Distinction, Exclusivity and Whiteness: Elite Nigerian Parents and the International Education Market

Distinction, Exclusivity and Whiteness

Product details


  • Full Title: Distinction, Exclusivity and Whiteness: Elite Nigerian Parents and the International Education Market
  • Autor: Pere Ayling
  • Print Length: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2019 edition
  • Publication Date: February 20, 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9811357803
  • ISBN-13: 978-9811357800
  • Download File Format | Size: pdf | 3.98 MB


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This book offers unique insights into elite Nigerian parents’ engagement with, and use of, the international secondary education market as they attempt to retain their social standing – via their children – under today’s shifting global conditions.

Throughout, the book tackles two important, albeit uncomfortable questions: Why does whiteness hold the highest possible value in postcolonial societies such as Nigeria? And, more importantly, why do black people accept the hegemonic discourse that West/white is best?

Combining the theoretical frameworks of Pierre Bourdieu and Frantz Fanon, the book reveals ‘Whiteness’ as a highly valuable form of cultural and symbolic capital that plays a crucial role in the formation of, and struggle for, elite status and distinction in modern-day Nigeria. Drawing on rare qualitative data sets along with postcolonial literatures, the book reveals how British whiteness is used by those working at and for British private schools in Nigeria (BPS-NIG) as an informal but powerful mechanism of ‘quality’ control, and in constructing the image of ‘world-class’ educational establishments.


About the Author


Dr. Pere Ayling is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Suffolk. A trained sociologist, her areas of specialization include consumption, (in)equality, race, elite education and class (re)production strategies.  She is particularly interested in how social class, gender and race intersect to (re)produce ‘privilege’ and ‘inequality’ in education and society in general.

Having been educated in Nigeria and the UK has provided her with a broader and unique perspective on key issues in education beyond England in particular and Europe in general. As a sociologist, her areas of interest are in the sociology of education, race and disability. However, her work also explores how habitus, field and capital interact to (re)produce privilege and inequality in education and society in general. She is equally interested in understanding how and why concepts such as white and whiteness are used to construct the ideas of quality and world-class status by private schools in the transnational education market.

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