The Racial Politics of Cultural Capital: Perspectives from Black Middle-Class Pupils and Parents in a London Comprehensive

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Abstract

Drawing on 13 in-depth interviews and three focus-group interviews with Black middle-class pupils, along with 14 in-depth interviews with their parents, this article highlights Black parents’ and pupils’ strategic use of Black cultural capital to contest White hegemony in the curricula at a large state comprehensive school in South London. The findings of this study underscore the racial politics of cultural capital as experienced by the Black middle classes. The results also spotlight the quiet alliances between Black middle-class pupils and parents to challenge the racial blindspots of state school curricula and negotiate changes throughout the school community. This article adds to scholarship in cultural sociology by highlighting the calculated intergenerational work among the Black middle classes – perspectives that are often missing in traditional class analyses.

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Wallace, D. (2019). The Racial Politics of Cultural Capital: Perspectives from Black Middle-Class Pupils and Parents in a London Comprehensive. Cultural Sociology, 13(2), 159–177. https://doi.org/10.1177/1749975519839521

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