Advantage ‘Finds Its Way’: How Privileged Families Exploit Opportunities in Different Systems of Secondary Education

Faculty/Professorship: Sociology  ; Sociology, especially Social Inequality 
Author(s): Buchholz, Sandra ; Blossfeld, Hans-Peter ; Triventi, Moris; Skopek, Jan; Kulic, Nevena
Title of the Journal: Sociology
ISSN: 0038-0385, 1469-8684
Publisher Information: London [u.a.] : Sage
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 54
Issue: 2
Pages: 237–257
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/0038038519874984
This article discusses key findings from eduLIFE, a cross-national project that examined the emergence of social inequalities in 17 countries characterized by different models of secondary education. First, we build upon existing international studies and propose a broader classification of forms of differentiation in secondary education. Second, we elaborate a fourfold typology of secondary education systems. Third, we provide a longitudinal and comparative analysis of how social background, academic performance, and forms of secondary schooling create heterogeneous educational opportunities for recent generations. In particular, we discuss: (1) the allocation of students to different forms of secondary schooling; (2) student mobility among different types of education; and (3) the consequences of differentiation in secondary schooling for students’ educational careers. Our findings suggest that, on average, more privileged families successfully exploit the opportunities provided by specific institutional configurations of school systems in order to secure the most favourable outcomes for their children.
GND Keywords: Schüler; Soziale Herkunft; Weiterführende Schule; Bildungssystem; Soziale Ungleichheit; Internationaler Vergleich
Keywords: cross-national study, educational attainment, educational opportunities, secondary education, social inequalities, tracking
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MS 7300   
Type: Article
Release Date: 10. February 2020