British Sociological Association Annual Conference

  • Martin Myers (Presented paper)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Description of Activity

    Religion and Homeschooling in the UK: Risk, Community and the Future

    This paper discusses findings that emerged from case studies conducted with a range of different British homeschooling families, including evangelical Christian and Muslim families whose decision was related to their religious beliefs and affiliations. For many religious families homeschooling was understood as building bonding social capital within communities and families rather than developing more outward looking networks based on bridging capital (Putnam, 2000). This was in marked contrast to the findings for some other homeschoolers in the UK; and also, with literature from the United States that discusses families who choose to homeschool because of their religious and political beliefs. Whilst British religious families often appeared to be more inward-looking, other non-religious families clearly identified their children losing opportunities to engage socially as pitfalls to be avoided. Such families often become heavily involved in wider local and national homeschooling communities and social networks, (and this reflects the experience of American religious homeschoolers). This paper argues that decisions to homeschool reflected some religious families’ awareness of their communal otherness and difference, their identification of risk related to their positioning within British society and their management of risk in order to protect their family and community in the future. Their assessment and management of different individual, family and community risks in many ways mirrors Beck’s (1994) notion of reflexive individuals plotting a course through modernity.
    Period11 Apr 2018
    Event typeConference
    LocationNewcastleShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • religion
    • homeschool
    • Home education
    • Muslim
    • Plymouth Brethren
    • Risk
    • Ulrich Beck
    • Putnam
    • radicalisation