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Article: Family-school relations as social capital: Chinese parents in the United States

TitleFamily-school relations as social capital: Chinese parents in the United States
Authors
KeywordsSocial capital
Parental involvement
Immigrant family
Chinese parents
Public schools
Issue Date2008
PublisherAcademic Development Institute. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.adi.org/journal/
Citation
The School Community Journal (Online), 2008, v. 18 n. 2, p. 119-146 How to Cite?
AbstractGuided by both Coleman and Bourdieu’s theories on social capital, I interviewed Chinese immigrant parents to understand their experiences in weaving social connections with the school and teachers to benefit their children’s education. This study confirms Coleman’s argument that human capital in parents will not transfer to the children automatically. The intergenerational transmission process is interrupted because the parents, although well educated, are not familiar with norms and practices in the new education system. In sharp contrast to parents in China, who aggressively seek and create opportunities to connect with teachers, immigrant Chinese parents adopt a passive role in initiating contacts with school and teachers. Factors contributing to the lower parental commitment to networking include time, jobs, language, and cultural barriers. However, the deeper reason lies in the change of people’s mindsets when they experience a dramatic shift in the surrounding social structures. The informant parents view American schools as egalitarian and competition free and, therefore, attribute to parent-teacher relationships less instrumental value in their children’s success than they would in China. American education professionals would be surprised by these parents’ naivety and idealization of American schools. Nonetheless, it would be simplistic to conclude that the lack of parental involvement is due to external restrictions or immigrant parents’ misunderstanding of the current U.S. society.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/133036
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWang, D-
dc.date.accessioned2011-04-19T02:40:33Z-
dc.date.available2011-04-19T02:40:33Z-
dc.date.issued2008-
dc.identifier.citationThe School Community Journal (Online), 2008, v. 18 n. 2, p. 119-146-
dc.identifier.issn1059-308X-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/133036-
dc.description.abstractGuided by both Coleman and Bourdieu’s theories on social capital, I interviewed Chinese immigrant parents to understand their experiences in weaving social connections with the school and teachers to benefit their children’s education. This study confirms Coleman’s argument that human capital in parents will not transfer to the children automatically. The intergenerational transmission process is interrupted because the parents, although well educated, are not familiar with norms and practices in the new education system. In sharp contrast to parents in China, who aggressively seek and create opportunities to connect with teachers, immigrant Chinese parents adopt a passive role in initiating contacts with school and teachers. Factors contributing to the lower parental commitment to networking include time, jobs, language, and cultural barriers. However, the deeper reason lies in the change of people’s mindsets when they experience a dramatic shift in the surrounding social structures. The informant parents view American schools as egalitarian and competition free and, therefore, attribute to parent-teacher relationships less instrumental value in their children’s success than they would in China. American education professionals would be surprised by these parents’ naivety and idealization of American schools. Nonetheless, it would be simplistic to conclude that the lack of parental involvement is due to external restrictions or immigrant parents’ misunderstanding of the current U.S. society.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherAcademic Development Institute. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.adi.org/journal/-
dc.relation.ispartofThe School Community Journal (Online)-
dc.subjectSocial capital-
dc.subjectParental involvement-
dc.subjectImmigrant family-
dc.subjectChinese parents-
dc.subjectPublic schools-
dc.titleFamily-school relations as social capital: Chinese parents in the United Statesen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=1059-308X&volume=18&issue=2&spage=119&epage=146&date=2008&atitle=Family-school+relations+as+social+capital:+Chinese+parents+in+the+United+States-
dc.identifier.emailWang, D: danwang@hku.hk, dansyr@gmail.com-
dc.identifier.hkuros173772-
dc.identifier.volume18-
dc.identifier.issue2-
dc.identifier.spage119-
dc.identifier.epage146-

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