Concerted cultivation as a racial parenting strategy: race, ethnicity and middle-class Indian parents in Britain

Utsa Mukherjee, Ravinder Barn

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Studies have highlighted the growing phenomenon of ‘concerted cultivation’ wherein middle-class parents are enrolling their children into multiple paid-for organised leisure activities as a way of cultivating their skills and reproducing class advantage. In unpacking the class disparities in children’s organised leisure participation, researchers have largely overlooked the way race and ethnicity inflect middle-class parents’ concerted cultivation strategies. Drawing upon a qualitative study with Greater London-based professional middle-class British Indian parents, this paper argues that the time-spaces of concerted cultivation also serve as sites for British Indian children’s ethnic and racial socialisation (ERS). Two axes are identified along which racial parenting strategies intersect with concerted cultivation practices in these families: ‘cultural (re)production through organised leisure’ and ‘(anti)racism and leisure’. By analysing these processes, we draw out the implications of this interplay between class and race for understanding middle-class parenting and educational strategies in minority ethnic contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-536
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date29 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sept 2021


  • concerted cultivation, organised leisure, children’s leisure, racial parenting, ethnic and racial socialisation, British Indian

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