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ERIC Number: EJ1048527
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 71
ISSN: ISSN-0826-4805
Soccer Moms UNITE! Affluent Families and the Utilization of Grassroots Strategies for Education Reform
Evans, Michael Pier
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v45 n1-2 p85-114 May 2014
Research exploring the impact of social class on family and school relationships indicates that families with high levels of socioeconomic status (SES) possess resources that enable participation in traditionally accepted forms of family engagement (Henderson and Mapp, in, A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement, 2002; Lareau, in, Home advantage: Social class and parental involvement in elementary education, 2000; in, Unequal childhoods: The importance of social class in family life, 2003). Despite these capital based advantages there is a small, but growing number of affluent families seeking alternative forms of family engagement through participation in community based organizations (CBOs) (Winton and Evans in "Canadian J Edu Admin Policy" 156:1-30, 2014; Winton in "Canadian J Edu Admin Policy" 114:69-92, 2010). This article explores the experiences of affluent parents in one community-based organization in order to better understand their motivations and the benefits of participation. This study utilized a qualitative case study approach to examine the research questions. Drawing upon data from a larger multi-group case study (Evans in "J Family Diver Edu" 1:21-39, 2014), this article focuses on the experiences of families who participated in the Lexington, Massachusetts chapter of Stand for Children (SFC). Data sources include interviews with SFC members, observations of meetings and public events, and organization documents. The findings indicate that while affluent participants in SFC were actively involved in traditional forms of family engagement, their perceptions of individual power and efficacy were limited to the classroom or school level. Efforts to impact education beyond the micro-level required the acquisition of new skill sets and the expansion of social networks, which was facilitated through participation in SFC. Members reported that participation in SFC resulted in both the acquisition of technical advocacy skills and increased feelings of empowerment. This study challenges commonly held assumptions regarding the power of affluent families, discusses the appeal of CBOs to these same families, and raises the possibility of cross-class coalition building as a means to influence district, state, and national level reforms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts