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Title: “Any advice is welcome isn’t it?”: neoliberal parenting education, local mothering cultures and social class
Authors: Holloway, Sarah L.
Pimlott-Wilson, Helena
Keywords: Geography
Parenting classes
Good mothering
Local parenting cultures
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Sarah L Holloway and Helena Pimlott-Wilson. Published by Pion
Citation: HOLLOWAY, S.L. and PIMLOTT-WILSON, H., 2014. “Any advice is welcome isn’t it?”: neoliberal parenting education, local mothering cultures and social class. Environment and Planning A, 46 (1), pp. 94 - 111.
Abstract: Geographers have shown considerable interest in neoliberal educational restructuring as states across the Global North have sought to respond to the challenges of economic change through the development of a skilled population. Existing research provides a wide-ranging analysis of the ways neoliberal states seek to shape individual citizens through their own learning. Greater attention now needs to be paid to new and developing ways in which they seek to influence the context in which future citizen-workers are raised. This paper focuses on parenting education which is growing across OECD countries. Social science critiques suggest that parenting classes are part of a professionalisation of parenting which has sought to impose middle-class mores on working-class parents, at the same time as parenting has been unwarrantedly cast as a context-free skill. This paper uses quantitative and qualitative data to explore the attitudes of parents of different social class positions to parenting education, tracing the ways these emerge in and through particular sociospatial contexts. The paper reveals the importance of local class-based cultures of mothering in influencing both the attitudes of individual mothers to parenting classes, and the success of neoliberal policy implementation in diverse socioeconomic neighbourhoods. In conclusion the paper emphasises: the importance of geographical research into newly emerging forms of education; the value of engaging with the subjects of neoliberal education policy because their attitudes influence its implementation in practice; and the need to set educational provision in its wider geographical context, as this can shape the success of policies delivered in and through educational institutions.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) [grant number RES-000-22-4095]. It was written up during Professor Sarah Holloway's British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1068/a45457
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14425
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a45457
ISSN: 0308-518X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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