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Ethnicity, schooling, and merit in the Netherlands

[journal article]

Werfhorst, Herman G. van de; Tubergen, Frank van

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Abstract We examine to what extent ethnicity affects academic ability measured in the first year of secondary school and secondary school type in the Netherlands. We focus on second-generation immigrants. The empirical results indicate that academic ability (both in mathematics and language) is not affected by ethnicity, independent of parents' occupation, education, and resources. On a bi-variate level, children of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands are found relatively often in lower tracks in secondary school. This relationship is fully driven by social class and merit, operationalized as including ability and effort. Moreover, children of Turkish, Surinamese and Antillean migrants are, relative to Dutch children from similar backgrounds and merit, more often found in higher tracks in secondary school. However, given the very skewed distribution of educational attainment of immigrants, it is questionable whether `class versus ethnicity models' can accurately compare achievements of native and immigrant children in the Netherlands.
Classification Sociology of Education; Migration, Sociology of Migration; Primary Education Sector
Free Keywords education; ethnic minorities; meritocracy; social class;
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 416-444
Journal Ethnicities, 7 (2007) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)