Privileging the Individual through the Collective Commitment: Parental Strategies and Dynamics of Involvement in a Middle-class School

González-Patiño, J. and Poveda, D. (2015). Privileging the individual through the collective commitment: Parental strategies and dynamics of involvement in a middle-class school. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 5 (3), 316-336

This paper attempts to contribute to the growing literature focusing on middle-class parents, their educational strategies and their role in the construction of socio-educational advantages/inequalities especially in the context of Spanish educational discourses. It contributes to the de-naturalization of middle-class parental ideologies and the educational policies that are presented as ideologically neutral but are closely aligned to this middle-class ideological complex.

The findings come from an action research project in a public (state-run) primary school in Spain, attempting to track and document the “natural history” of the various strategies of “school involvement” displayed by parents,which range from collaboration with classroom, school and teacher-initiated activities, to surveillance of school policies and programming to open confrontation with the school administration and among parents.

This case study uncovers a complex scenario in a relatively homogeneous (in socio-economic and ethnic terms) site where parental dynamics of school involvement are varied and shaped by a complex and heterogeneous set of interests and beliefs that seriously invite to reconsider “school-family continuity” in middle-class settings. Additionally, we would also like to use the case study to raise some ethical and methodological questions in relation to the complexities of holding multiple identities and roles in the field. Link to article


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