The maternal gift: mothers' investment in their daughters' higher education

Cooper, Linda (2017) The maternal gift: mothers' investment in their daughters' higher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41 (3). pp. 328-339. ISSN 1469-9486

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This paper explores the basis of a qualitative, gendered PhD study involving mother and adult daughter pairings in southern England. Middle class mothers are providing exceptional advantage for their daughters beyond the compulsory education sector and into higher education. Findings indicate that this support is often in compensation of mothers’ own lack of access to higher education, rather than any shortfall in their daughters’ schooling experience. Bourdieusian concepts, including gift exchange, are used to explore the explicit provision of mothers’ capital beyond compulsory education that I term ‘the maternal gift’. There are clear classed distinctions that are empowering the middle classes to continue extending their gains over those from less advantaged backgrounds. Enhanced mothering is enabling their daughters to access higher education with prolonged support that is consequently creating social division for those less able to provide on such a high economic level. Subsequently the mothers’ gift is unwittingly producing socially divisive outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Higher education, mothers, capital, Bourdieu and class
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 13:05
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:59

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