Media Mashups – Cultural Capital

So, I’ve started to give Media Proteges a new glossary term each week for which they are create a media mash up. The first term assigned is Cultural Capital. The standard definition according to Wikipedia:

“Cultural capital is the knowledge, experience and or connections one has had through the course of their life that enables them to succeed more so than someone from a less experienced background.”

This is a good starting point but for the purpose of Media Xperiments, there are some additional inferences we draw from this term. When considering the landscape of modern media along with the drastic demographic changes in the audiences that consume it, cultural capital has been horribly under-utilized. In other words, if America is more diverse than ever and yet those who make media are less diverse than ever, how can media companies expect to succeed when they have very little authentic experience connecting with audiences they serve?

By empowering diverse populations of students and allowing them to gain knowledge and experience, media companies will be able to remain relevant and ultimately profitable. The alternative is to continue becoming less relevant and consequently less profitable. There is a true exchange of value between established media professionals and the students with which they interact. I learn every day from the students involved in Media Xperiments. Diverse students need and want experience while we media professionals want and need relevance.

The hypothesis of Media Xperiments is that cultural capital is a key ingredient missing from the media landscape. Our goal is to expose large numbers of students to media careers, identify those who demonstrate aptitude and give them the resources they need to flourish. We believe that these students will be media innovators of tomorrow because they are acquiring the cultural capital to do so.

Next week’s glossary term:


(one of my favorites)

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