Type
Part or chapter of a book
Title
The Sociology of Elite Education
In
The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education
Author(s)
VAN ZANTEN Agnès - Observatoire sociologique du changement (Author)
APPLE Michael W - (Publishing director)
BALL Stephen J. - (Publishing director)
GANDIN Luis Armando - (Publishing director)
Editor
Londres : Routledge
Pages
329 - 339 p.
ISBN
9780415486637
Abstract
EN
Research on elites (that is, on status groups that occupy dominant positions) is characterized by the lack of connection between studies that focus on elite recruitment and those that focus on the exercise of power by elites. As underlined by Giddens (1974), both types of approach are important and should complement each other in the analysis of mediations between the class structure, the organizational structure and the power structure in a given society. Giddens also insists on the need for recruitment studies to take account of two different dimensions: the types of channel that are privileged by elite groups to reproduce their social position, and the degree of social closure or openness of these channels to other groups (Parkin, 1974). This distinction is used to organize the present chapter, which focuses on a single channel that has come to play a crucial role in post-industrial societies, that is schools and, more precisely, uppersecondary and higher education institutions, and on their influence in three different national contexts: France, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the first section, the specific features of elite education are examined. The second section explores the extent and modes of institutional and social closure.

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