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Why Parents Pay for College: The Good Parent, Perceptions of Advantage, and the Intergenerational Transfer of Opportunity

Identifieur interne : 000041 ( Main/Exploration ); précédent : 000040; suivant : 000042

Why Parents Pay for College: The Good Parent, Perceptions of Advantage, and the Intergenerational Transfer of Opportunity

Auteurs : Lynda Lytle Holmstrom ; David A. Karp ; Paul S. Gray

Source :

RBID : ISTEX:B05AEAB419A37D297D6FF0B2957C12FC59783DA8

English descriptors

Abstract

This article asks how parents think about the cost of a college education for their children. Based on data from more than ninety in‐depth interviews with upper‐middle‐class parents and children, it is clear that grooming children for college and then paying for their education is intimately linked with ideas about being a “good parent.” We present data on three related aspects of parents' consciousness about paying for college. First, data are presented on how parents view the benefits of college for their children. Second, data illustrate how parents think about the obligations associated with paying. Third, we report on what parents expect in return for their efforts and expenditures. Data also indicate that parents' views are contingent on their perceived ability to pay for the increasing costs of higher education. We conclude by considering how the implicit contract between upper‐middle‐class parents and children may change as new economic and structural uncertainties increase parents' anxieties and challenge their abilities to see themselves as good parents.

Url:
DOI: 10.1525/si.2011.34.2.265


Affiliations:


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Le document en format XML

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