Parent participation in disadvantaged schools: moving beyond attributions of blame

Article


Mills, Carmen and Gale, Trevor. 2004. "Parent participation in disadvantaged schools: moving beyond attributions of blame." Australian Journal of Education. 48 (3), pp. 268-281.
Article Title

Parent participation in disadvantaged schools: moving beyond attributions of blame

ERA Journal ID20013
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMills, Carmen (Author) and Gale, Trevor (Author)
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Education
Journal Citation48 (3), pp. 268-281
Number of Pages14
Year2004
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN0004-9441
2050-5884
Web Address (URL)http://www.acer.edu.au/aje/
Abstract

While facilitating community participation in disadvantaged schools can be difficult, this article argues that given the structuring of schooling in contemporary western democracies, it is even more difficult than we might imagine. Drawing on Bourdieu, we attempt to elucidate the complex relations between schooling and socio-cultural contexts which can lead to inequalities of opportunity for parent participation in schooling and work to maintain disadvantage for marginalised students. Recognitive justice, with its positive regard for social difference and centrality of social democratic processes, offers us another way of advancing this discussion beyond simplistic attributions of blame. In particular, a politics of recognition is concerned with opening up the processes of schooling to groups who often have been excluded and for their views to be seriously engaged within decision-making processes. This article gives voice to such views, utilising interview data from a small Australian secondary school located in a regional community with high welfare dependency and a large indigenous population. We conclude that to increase parent participation in disadvantaged schools, what is needed is a transformation of the field ‘to establish alternative goals and … completely … redefine the game and the moves which permit one to win it’ (Bourdieu, 1988, p. 172).

Keywordsinequality in schooling; social disadvantage; educational disadvantage
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390203. Sociology of education
520102. Educational psychology
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsMonash University
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