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Transition to University under Communism and after Its Demise. The Role of Socio-Economic Background in the Transition between Secondary and Tertiary Education in the Czech Republic 1948-1998

[journal article]

Simonova, Natalie; Mateju, Petr; Rehakova, Blanka

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Abstract The aim of this study is to assess the most recent trend in inequality in access to tertiary education in the Czech Republic. The authors put forward the hypothesis claiming that the period of stable inequalities in the years 1948-1989 was followed by a period of growing inequalities during the postcommunist transformation (1989-1999). The study focuses primarily on the cultural & socioeconomic (class) dimensions of social origin & gender & their net effect on success in the transition between secondary & tertiary education. Theoretically, the paper draws primarily on the work of Raftery & Hout (1996) & Hanley & McKeever (1997), who claim that the chances of attaining higher education among individuals from families with a low social status can only increase on the condition that the demand for the given level of education has first of all been satiated among all the strata disposing of social & cultural capital. Another important theory they build on is the theory of rational action proposed by John Goldthorpe & Richard Breen (Goldthorpe 1996; Breen & Goldthorpe 1997). The principal hypothesis (inequality has grown) is tested using log-linear analysis applied on the data from various surveys carried out during 1998-2000, merged into one data set. The authors construct several models of the influence of social origin on the chances of making a successful transition between secondary & tertiary education in the years 1948-1999. The initial hypothesis of the growing effect of class origin on this transition in the period after 1989 has been confirmed. One of the strongest explanations for this trend is the insufficient expansion of the tertiary sector of education, which is incapable of satisfying the continually growing aspiration & corresponding demand for higher education in circumstances where socioeconomic inequalities are on the rise.
Classification Sociology of Education; University Education
Free Keywords Czechoslovakia; Czech Republic; Educational Attainment; Higher Education; Educational Inequality; Cultural Capital; Socioeconomic Status; Social Background
Document language English
Publication Year 2003
Page/Pages p. 301-324
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 39 (2003) 3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications