The Politics of Inequalities in Education: Exploring Epistemic Orders and Educational Arrangements of Durable Disadvantaging

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Editorial | Open Access

The Politics of Inequalities in Education: Exploring Epistemic Orders and Educational Arrangements of Durable Disadvantaging


  • Kenneth Horvath Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Regula Julia Leemann Department of Educational Sociology, University of Teacher Education FHNW, Switzerland / Department of Educational Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland


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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

Published:   16 September 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i3.4787


© Kenneth Horvath, Regula Julia Leemann. 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.