Academic instrumental knowledge: Deconstructing cultural capital theory for strategic intervention approaches

Robert Rueda, Lilia D. Monzó, Angela Arzubiaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This paper explores the issue of social and cultural capital with immigrant students and their families. Drawing on a cultural-historical theoretical framework, the article focuses on that subset related to schooling that we term academic instrumental knowledge (AIK). This article draws from two related projects involving ethnographic work at home and at school with Latino immigrant families to examine the nature of specific examples of how this knowledge is constructed and how it operates in the daily lives of these families. The article argues all families possess cultural and social capital, but it does not always map easily on to that valued by schools. Moreover, that while such knowledge appears to be critical to school success, intervention based on simple transmission of important school-related facts and knowledge, without reference to the specific sociocultural contexts in which these families live, will not be effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Issues in Education
Publication statusPublished - Sep 16 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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