How Familial Cultural Capital Affects High-School Students’ Future Expectations: Two Cases of Anatolian High Schools in IstanbulZeynel Hakan Aşer
This study focuses on how Anatolian high school students anticipate their future considering upcoming university placement examinations and relatedly prospective career paths. Theoretical framework rests on Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital and Annette Lareau & Elliot B. Weininger’s (2003) elaboration of the concept as familial cultural capital. Lareau & Weininger expand/relocate the concept of cultural capital, considering parental involvement in children’s flourishing of new skills, managing time effectively, and communicative skills such as confronting authority figures with a more entitled and self-directed way at educational settings. Lareau & Weininger attribute these tendencies to advantaged middle-class families. In another study, Annette Lareau (2003) also coins the term concerted cultivation. The term exemplifies upper-middle class families’ parenting style, their close interest in their children’s curricular and extra-curricular activities. Considering differences between middle-class and working-class home environments, Lareau discusses working-class families’ distinct parental world from their kids and middle-class families’ negotiation-based interaction between family members, which encourages children’s entitlement and self-direction at other interactions. In this study, I suggest considering another aspect of parental involvement in children’s education which represents a normative framing about future expectations amongst students coming from lower social class backgrounds. Additionally, I discuss how, despite their social class background, mothers play an influential role in children’s education confirming traditional reproduction roles. I present excerpts from a qualitative study, consisting of interviews and field notes from short ethnographic observations. I discuss a crucial difference between students coming from advantageous families and those that come from lower class families, regarding in-depth information about prospective careers, their extracurricular skills, and disadvantaged students’ adoption of guaranteed career paths.