Class, culture, migration and mothering
7 CONCLUSION - 161
161 7 Conclusion “Whose culture has capital?” The findings in this project provide some complex answers to this question. The participants deployed a range of strategies from embracing to rejecting, from selectively utilising to care- fully critiquing various dominant evaluative norms of New Zealand mainstream society. The participants also simultaneously proactively promoted and criticised Chinese traditional values. The migrant mothers were forging a new culture by selectively combining the two. McLeod (2005) observes that in the 1980s educational research ap- plying Bourdieu’s work had the tendency to put emphasis on social and cultural reproduction. She argues that a more productive way for femi- nist researchers applying Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field is to simultaneously study both reproduction and transformation of gender relations and identities. Although McLeod makes this observation from a feminist perspective on gender; a similar notion is also applicable to ex- amine class and ethnicity. The findings of the current study demonstrate the instability and continuity of gender, class, and ethnicity. Complicating the Notion of Capital Traditional interpretation of social and cultural capital generally limits itself only to dominant forms of capital. In the existing research literature, dominant and non-dominant capital are viewed as relatively independent of each other and the boundaries between them as more or less clear. The current research findings, however, complicate such a notion. In this study, the participants belonged to the dominant middle class in their birth country but experienced social downward mobility and became members of a visible ethnic minority group...
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