New Modes of Reproducing Social Inequality in Education: the changing role of parents, teachers, schools and educational policies
European Education Research Journal
155 - 169 p.
Social inequality, School results, Educational trajectories
This article is based on the Keynote Address to the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Crete, Greece, 21-25 September 2004. One of the most consistent results in sociology of education research has been the existence of inequalities in school results and educational trajectories related to social factors. Despite an important increase in number of years of schooling for all children in most European countries in the post-war period, research still shows important differences between social and ethnic groups and even a widening of the gap between the most advantaged and most disadvantaged in some countries. Factors shown by previous studies to account for these differences are still at work, but many of them are influential in new ways. In addition to this, new factors have to be taken into account. Using available sociological literature on European countries, while focusing specifically on France as an exemplary case, this article presents some of the new constraints on and opportunities for action by parents, teachers and schools that result from both economic, cultural and educational changes and recent policy orientations.