Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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Education and “Categorical Inequalities’’: Manifestation of Segregation in Six Country Contexts in Europe

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Abstract:  This article deals with the educational arrangements and the multiple inequalities that they reproduce from a comparative perspective. Drawing on a qualitative study conducted in six countries (Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, and the UK) as part of a multinational research project concerning justice in Europe, the article explores the mechanisms through which education sustains and reproduces “categorical inequalities.” Although equal access to education is granted by constitutional laws as well as by incorporation of international treaties in the national legal frameworks, it is commonly the educational arrangements that identify the features of access to good quality education in a given context. Dealing with different country cases that have their path dependencies in the arrangements of education, the article provides insights on understanding how different features of segregation in education operate as mechanisms of exclusion for students from a disadvantaged background. Hence, the disadvantages manifest themselves concerning socio‐economic status, ethnicity, race, and minority background. By focusing on the country‐based debates around school segregation, which goes together with the segregated character of urban settings and school choice patterns, the article shows how the institutional context with or without residency‐based registration rules and different types of schools with different resources perpetuate multiple inequalities. In a context where educational arrangements operate as a mechanism of sustaining categorical inequalities, identity‐based differences, combined with economic disadvantages lead to a situation where students from vulnerable and minority groups face multiple forms of exclusion.

Keywords:  educational arrangements; multiple inequalities; residential segregation; school choice; school segregation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i3.4289


© Başak Akkan, Ayşe Buğra. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.