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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Can Schools Help Working-Class Students Access University?

TitleCan Schools Help Working-Class Students Access University?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsParziale F, Vatrella S
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published11/2018
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordseducational inequalities, parental education, pedagogical relationship, social classes

This paper analyses the complex relationship between social classes, scholastic stratification and educational choices in Italy, paying due attention to the role teachers may play in enhancing working-class students’ chances to attend university. Our findings show on the one hand how the Italian educational system contributes to reproducing social inequalities, on the other hand how individuals can challenge the system, by reversing the abovementioned negative trend. In fact, working-class students are encouraged to go on to university, when they encounter teachers who inspire them through a positive relationship, good expertise and interesting lessons. In such instances, teachers can become “transformative intellectuals” who contribute to change students’ social dispositions towards education.