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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

The educational choices of working class adolescents: opportunities and constraints

TitleThe educational choices of working class adolescents: opportunities and constraints
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsOlagnero M, Cavaletto GMaria
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedFebruary 2011
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsHigh school choices; School choices of siblings; School performance

 The choice made at the end of compulsory school is a crucial moment in the life of individuals, which will shape both their working career and quality of life. In service-based societies, long-term education has spread throughout the social spectrum more than before. But the school choice of the different social classes is not easy to foresee. On the one hand, working class children are expected to be much more involved in the high school experience than in the past. On the other hand, especially where the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy has lagged behind, families could continue to have good reason not to keep their children in school beyond the legalminimum. For its part, the middle class could maintain or even accentuate its strategy of counteracting status decline through a longer education. Then, the choices of the two classes are as likely to become more similar as they are to remain at variance. This study explores the micro-level conditions that reduce or maintain the gap between the educational choices of working and middle class adolescents. Data are provided by a survey based on CATI interviews conducted in 2007 concerning the school choices and initial secondary school careers of 1127 children belonging to working and middle class families living in Turin.