Accepted Paper:

Confidence as life-long cultural capital: children's on-stage performances in parents' eyes  
Zhang Xianyu (East China Normal University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on a case study of a speech-giving training institution in northeast China, the article explores why Chinese parents are keen to urge their children to build up self-confidence by actively participating in on-stage performances.

Paper long abstract:

Chinese parents attempt to fulfill their "educational desires" by purchasing extra educational services other than school education. By focusing on Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital, the article explores why Chinese parents are keen to urge their children to build up self-confidence by actively participating in on-stage performances. Drawing on fourteen in-depth interviews with parents who sent their children to a speech-giving training institution in northeast China, this study finds out that these parents hope their children accumulate their cultural capitals through gaining self-confidence. They view self-confidence is both a result and an articulation of cultural capital, which will bring their children social rewards in contemporary Chinese society. Moreover, many parents expect their children could articulate self-confidence on the stage of performance at present and transform it into life-long cultural capital as a form of symbolic currency on the stage of future life in the metaphoric sense. Thus, this article argues that self-confidence is both a desirable end that these parents expect their children to reach through the on-stage performances, and a critical means of how to live a successful life in these parents' eyes rather than their children's.

Panel P05
ANSA postgraduate panel