Preparing for Power

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Preparing for Power

Attending Sophia University is a path to my future goal. As I dream to become an entrepreneur, I choose to study at Sophia University, where I believe it to be an elite school. Sophia University is one of the well-known schools in entire Japan and I know many high school students hope to get into my university. Elite schools are providing sophisticated education and leading students to better jobs and better future. Not only the results tells that many students are offered good jobs but also the diploma of Sophia University is highly evaluated because graduates build trust from achieving honor in many ways attracts people. In terms of cultural capital, what effects and influences do all students get through the undergraduate program at Sophia University? Have cultural capital been transmitted to me throughout my university life?

According to Cookson and Persell in Preparing for Power, cultural capital is the training period of becoming elite; acquire highly specialized manner and accumulating skills and status symbols that can be used in later life. ‘Cultural capital’ is defined as ‘a term refers to the symbol, ideas, tastes, and preferences that can be strategically used as resources in social action’. Cultural capital was seen as a ‘habitus’ an embodied socialized tendency or disposition to act, think or feel in a particular way. Middle-class parents are able to endow their children with cultural competences that will give them a greater likelihood of success at school and at university. Since working-class children do not have an access to such cultural resources, they are less successful in educational system and thus, education reproduces class inequalities. This creates the gap between middle-class and working -class that eventually creates the gap in next generation. In elite prep schools, they socialize their students to the ways of prestige, privilege, and power. By focusing on elite prep schools’ educational system and students’ life style, Cookston and Persell describe cultural capital consists of curriculum, extracurricular activities, and peer socialization with the examples such as dress manner, sports, music, computers and etc. Cultural capital is transmitted through school curriculum and various kinds of opportunities provided to students by school. In the case of Sophia University, cultural capital is mainly transmitted by all courses offered, club activities, volunteers and seminaries. Throughout your years of university education, students are influenced by school color, beliefs, thoughts and values and thus, creating their own identity, tastes and preferences.

According to Cookson and Persell, the difference between a public school and private school is similar to the difference between a factory and a club. In the case of high school education, their argument may applies to high schools in Japan; however, when it comes to University, either going to a public university or a private university does not make such difference in terms of education itself. Every university differentiate themselves from others with their own tradition, beliefs, well equipped laboratory, specialized field of study, and famous professors. For example, Sophia University is a Christian university and known for its linguistic courses while Keio University is not religious related, but known for their business course curriculum and medical courses. Applicants choose which school to apply based on characteristic of school, what they want to pursue in study field as if people decide which private school or boarding school to attend, not whether to go to a public school or a private school.

At Sophia University, cultural capital is mainly transmitted by courses and curriculum offered by school. Compare to high school education, university is more liberal and self-responsible. Deciding what classes to take and how many credits to take is up to individuals as long as they are satisfying the school...
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