Funds of knowledge for the poor and forms of capital for the rich? A capital approach to examining funds of knowledge

Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Judy Marquez Kiyama, Michael Gravitt, Luis C. Moll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations


Educational researchers have assumed that the concept of funds of knowledge is related to specific forms of capital. However, scholars have not examined if and how these theoretical frameworks can complement each other when attempting to understand educational opportunity for under-represented students. In this article, we argue that a funds of knowledge approach should also be studied from a capital perspective. We claim that bridging funds of knowledge and capital has the potential to advance theory and to yield new insights and understandings of students’ educational opportunities and experiences. Finally, we provide a discussion of key processes — (mis)recognition, transmission, conversion, and activation/mobilization — to which educational researchers need to pay closer attention when attempting to understand the attainment of goals in under-represented students’ lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-184
Number of pages22
JournalTheory and Research in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2011



  • cultural capital
  • funds of knowledge
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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