Differences of Cultural Capital among Students in Transition to University. Some First Survey Evidences

TitleDifferences of Cultural Capital among Students in Transition to University. Some First Survey Evidences
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsM. Pitzalis, I. Sulis, M. Porcu
Number2008_05
Keywordscultural capital, item response models, school, students’ transition, university
Abstract

The role played by ‘Cultural Capital’ is crucial in shaping students’ decisions with respect to the school university transition. This work is based on an ad hoc survey carried out on a sample of students enrolled in 2006 in the University of Cagliari. The ‘cultural capital’ is a latent variable which students are supposed to possess at a greater or lesser degree. It has been here operationalized in four sub-components: (i) built-up by activities made by students themselves; (ii) built up by activities made by students’ parents; (iii) transmitted by students’ parents; (iv) built-up by formal education experiences. Each sub-component has been evaluated via students’ responses to a battery of items in a questionnaire. Latent Class Analysis has been adopted in order to provide non arbitrary scaling of some of the sub-components and to sort out mutually exclusive classes of students, characterized by a different intensity of the latent variable. Moreover, Item Response Models have been used to assess the calibration of the questionnaire as an instrument to measure the cultural capital of the targeted population.

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