Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Jose W. Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Christopher H. Hunt, Ed.D.

Ronald D. Morgan, Ed.D.


education; cultural capital; parent involvement; social capital; student engagement


Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Educational Sociology | Secondary Education


Parent involvement has been shown to have positive effects on student achievement and engagement, yet the lack of necessary social and/or cultural capital prevents some parents from being involved. Applying a conceptual framework based on Bourdieu's concepts of social and cultural capital, this study examines the social and cultural capital that one parent advisory group possessed and the influence their involvement had on student engagement at an upper middle class high school. This qualitative study used a semi-structured interview protocol and narrative inquiry approach. Using NVivo software, 15 participants' interviews were coded and analyzed for emergent themes in the areas of social and cultural capital. Twelve themes emerged. Social capital themes included: Group memberships that provided a sense of empowerment and responsibility, social networks that highlighted the importance of the community and knowing the right people, and relationships that were purposeful, caring, supportive, and trusting. Cultural capital themes included: having privileged status, knowing how the system works, setting priorities for action and change, and having high expectations and values. Despite the fact that these parents had an extensive network of social and cultural capital, the findings from this study suggests caring relationships that instill a value in education, and that high expectations might be the most important form of capital parents need to be effectively involved. Implications and recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.


© 2014 Kwanjai Pearl Vongprateep

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781321205879