Students on (why) Family Matters: Family Involvement in Higher Education through the Case of Cyprus
The broader project is situated within sociological examinations of family involvement, looking at how values, ideas, ideologies and power dynamics play out in the different manifestations of family involvement from the perspective of the main actors involved: students, parents, faculty, and university staff. The data discussed in this paper are drawn from in-depth one-on-one interviews with 40 students as well as a survey completed by undergraduate students (Ν=1250) attending the two universities between September 2013-June 2014.
The analysis of the student data indicates that many families in both universities get involved in the university life of their children who, even though, they may express discontent about what they perceive as their parents’ intrusion into their lives, they nevertheless also accept, or even desire, their involvement as a natural part of parenthood and upon certain conditions. Implications of the normalization of family involvement in higher education for the role of higher education in the context of its increasing marketization and commodification are discussed.