Институт социологии
Российской академии наук

Third ISA Forum of Sociology «The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World», Vienna, Austria

Consequences of Inequality in Education Become Clear in the Labor Market

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 12:54 Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)

Oral Presentation

David KONSTANTINOVSKIY, Sociology of Education, Science and Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Coming back to the discussion about the effects of increasing the number of students, it is useful to verify the approaches that are practiced for analysis of inequality in education. There is no doubt that it is necessarily to study the inequality not only at the entrance to the university, but also for graduation from it. But is it enough? Perhaps we should go further in our researches and define inequality not by the formal level of education. How education actually turns out to be mover of social mobility for the individual? In other words, it is necessary to consider what opportunities on the labor market are given by education. It is no secret that various universities provide different quality of education. This is a significant cause of social inequality, which manifests itself when a university graduate entering the labor market. Studies show that children from high status families receive quality schooling; it gives them the opportunity to go to universities, which provides quality higher education; then they get relevant job and status. For children from the lower strata the life career develops differently. Usually they are not graduates from the best schools; as result, they often receive poor quality higher education; and then obtained university degrees do not give them the opportunity to get a good job and high status. We observe one of the effects of mass higher education: those who previously (at previous decades) were outsiders at the entrance to the universities became winners now; and then their victory turns defeat when they graduate from university and go to labor market. The research challenge is to link the inequality in the educational sphere with inequality in the labor market.

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