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Cultural capital in an early modern elite school: The Noble Cadet Corps in St Petersburg, 1732-1762


  • Igor Fedyukin

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Salavat Gabdrakhmanov

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


This study employs a unique database covering 2,293 cadets who graduated from the Noble Land Cadet Corps in St Petersburg from 1732 – 1762 to investigate the role of cultural capital in early modern Russia. Our analysis suggests that within this sample cultural capital was negatively correlated with wealth, but positively with father’s rank within the state service. At the corps itself, wealth and social status of families did not directly affect the success of their sons. The only significant factor of success at this school (promotion to a particular rank at graduation) was the family’s access to “Western” education and cultural skills. The results indicate the state was able to create an institutional framework where the possession of new “imported” knowledge and social skills gave the holder a measurable advantage over his peers. This could be considered one of the mechanisms which contributed to the sustainability of the cultural and social regime created by Peter I.

Suggested Citation

  • Igor Fedyukin & Salavat Gabdrakhmanov, 2014. "Cultural capital in an early modern elite school: The Noble Cadet Corps in St Petersburg, 1732-1762," HSE Working papers WP BRP 59/HUM/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:59hum2014

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    cultural capital; nobility; education; early modern state; Peter I; Noble Cadet Corps; Russia;

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    • Z - Other Special Topics

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