health issues. This paper provided an in-depth analysis of “cultural capital” as a concept.

Design and Sample:

Rodgers' evolutionary methodology was used for concept analysis. Forty-two studies published in English between 1998 and 2015 were retrieved from MEDLINE by searching for “cultural capital” in the title field.


Antecedents of cultural capital included “educational environment,” “belongingness in one's social group,” “existing health/social inequalities,” and “daily behavior.” Cultural capital's identified attributes were “social cultivation,” “reproductive rubric,” “practical knowledge,” and “autogenic ability.” Cultural capital's consequences were “improving productivity,” “reducing health/social inequality,” and “enhancing well-being.”


Cultural capital is defined as capital characterized by cultivation, rubric, knowledge, and ability. These aspects of cultural capital are typically autogenic, and accumulate and reproduce through lifelong community membership. Cultural capital reduces inequality and ultimately enhances the well-being of individuals and the community through bonding, bridging, and linking economic and social capital.

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