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Capital, Identities and Strategies for Success: explorations of the perspectives of Polish migrant mothers on their children's education in the UK

Lopez Rodriguez, M; (2016) Capital, Identities and Strategies for Success: explorations of the perspectives of Polish migrant mothers on their children's education in the UK. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Children’s education is one of the major concerns in family migration. The rapid increase in Polish migration to Britain since 2004 has brought many Polish children into British schools. They bring specific issues arising from a dissimilar educational system in Poland, from parental experiences back in Poland and consequently from different expectations. This thesis looks at emerging patterns in how Polish mothers see the relationship between their home and their children’s school culture and between their home and the ethos of the neighbourhoods where they live. By exposing the adaptation processes of Polish children in English schools from the perspective of their mothers, I am exploring the mothers’ identity transformations and strategies which they use to negotiate their children’s well-being and educational prospects with having to enter, sometimes uncomfortably, unfamiliar relationships and spaces. Via delving into these experiences it was possible to explore how various forms of capital affect Polish integration into the UK and how capital formation takes place in migratory circumstances. Based on 50 in-depth interviews carried out primarily in London, I have described processes, both social and emotional, accompanying the mothers’ journey to integration into the British society. This study also examines how the migrant mothers’ aspirations and tactics shape their children’s futures according to the mothers’ self-ascribed class identity and how families differ in capitalizing upon the host country’s meritocratic opportunities. It is tentatively suggested here that the capital, which Polish mothers carry (from Poland) and deploy, causes them to perceive the English educational system in a particular light and may help their children to successfully function in the schooling world in the UK.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Capital, Identities and Strategies for Success: explorations of the perspectives of Polish migrant mothers on their children's education in the UK
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: UK, transgression, transformation, strategies, schools, Polish, opportunities, mothers, migrants, meritocracy, London, liminality, integration, identity, habitus, education, social class, capital, children
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522132
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