Research on schooling decisions in market-oriented educational systems has explored how school choice proves to be a powerful mechanism for the reproduction of native middle-class advantage. The literature has widely pointed out that middle-class parents, thanks to their specific forms of economic, cultural and social capital, are more capable than lower-class ones to evaluate different alternatives and to succeed in accessing their selected options. For middle-class parents, school choice also means deploying strategies of avoidance and distinction from other less advantaged social groups, in terms of ethnicity and/or class. Just recently research on school choice have expanded its focus to encompass also the educational decisions of migrant and ethnic minority parents, showing how their chance to make the “right choice” could be jeopardized by the lack of country-specific cultural capital, fundamental for understanding the functioning of local educational systems, as well as by the economic forms of disadvantage which often characterizes these groups. However, research has just partially explored the different ways in which class is ethnicized and ethnicity is classed: while research on middle-class school choice has generally overlooked (and taken for granted) parents’ whiteness, research on foreign parents has, on the contrary, mainly focused on non-white, extra-EU and economically disadvantaged ethnic minorities. This article aims to partially bridge this gap, exploring intra-EU, Italian high-skilled migrants’ schooling decisions and preferences. It draws on 28 semi-structured qualitative interviews to Italian mothers living in London, exploring their views and dilemmas concerning their children’s schooling choices since the very beginning of their educational paths. Looking at the different ways in which mothers discuss school choices’ issues, according to their values, cultural and material resources, we will show how they differently interpret, face and negotiate the functioning of the British educational system, very different from the one they were socialized to. While their efforts to make the “right choice” closely evoke the strategies, contradictions and dilemmas experienced by the native middle-classes, their being Italian middle-class parents in London also opens up specific grounds for maneuvering and re-negotiating their inherited, culturally-grounded ideas of school and childhood in a foreign context.
|Titolo:||Caught in the middle : Italian middle class mothers facing school choice dilemmas in London|
CAVALLO, CRISTINA (Primo)
BONIZZONI, PAOLA (Ultimo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||13-set-2016|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale|
|Citazione:||Caught in the middle : Italian middle class mothers facing school choice dilemmas in London / C. Cavallo, P. Bonizzoni. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Education and Empowerment: Theories and Practices, Research Network RN 10 Sociology of Education, European Sociological Association (ESA) tenutosi a Milano nel 2016.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|