Talk of Greece’s financial crisis has been prevalent in the news lately, as they reach £172bn in debt.
In response, a group of Historians, Classicists, and members of the general public have signed an open letter to the Telegraph, urging readers “to remember the very great cultural debt that we owe to Greece”. Notable signateurs include historian Melvyn Bragg, poet Simon Armitage and novelist Victoria Hislop.
While the letter does not argue specifically for financial recompense, there is a “profound [hope] that the Greek people will receive robust support” from Europe, specifically Britain. PPE applicants should consider the argument for reparations from a philosophical and political perspective – the most discussed and perhaps divisive case in history to begin exploring is the argument for slavery reparations, whereby some descendents of slaves argue for compensation for the deprivation of rights and humanity their ancestors suffered.
This brings up a wider discussion as to whether cultural capital is the same as economic capital. Can Greece’s historical cultural capital be justified to earn them economic capital in the present? While many Economists would argue “no”, HSPS applicants interested in sociology should read Bourdieu’s discussion of different forms of capital, and for Bourdieu, there is frequently a correlation between cultural and economic capital. A parent buying foreign language lessons for their child, for example, means that their economic capital allows them to ‘buy’ cultural capital indirectly, as their child will then be able to get a better job and travel to more countries and so on.
Finally, in light of Bourdieu’s theory that different forms of capital are proportional, Archaeology and Anthropology applicants should think about whether it is fair for countries to acquire cultural heritage through economic exchange – particularly given that Greece, once the pinnacle of cultural capital, now lacks the economic capital to even own its own history.
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >
- Pooling: Fast Facts You may have heard people talk about “pooling”, or maybe... Read more >
- Oxbridge Open Day Guide With open days drawing ever nearer, applicants and parents alike... Read more >
- College selection checklist Your college at Oxford or Cambridge is where you will... Read more >
- Download a Philosophy Personal Statement “Philosophy of the mind is my particular interest, especially the... Read more >
- What’s the Most Important Part of Your Application? An application to Oxford or Cambridge involves various different elements,... Read more >
- Is Oxbridge right for me? Have you asked yourself why you are planning to apply... Read more >
- Funding Your Oxbridge Degree Many people are under the impression that it is more... Read more >
- Choosing The Right A-Levels Picking subjects at A level can be a difficult decision... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Download a Physics Personal Statement “Over the past few years I have become gradually more... Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Biological Sciences & Medicine: answer like a pro What kind of questions can you expect in an Oxford... Read more >
- Modern Languages and Linguistics Reading Lists Applying for languages? It’s always difficult to narrow down what... Read more >
- April’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Download an Economics Personal Statement “I have a keen interest in current affairs but have... Read more >
- Bursaries Both Oxford and Cambridge are committed to the principle that... Read more >
- Using stats: dos and don’ts When making an application, you must be careful about using... Read more >
- Personal Statement Workbook Download A personal statement is a unique document which is all... Read more >
- What’s so special about Oxford and Cambridge? Both Oxford and Cambridge have fearsome reputations. The Oxbridge system... Read more >
- Oxford college snapshots With 35 colleges and Permanent Private Halls, choosing how to... Read more >
- PPE: answer like a pro If you’re applying for Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) or... Read more >
- Choosing a course From Arch and Anth to Veterinary Medicine, the range of... Read more >