Middle-Class Mothers’ Moralities and ‘Concerted Cultivation': Class Others, Ambivalence and Excess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on a small qualitative study of mothers in the UK, this article argues that although concerted cultivation and intensive parenting are legitimated as ‘good’ parenting, these discourses have uneven effects on middle-class mothers’ moral identities. My contention is that by focusing too much on processes of capital accumulation and transmission, studies of parenting risk simplifying the contradictory effects of these discourses on middle-class parents’ subjectivities. I argue that accounting for how power is enacted on as well as by middle-class mothers provides some resources for an account of contemporary parenting that better reflects the complexity and diversity of middle-class mothers’ experiences, including their ambivalence about concerted cultivation and their fears about the excesses of the middle-class emphasis on education.
Translated title of the contributionMiddle-Class Mothers’ Moralities and ‘Concerted Cultivation': Class Others, Ambivalence and Excess
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSociology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher: British Sociological Association

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