A useful extension of Bourdieu’s conceptual framework?: emotional capital as a way of understanding mothers’ involvement in their children’s education?



This article utilises the concept of emotional capital in order to explore some of the class and gender processes embedded in parental involvement in education. Drawing on fieldwork from a study of mothers’ involvement in their children’s primary schooling it examines mothers’ emotional engagement with their children’s education. Understandings of mothers’ involvement in their children’s schooling are enhanced by including an analysis of the emotions, both positive and negative, that infuse mothers’ activities. The article tentatively concludes that the relationships between educational success, emotional capital and emotional wellbeing, and the extent of overlap and difference between them, could provide new ways of understanding how a range of disadvantages which cross class barriers are being manufactured in the contemporary educational marketplace.