9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Social Inequalities IV Building I, 2E6

Educational inequalities and political representation in European countries; the case of England and Denmark

In this paper we aim to explore how students? perceptions and experiences of inequalities in educational settings influence active citizenship and social cohesion in different European countries. Our data derive from different educational settings e.g. lower and upper secondary, higher education and work based learning and aim to investigate whether such inequalities have been formally institutionalised.

Moreover, our research investigates both economic and cultural inequalities. The present paper, influenced by Fraser?s theoretical contribution, will focus on redistribution, recognition and representation. Our approach is on the way interviewees attempt to interrogate, justify, explain, criticize or accept experiences and/or perceptions of inequalities and explore the relationship to active citizenship.

The research expands in five European countries and one Asian. In this paper will focus primarily to the English and Danish context. Within this context we aim to explore whether representation is perceived at local, national and/or global level. Are these perceptions/experiences of inequality seen to justify individuals? attitudes on representation? How far and in which ways do they affect social cohesion?

Our research utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods. At the first stage we conduct questionnaire surveys with learner groups in each institution to elicit information on the relationship between student background characteristics, learning environment, perceptions of inequality, and social attitudes. At the second stage we use first stage results as a sampling frame for selecting respondents for interviewing.