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Education Systems and InequalitiesInternational Comparisons$
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Andreas Hadjar and Christiane Gross

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326106

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326106.001.0001

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Education systems and meritocracy: social origin, educational and status attainment

Education systems and meritocracy: social origin, educational and status attainment

(p.231) Eleven Education systems and meritocracy: social origin, educational and status attainment
Education Systems and Inequalities

Andreas Hadjar

Rolf Becker

Policy Press

According to the meritocratic principle, the ideological legitimation of social inequalities, educational and status attainment should only depend on achievement and ability rather than on ascriptive factors such as social origin. There is a long-standing tradition of educational policies and reforms which attempted to weaken the influence of social origin and, thus, to develop greater equality of educational and status attainment. This chapter focuses on the impact of institutional settings on the mechanisms of the meritocratic triad, namely the link between social origin (class of origin) and educational attainment, the link between educational attainment and status attainment, and the direct link between social origin and status, net of educational level. Again, the characteristics of the educational system in terms of stratification appear to be influential with regard to educational inequalities and social inequalities, for example with regard to school-to-work transitions.

Keywords:   meritocratic principle, educational inequalities, status attainment, education systems, stratification

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