In the current climate of neoliberalism and high aspirations, educational achievement is increasingly perceived as the natural outcome of individual efforts and investments. In this competitive context, parents try to develop strategies to secure and enhance their children’s access to material and non-material resources and class positions. The strategies gain further importance in the educational systems characterized by early tracking and rapid privatization processes.
This presentation will first provide a bird's-eye view of the Turkish educational system from a historical perspective before zooming in on the present situation. Following, it will focus comparatively on how parents mobilize their resources and develop strategies to ‘ensure’ their children’s social mobility through educational credentials.
Drawing on data collected from working-, middle-, upper-class parent-student pairs between 2015 and 2018 longitudinally in Istanbul, the presentation will disclose how securing strategies of parents are varied and classed in a rigidly structured educational system that is increasingly shaped by neoliberal values.