A growing body of research has considered parental socioeconomic status and its relation to children’s educational chances. However, research into the ways in which fathers are involved in their children’s education is limited, especially regarding children’s (post-)adolescent, tertiary educational period. To understand fathers’ role in perpetuating social inequalities through parental educational involvement, the present study fills the gap in existing literature and answers the question: How do the educational involvement and the motives given for this behavior differ between fathers with different levels of socioeconomic status? This qualitative study maps the experiences, attitudes, and reported behaviors of higher educated and vocationally educated fathers regarding their children’s academic educational career. Data was gathered in ten in-depth interviews with six higher educated and four vocationally educated fathers. This study finds that vocationally educated and higher educated fathers provide different ways of support to their university-going children. Vocationally educated fathers reported an inability to aid with the educational process directly and instead focused on emotional and practical support. Higher educated fathers focused on active involvement with their children’s higher educational career. This is in line with Lareau’s works on “natural growth” and “concentrated cultivation.” The Dutch context in this study ensures that all fathers highlighted their role as financial guides throughout their children’s academic education. The discrepancies in involvement between higher and vocationally educated fathers are important for policy-makers and researchers focused on intergenerational transmissions of social inequalities.

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Renske Keizer, Renske Verweij
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Schippers, M. (2020, July 23). Fathers’ Support Systems - A Comparative and Qualitative Analysis of Higher and Vocationally Educated Fathers’ Involvement with Children’s Academic Education. Sociology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/61453