A review of existing research on funds of knowledge and the forms of capital

Judy Marquez Kiyama, Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Molly Sarubbi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Researchers have used the theory of capital (Marx, 1933; Lin, 1999), specifically social and cultural capital, to study variation in educational outcomes and to examine educational inequities. While proliferation in research across different fields that use these theories is enormous, unfortunately, research on the forms of capital is, predominately, “theoretically unreflective” (Sandefur & Laumann, 1998, p. 490). In recent years, scholars have started to utilize alternative conceptual frameworks, such as funds of knowledge, to challenge deficit models and to advance pedagogical practices. Unlike social and cultural capital, funds of knowledge is a relatively new concept used mostly to document the wealth of resources available in marginalized students’ (and their families’ and communities’) lives. While funds of knowledge may not have the same longevity, and perhaps status, in educational research as the forms of capital, the application of each of these concepts has, for the most part, resulted in a lack of clarity and misinterpretation of the potential benefits of using such frameworks for advancing our understanding of issues of equity, power, and pedagogical change in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFunds of Knowledge in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationHonoring Students' Cultural Experiences and Resources as Strengths
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315447315
ISBN (Print)9781138213838
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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