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Parental choice and the rural primary school: lifestyle, locality and loyalty

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Rural Studies
Issue number3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)241-249
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper discusses the geography of parental choice in a rural locale and shows how a group of parents negotiated their way through the process of primary school choice. Using ethnographic data collected through interviews and observations with parents and staff from three rural primary schools in England, the research utilises Bourdieu’s concepts of capital, habitus and field to show how the resources and values the parents held affected the school choices they made. The paper demonstrates that the longer-term resident local parents were influenced not only by their cultural capital but also by familial ties and an emotional commitment to the rural locale and these parents were therefore more inclined to support their local school. In contrast, the more recent newcomer parents used their cultural capital and spatial power to shop around to find what they believed to be the ‘right’ school. The paper argues that the newcomer parents had less allegiance to place and hence to the symbolic position that the school holds within the rural community within which they lived.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Rural Studies 26 (3), 2010, © ELSEVIER.