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'My mum would be as pleased as punch if I actually went, but my dad seems a bit more particular about it': paternal involvement in young people's higher education choices

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Research on parental involvement in educational 'choice', as well as in educational processes more generally, has highlighted clear disparities between the close and active involvement of mothers and the more distant role of fathers. While this article does not question the broad patterns identified by such studies, it does suggest that, in some circumstances at least, fathers are both able and willing to become closely involved in decision-making processes and to take on much of the 'hard work' of educational choice. Drawing on a longitudinal study of young people's higher education decision-making processes, the article presents evidence of detailed paternal involvement. It then suggests that this apparent 'anomaly' can be explained by the mothers' and fathers' differential access to cultural and social capital; a lack of previous experience of active engagement with educational markets; and, in a few cases, young people's active resistance to the involvement of their mothers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Surrey UK

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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