‘We just thought everyone else is going so we might as well’: middle-class parenting and franchised baby/toddler swimming

Georgia Allen, Philippa Velija, Jenna Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the continual and rapid growth of privatised baby/toddler swimming franchises (birth to 4 years) as part of a wider trend and market growth of baby/toddler sports, for example, Rugby Tots, Baby Ballet, and Little Kickers (football). Throughout the paper, we apply Bourdieu’s concepts of capital and habitus to understand parents’ motivations for taking their baby/toddler to organised swimming classes. These sporting activities are expensive for parents with each session costing between £6-20 for a baby/toddler to participate which means that only parents with economic capital can afford to consume these activities. Our findings suggest that consuming these activities reflect views on good parenting, support the development of physical and social capital and forms of family class distinction which start in the early years. We argue this is significant as such early formative experiences support the development of leisure and sporting habitus which have value and may influence future leisure choices and opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure Studies
Volume40
Issue number2
Early online date9 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

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