Abstract: The durability of educational inequalities marks a key problem for research and politics alike. Why do unwanted patterns of social sorting and disadvantaging in education prove so persistent, despite decades of research, debates, and reforms? This thematic issue of Social Inclusion aims to further our understanding of the factors and mechanisms underlying this persistence by putting the manifold entanglements of politics, inequalities, and social research centre stage. The collected articles inquire into various facets of this interplay, from the history and politics of the statistical quantification of educational inequalities to the political embedding of everyday pedagogical practices. The contributions cover a wide range of fields and topics, from non‐formal education to school and higher education, from social selectivity in gifted education to subject formation in vocational education. Two strategic anchor points emerge from the collected articles for exploring and analyzing current arrangements of educational inequalities: (1) political and pedagogical epistemic orders and (2) educational arrangements that structure educational processes and situations. Ongoing social and political transformations—including the digitization and datafication of education and changing forms of governance—underline the pressing need for further research along these lines.
Keywords: education; social inequalities; politics of education