‘Islamic Capital’ and Family Life: The Role of Islam in Parenting
Abstract© The Author(s) 2014.Much sociological research using Bourdieu’s theory to analyse intergenerational reproduction tends to focus on the educational rather than the familial aspect of this process. Instead, this article explores habitus and the family field within South Asian Muslim communities in the UK as the site of intergenerational transmission and seeks to understand how these parents pass on values to their children. Based on 52 semi-structured interviews with 15 South Asian Muslim families, the findings suggest that Islam was mobilised by parents to inform the transmission of a sense of morality, support children’s education and reinforce family ties. The concept of ‘Islamic capital’ was developed to add specificity to Bourdieu’s ideas of family spirit and cultural capital in order to capture the dynamics between parents and their children. In the context of multicultural Britain, these findings shed light on the diversity of parenting to inform family support grounded in the understanding of different communities.