Habitus, affordances, and family leisure : Cultural reproduction through children’s leisure activities

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-449
Journal / PublicationEthnography
Issue number4
Online published19 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


Informed by Gibson’s affordances and Bourdieu’s habitus, this visual ethnographic study explores parents’ ideas about learning and leisure and the actual domestic leisure children (between three to seven years old) consume in association with socioeconomic status. It is found that parent informants have similar reservations about local education regardless of socioeconomic status. Nevertheless, their different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds contribute to their different involvement in children’s learning and leisure through their use of the domestic setup, television and computing devices, and toys. Through leisure, middle-class parent informants transmit certain emotions, values, skills, behavioral dispositions, and tastes to their children, which coincide with institutional approaches to learning. The study finds that children’s domestic leisure is largely patterned by materials (domestic setup and leisure-induced appliances), practices (TV and mobile computing usage and toy selection and play) and social structure, and thus links considerably to children’s disparity in academic achievements and attitudes towards learning.

Research Area(s)

  • affordances, class, habitus, Hong Kong, learning, leisure, parenting, reproduction