This article identifies the complex emotional dimensions of migrant mothers’ involvement in their children’s education, building on feminist scholarship which affirms the importance of their emotional labour. We present findings from a study of Muslim Iraqi mothers with schoolaged children in Australia, based on 47 interviews with 25 immigrant mothers. Drawing on a Bourdieusian conceptual framework, we argue that the reserves of cultural and emotional capital required for effective participation in children’s education can be both consolidated and diminished through the process of migration. Perceived ineffective involvement comes at heavy emotional price, threatening some women’s perceptions of themselves as ‘good mothers’.
- Emotional capital
- Ethnic minorities