In The Great Gatsby, what does F. Scott Fitzgerald suggest about the state of the American Dream, the people who pursue it, and the impact of that pursuit through his depiction of Jay Gatsby and the people in Gatsby’s life?
Often those who share common aspects of cultural capital, such as the institutionalised cultural capital of belonging to the same university, tend to have a feeling of collective identity. This links in with the next aspect of this essay which focuses on Bourdieu’s view of social capital, as he believed that these networks would offer members of groups “collectively-owned capital” (Bourdieu, 1986, p. 249). It has been argued that individuals often surround themselves with those who they believe will “contribute to one’s overall socioeconomic standing” (Coskuner-Balli and Thompson, 2013, p. 20). The pair also express the Bourdieuan view that the decision process in building such capital is down to how exchangeable capital is for another form of capital. What this suggests is that individuals are likely to build ties with those who they feel are beneficial to them. For example, an individual may decide to befriend someone who has access to large amounts economic capital, thus making the social capital exchangeable for the potential gain in economic capital. Like other forms of capital covered by Bourdieu, social class again plays a role in influencing the amount of social capital possessed by different individuals. Bourdieu had emphasised how one’s individual social capital is determined by the size of the networks or by the collected volume of capital, possessed by those who which the individual is connected to. This leads to the argument of societal disparities and how those with considerately smaller sized networks, can still be considered to have greater wealth of social capital, if they were to have access to substantial amounts of economic or cultural capital. This can be depicted through Bourdieu’s idea of the “multiplier effect” coming into play when all the types of capital coincide with one another (Bourdieu, 1986, p. 249), leading to amplified gains. These ideas are further reiterated through the studies conducted by Siisiäinen (2000) who found that a reason behind why profit levels may vary between groups who may have similar levels of economic and cultural capital, is down the control they have over their social capital. Those with more power and influence, i.e. upper- and middle-class individuals can better utilise the capital made available to them, thus maximising their potential utility gain.>GET ANSWER