This paper investigates how the families' cultural milieu (the inherited cultural capital) has influenced the status attainment process in the Hungarian society in the past decades. Two alternative hypotheses are tested. On the one hand cultural reproduction theory (based on P. Bourdieu's hypothesis) suggests that cultural factors play a significant role in the reproduction of the social inequalities. On the other hand, however Paul DiMaggio and others assume that cultural capital is more a means of social mobility and can play a compensatory role, helping lower status children achieve above their parents. So far in Hungary the former function of cultural capital has been believed to be dominant. Our analyses show, however, that cultural reproduction and cultural mobility have both been present in this society. In fact, we find that until the 1960s children with the least educated parents could benefit the most from the family's cultural investments. Since then the tow processes have been of similar importance. Cultural assets have both helped the upper classes to maintain their existing positions but they have also provided a possible source for those occupying lower positions in the social hierarchy to support thir children getting forward.