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The Flows of Social Capital among Working Parents and Primary Caregivers Open Access

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This study confirmed the prediction of Coleman and Hoffer (1987) that a school actively supported by one employer and nested within the parents' workplace could replicate the functional communities surrounding Catholic Schools that raised the academic outcomes of disadvantaged urban youth. Rather than a single `something new' suggested by Smrekar (1990), this small sample suggested that a whole spectrum of school communities had emerged around workplace neighborhood schools sponsored by commercial real estate developers in cooperation with providers from franchisor-operated and national chains of workplace neighborhood schools. It was found that rather than being created in school communities, social capital had become a commodity in the "education marketplace" that was donated, purchased, and bartered. Working parents indicated that schools with high levels of parental involvement made their personal involvement more manageable. Gatekeepers and school cultures that marginalized parents impaired the flow of high quality social capital into school communities. Longitudinal data surfaced that suggested charitable social capital that marginalized the families of disadvantaged urban children had a negative impact on the professional career trajectories of "scholarship kids" in their adult lives. Finally, it was also noted that interracial marriages appeared to promote interracial informal familial bonding among co-workers and within school communities.

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