Deakin University

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‘They try to avoid.’ How do parents’ feelings about ethnicised and classed differences shape gentrifying school communities?

journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by E Vincent, Rose ButlerRose Butler, C Ho
This article reports on interview-based research into the everyday consequences of gentrification as seen
through the prism of local public primary schools in inner Sydney, Australia. We explore the feelings
involved in negotiating relations across ethnicised and classed differences within four school communities.
Common though contradictory themes across the interviews include: the positive worth accorded
to contact with ethnicised difference among white parents; the avoidance of interpersonal contact across
ethnicised and classed differences; and the positive worth accorded to classed sameness. Our research
finds that the feelings that attend to these themesddiscomfort and comfort, desire and disdaindplay a
significant role in shaping everyday school communities and relationships between parents. We examine
the ways in which white parents’ desires for social contact with ethnicised others are frequently
disappointed and note the disdain and discomfort involved in negotiating contact with classed others.
We conclude with a case study involving a complex mix of the themes and feelings listed above: parental
engagement with the schools’ Parents and Citizens Associations (P&Cs). We argue that P&Cs constitute
social spaces dominated by parents with a class-based disposition towards entitlement and authority,
from which ethnicised and classed others frequently feel excluded.



Emotion, space and society




29 - 36




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Elsevier