Everything in our worldly existence can classified within the
sociological realm. Everything we believe, perceive, create, collect, sell, and
barter can be classified as one of three forms of cultural capital states (i.e.
Embodied, Objectified, and Institutionalized) according to the theoretical
interpretation proposed by Bourdieu. These cultural capital states impregnate
our existence and burrow themselves deeply into the facets of our daily
interactions, thoughts, and lives in general.
Reflecting on the knowledge gained from past social theorists’ analyses
of society (i.e. Marx and Baudrillard) it is once again clear to see we as a set
of common people are at fault for this ‘reality’ we live and breathe every day.
Marx pointed out in his sociological career’s work that we just as responsible
for our fates because we have undertaken great labor oppression while fueling
the sustainability of a corrupt society’s hierarchy that closely mirrors a
dictatorship of our existence. And we continue to fuel it by conforming
restrictions and by transformed everything into becoming a commodity even human
Similar to Marx, the work of Baudrillard can also be relatively applied to our
discussion of cultural capital because Baudrillard’s work also focused on human
obsession/desire to have categorization and certainties to evoke a sense of
commonality, order, and meaning amongst large groups of unique individuals. In
his work, Baudrillard theorized that to do so, certain individuals became
leaders of people and subtly imposed their own ideas of the world onto others.
And as a result emerges the manifestation of ‘realities’ that are built upon a
variety of simulations and simulacra. Merely sets of ruses that we are brought
up on and unquestionable abide because they’re the followings of our peers.
Following with the same consistency it can be plausibly conceptualized
that we are the collaborators, contributors, and schemers behind the cultural
capital mechanized-monster Bourdieu interpreted to be the product of our own
flawed design. The founders of our culture sealed the fates of their descents
with this system of capital states, which can be looked up as another ventured
quest in mankind’s infatuated pursuits to achieve monumental grounds in our
grand strive to explain, understand, classify all tangible and intangible
entities and creations our existence hurls our direction during our time under
this planetary dome.
The forms of cultural capital (i.e. Embodied, Objectified, and
Institutionalized) are introduced into our lives at a very early age in our
human development through many intricate social exchanges. We gain the
‘knowledge’ of the world through our education system and life lessons and
beliefs taught by our elders and other peers then carry it with us. That
capital embodiment attacks our original individualism and soon causes us to
become parasitic leeches toward the norms of common people within our society.
Through objectified, institutionalized, and social forms of capital our
focus becomes even more tampered and deceived. Our life goals and desires are
diverted toward a greater drive for the pursuit of happiness and accomplishment
through selfish materialism, economic and social statuses, and the endless
worldly greeds masked by the media as necessities, all imposed by the American
zeitgeist. And this is process is all done in the ‘dog eat dog’ frame of mind,
where success is no longer based solely on what you know, but who you know and
exploiting those bonds until they’re exhausted so you move on to the social host
to cling on to for advancement or general cultural survival.
At the end of the day, all of these creeds we’re taught to believe, all the material
possessions, money and greed our society causes us to value or worship are all
the products of our arrogant and conceited human ways. Whether conversion of
capitals can be achieved should not be the primary focus in determining factor
of a person’s success in the world or value since value is socially constructed
concept. Unfortunately in our society, societal structure remains due to the
hierarchy dictating the conditions of value based on capitals that can be
channeled toward economic or social gains.