Cultural Capital In Berkeley, CA

The city of Berkeley, California is home to people of various backgrounds and cultures. Yet it is not as diverse as some of it’s neighboring cities in the Bay Area. This diversity of the region greatly influences the world views of the community, which heavily supports education and the arts. One can see the community’s perspective on the importance of quality education and funding the arts in the community-based organizations found in Berkeley, CA. The Berkeley Historical Society, Berkeley Art Center, and the Multicultural Institute are all great examples of the institutions that show how the community values history, the arts, and the diversity of its members.


According to American Factfinder 2010 Census and the 2014 American Community Survey, the percentage of the total population that is made up by blacks decreased by approximately 1.5%. Although this may not seem like a substantial change, when blacks only composed 10% of Berkeley’s total population in 2010 the shift to only 8.5% in 2014 is a lot. It is interesting to see this development of the decreasing African American population in Berkeley’s community in juxtaposition to the city’s support for the arts, preservation, and education, as well as the assistance economically disadvantaged adults of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.


The Multicultural Institute of Berkeley is an example of an institutionalized state (from Bourdieu’s Theory of Cultural Capital) because the organization is a taught form of culture that assists community members that lack formal education and that otherwise would struggle with learning to become part of society. This organization assists men and women with job placement, day laborers organizing, health screenings and treatments, as well as educational and training opportunities. It speaks to how the community values helping its disenfranchised members.




American Factfinder. (2014). Retrieved from March 4, 2016, from


Berkeley Historical Society – About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2016, from


What We Do. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2016, from