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

Kimburley W.Y. CHOI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-449
Number of pages23
Issue number4
Early online date19 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (RGC Ref. No. 159613).


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


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