Disengaging Parents in Urban Schooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Drawing on a 5-year qualitative study, this article explores opportunities for and barriers to parental engagement in a small, urban school district. Two competing narratives of parental involvement emerge. In one, parents describe their reluctance to engage formally in a district that continually fails their children. In the other, stakeholders argue that schools will not improve until parents become involved. Data demonstrate that many parents actively support their children’s education, exhibiting various forms of what Yosso terms “community cultural wealth.” This article concludes by questioning the claim that parents are not involved, utilizing Bourdieu’s theories of symbolic capital and symbolic violence to explain the prevalence of this discourse of disengagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-702
Number of pages29
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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