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Education, Occupation and Social Origin

A Comparative Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities Edited by Fabrizio Bernardi, Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute and Gabriele Ballarino, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan, Italy
This innovative book takes a comparative approach to the social origin–education–destination triangle (OED), looking at the intergenerational transmission of advantage in 14 countries. The intention is to debate the claim that education is the ‘great social equalizer’. The contributors examine the relation between family background, education and occupational achievement over time and across educational levels, focusing on the relationship between individuals’ social origins and their income and occupational outcomes. It will be of interest to academics and students of social policy and those interested in social inequalities and their reproduction over time.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78536 044 2
Availability: In Stock
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  • Education
  • Education Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Education Policy
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
Questioning the assumption that education is the ‘great social equalizer’, this book takes a comparative approach to the social origin–education–destination triangle by examining advantage in 14 different countries, including case studies from Europe, Israel, the USA, Russia and Japan.

Contributions from leading experts examine the relation between family background, education and occupational achievement over time and across educational levels, focusing on the relationship between individuals’ social origins and their income and occupational outcomes. Providing new theoretical insights, this book eloquently analyzes a variety of barriers to social mobility. Using concepts of compensatory and boosting advantage to explain the intergenerational transmission of social inequality, it refutes the notion of contemporary societies as education-based and meritocratic, showing that in most of the countries studied there is no sign of decreasing intergenerational association, despite the expansion of education.

With its multitude of pertinent case studies, Education, Occupation and Social Origin will be of interest to academics and students of social policy as well as those interested in social inequalities and their evolution over time. It will also be a useful reference for governmental policymakers in the wake of the current economic crisis.
‘In Education, Occupation and Social Origin: A Comparative? Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities, sociologists Fabrizio Bernardi and? ?Gabriele Ballarino probe the education-based meritocracy (EBM) theory where education? ? becomes the social equalizer. This idea has long permeated different circles but this comparative? ?study takes a look at the social origin—education—outcome triangle and sets out to better understand the “intergenerational transmission of advantage” in fourteen developed counties. ?. . .? Bernardi and Ballarino have done a fine job expanding the conversation with regards to? ?Horace Mann’s age-old saying that education is the great equalizer. This book has a thought? ?provoking and relevant thesis .? . .? I do recommend this book to anyone who? ?has an interest in learning more about education policy, social educational inequalities, and the? ?history of social mobility. While this book is clearly meant for an academic audience, its? ?message could and should strike a chord with a general readership.’
– Matthew Campbell, International Social Science Review?

‘Education, Occupation and Social Origin is a must-read book for anyone even faintly interested in social inequality. Comparing across many cohorts in 14 nations, the disheartening conclusion that here emerges is the lack of any genuine equalization of life-chances. Advantage breeds advantage and, alas, educational expansion has not proven to be the great social leveller. This volume delivers the most up-to-date evidence, and it does it with scientific rigour and bravura. From the first to the last page this is world-class scholarship that will define our research agenda for many years to come.’
– Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

‘Is education the great social equalizer – do individuals with similar levels of education have equal life-chances, especially in labour markets and workplaces? It is widely supposed that in modern societies this is the case. But the research brought together in this outstanding collection, and the editors’ penetrating commentaries, call the conventional wisdom into serious doubt. Essential reading for all social scientists and for anyone interested in the leading social policy and political issues of the present day.’
– John Goldthorpe, Nuffield College, Oxford
Contributors: S. Arita, G. Ballarino, E. Bar Haim, C. Barone, F. Bernardi, A. Bessudnov, E. Bihagen, C. Blank, M. Bouchet-Valat, M. Grätz, J. Härkönen, T. Keller, F. Laganà, A. Mastekaasa, N. Panichella, C. Peugny, R. Pollack, P. Róbert, Y. Sato, Y. Shavit, J. Tolsma, F. Torche, L.-A. Vallet, L. Vandecasteele, M.H.J. Wolbers


Contents:

1. Introduction: Education as the Great Equalizer: A Theoretical Framework
Fabrizio Bernardi and Gabriele Ballarino

2. Inequality of Educational Returns in France. Changes in the Effect of Education and Social Background on Occupational Careers
Louis-André Vallet, Camille Peugny and Milan Bouchet-Valat

3. Legacies of the Past: Social Origin, Educational Attainment and Labour-market Outcomes in Germany
Michael Grätz and Reinhard Pollack

4. Inequality in Educational Returns in Hungary
Tamás Keller and Péter Robért

5. Changes in the Stratification Process in Israel, 1995-2008
Carmel Blank, Eyal Bar-Haim and Yossi Shavit

6. Social Background and Education in Occupational Attainment in Italy
Gabriele Ballarino, Carlo Barone and Nazareno Panichella

7. Inequality in Educational Returns in Japan
Yoshimichi Sato and Shin Arita

8. Social Origin and Inequality in Educational Returns in the Dutch Labour Market
Jochen Tolsma and Maarten H.J. Wolbers

9. Direct Social Origin Effects and Educational Returns in Norway
Arne Mastekaasa

10. The Effects of Parental Social Background on Labour Market Outcomes in Russia
Alexey Bessudnov

11. Is Education the Great Equalizer for the Chances of Social Mobility in Spain?
Fabrizio Bernardi

12. The Direct and Indirect Effects of Social Background on Occupational Positions in Sweden: New Evidence on Old Questions
Erik Bihagen and Juho Härkönen

13. Inequalities in Returns to Education in Switzerland
Francesco Laganà

14. Social Origin, Education and Socio-economic Inequalities: Trends in the United Kingdom
Leen Vandecasteele

15. Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage in the US
Florencia Torche

16. The Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality and Education in 14 Countries: A Comparison
Gabriele Ballarino and Fabrizio Bernardi

Index