A Different Perspective on the Genesis and Reproduction of Educational Inequality

About this Session


Sat. 02.04. 15:30



Speaker: Robert Pham Xuan

This talk addresses a problem which seems inherent to educational science. In concrete terms, it is about the question of how to explain the emergence and reproduction of educational inequality. A frequently used theoretical model, especially in quantitative educational research, is the so-called primary and secondary effects of origin. With this model, the decisions of families on school transition in particular have become the focus of research interest. At the center of this approach, human action is assumed to be rational and conscious. The consequence of such a conception is that the responsibility for the persistence of educational inequality is passed on to the families themselves. This talk will discuss the question of whether Bourdieu’s sociology can be used to adopt a perspective in which educational inequality can be understood as the result of relations in social power. The focus will be on the habitus concept, and it will be shown that there is a cultural fit between the primary habitus (habitual dispositions from the child’s primary socialization) and a secondary habitus (demands and normality expectations of the institution). For this purpose, results of the “Reconstructions of Student Habitus” study will be presented.