Family capital: How first-generation higher education students break the intergenerational cycle

Anat Gofen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals who attain a higher education, whereas both their parents did not, embody the realization of social mobility. They are referred to as first-generation higher education students. Previous analyses had often portrayed them as succeeding despite their family background. This research suggests that although they face many challenges, their families are often facilitators of their success. In-depth, semistructured interviews were used to collect data from Israeli first-generation students (N = 50). We employed a grounded theory approach, and our analysis reveals that breaking the intergenerational cycle of educational level inheritance involves day-to-day family life that prioritizes education through nonmaterial resources. We conceptualized this investment of nonmaterial resources as family capital. A better understanding of this role is valuable for designing efficient policy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)104-120
Number of pages17
JournalFamily Relations
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Family relations
  • Higher education
  • Intergenerational issues
  • Qualitative research
  • Social capital

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