Segregation and Socialization: Academic Segregation and Citizenship Attitudes of Adolescents in Comparative Perspective?

  • Dimokritos Kavadias Vrije Universiteit Brussel Political Science Department Centre for Information, Research, Documentation on Brussels (BRIO) http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8506-1288
  • Kenneth Hemmerechts Vrije Universiteit Brussel Political Science Department Centre for Information, Research, Documentation on Brussels (BRIO)
  • Bram Spruyt Vrije Universiteit Brussel Sociology Department Research group TOR

Abstract

Purpose: There is a tendency to assess educational systems in terms of their efficiency in gaining high scores on cognitive skills. Schools perform, however, also a socializing function. The whole policy debate tends to ignore the impact of educational systems on attitudes or democratic values. This contribution focuses on the impact of the organization of education in European societies on the civic attitudes of adolescents.

Design/methodology/approach: We explore the impact of academic segregation – the practice of segregating children on the basis of their scholastic achievement – on attitudes of adolescents living in different educational systems. We use the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (2009) relying on multilevel models.

Findings: Pupils differ in their outlook on fellow citizens, according to the ways in which educational systems select and differentiate throughout school careers. More specifically, there is a negative impact of academic segregation on the attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic minorities.

Research limitations/implications: The experience of adolescents based on their educational achievement seems to affect how they perceive other people. We have not answered the question why this is the case. We hope to have provided a minimal indication of the impact of inequality on social outcomes.

Author Biographies

Dimokritos Kavadias, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Political Science Department Centre for Information, Research, Documentation on Brussels (BRIO)

Dimokritos Kavadias is assistant professor in the Political Science department. He currently teaches methodology seminars and political psychology as an assistant professor. His research activities focus on political socialization, political psychology, civic education, educational & social effectiveness and educational policy.

Kenneth Hemmerechts, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Political Science Department Centre for Information, Research, Documentation on Brussels (BRIO)

Kenneth Hemmerechts is a doctoral researcher at the University of Brussels in Etterbeek (Brussels) (VUB) where he is currently working in the field of the sociology of education. Previously, he has worked at different universities in Belgium on a variety of topics, including: migration, criminal recidivism, fraud, police capacity, employment and trade unionism, genocide and social theory. Kenneth.Hemmerechts@vub.ac.be   

Bram Spruyt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Sociology Department Research group TOR

Bram Spruyt is assistant professor of Sociology. He teaches Sociology, Cultural sociology, Researching culture. His main research interests include public opinion research, youth research, sociology of education and cultural sociology.

Published
2017-07-08