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Social Differences in Making Educational Choices on Higher Education in Poland

TitleSocial Differences in Making Educational Choices on Higher Education in Poland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSobotka A
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsinequality; higher education; social class; cultural capital; institutional habitus

One of the analysed explanations of social reproduction in a massive higher education system are differences in the decision-making process between non-traditional and middle class students. This paper explores social differences in the decision-making on where and what to study based on interviews with 42 Polish final grade secondary students. Meanings ascribed to higher education and future work, ability to read the educational market and the process of deciding which course to attend are analyzed in the theoretical framework of cultural capital, class habitus and field. The paper gives insights how social background shapes horizontal inequalities in higher education in Poland, exposing as well the interplay between class habitus and institutional habitus of school in the decision-making process.