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Explaining participation differentials in Dutch higher education: the impact of subjective success probabilities on level choice and field choice

In this article we examine whether subjective estimates of success probabilities explain the effect of social origin, sex, and ethnicity on students’ choices between different school tracks in Dutch higher education. The educational options analysed differ in level (i.e. university versus professional college) and fields of study (i.e. science versus non-science). First we analyse students’ self-assessed success probabilities for specific tracks in higher education. We hypothesize that differences in demonstrated academic ability explain these perceived success probabilities. Next, we test whether these success probabilities contribute to explaining educational decisions and differentials herein with respect to social background, sex, and ethnicity. We use the Dutch Participation in Higher Education dataset wave 1995 and 1997 to answer our questions. Success probabilities differ across social origins, between men and women, and across ethnic groups, even after controlling for ability differences. Success probabilities contribute to the explanatory model for school transition decisions which differ by field of study and level of schooling. They also help to explain social origin and sex-based differentials in field choice, but not in level choice. Ability is not a sufficient indicator for self-perceived success probabilities: success probabilities explain educational differentials better than ability.

In this article we examine whether subjective estimates of success probabilities explain the effect of social origin, sex, ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Tolsma, Jochem; Need, Ariana; de Jong, Uulkje
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Netherlands; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Outcomes; Participation;

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Socio-economic risks of atypical employment relationships: evidence from the German labour market

In this article, I examine the impact of atypical working arrangements on both objective and subjective dimensions of social inequality. The analysed types of atypical employment are fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work, and part-time employment, respectively. It is argued that these working arrangements are not homogeneous with respect to their socio-economic consequences, because they modify different aspects of the standard employment relationship. In order to investigate the effects of these types of employment, I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel 2001-2005 on non-self-employed respondents. The results show that fixed-term contracts and agency work (being forms of external flexibility) have more severe negative socio-economic consequences than part-time employment (being a form of internal flexibility). Given that weak labour market groups face an increased risk of holding temporary jobs, the empirical findings clearly indicate the substantial impact of atypical employment on the extent and the structure of social inequality.

In this article, I examine the impact of atypical working arrangements on both objective and subjective dimensions of social ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Giesecke, Johannes
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Employment; Labour market; Culture and society;

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Educational expansion and its consequences for vertical and horizontal inequalities in access to higher education in West Germany

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or magnifies existing inequalities in educational attainment. The effect of expansion on educational inequality in tertiary education is of particular importance, as tertiary education has become increasingly relevant for labour market prospects and life course opportunities. Our article studies the access to tertiary education of students with different social origins in light of educational expansion in Germany. First, we examine inequalities in access to four vertical alternatives of postsecondary education by means of multinomial regression with national data from four school-leaver surveys from 1983, 1990, 1994, and 1999. Second, for those students who enrol at a tertiary institution, effects of social origin on horizontal choices of fields of study are analysed. Results show that unequal opportunities to access postsecondary and tertiary institutions remain constant at a high level. Likewise, social background effects have not changed over time for the choice of field of study. Thus, students from different social backgrounds did not change their educational strategies irrespective of the ongoing expansion of secondary and tertiary education.

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Reimer, David; Pollak, Reinhard
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Equity; Higher education; Labour market;

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