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The faces of inequality

This workshop focuses on social inequality and mobility in modern society. Contributions may deal with inequality and mobility within a broad range of areas, e.g. (but in no way confined to) the distribution of economic and cultural resourses, political participation, inter-generational relations, and ethnical matters. We call for theoretical as well as empirical (quantitatively or qualitatively oriented) contributions.


M.P. Moreau & C. Kerner: Constructing of student parents in higher education: a discourse analysis

Drawing on a post-structuralist and feminist theoretical framework, this paper explores the discursive constructions of student parents in English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It explores how student parents are positioned within HE discourses and how these constructions are gendered, raced and classed. The approach retained here can be read as part of the post-structuralist turn, in which the concept of discourse takes central place.

This contribution draws on a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation (2010-11). The research team conducted ten case studies of English universities, involving a review of university provision for student parents, 40 interviews with a diverse sample of student parents and 20 interviews with staff working in university support services. The interviews were recorded, fully transcribed and analysed using a thematic analysis method. Focusing specifically on policies and staff’s narratives, this contribution identifies discourses of student parents in higher education and questions the effects of these discourses on this group. It argues that the default construction of the university student remains those of the carefree and the careless (as well as white, male, single and middle-class) student and that, through a neo-liberal rhetoric of ‘choice’ and ‘individualisation’, students’ caring responsibilities are constructed as a private matter. As a result, student parents are subjected to processes of ‘othering’ through constructions of this group as ‘the’ problem itself.

Mads Meier Jæger: A Dynamic Model of Cultural Reproduction

Although widely acclaimed, Bourdieu’s theory of cultural reproduction does not provide a coherent explanation of how cultural reproduction leads to educational success. This paper proposes a simple formal model of cultural reproduction which incorporates, first, a dynamic account of how parents invest over time in transmitting cultural capital to children and second, a dynamic account of how children accumulate cultural capital. The paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - Children and Young Adults (NLSY-CYA) to estimate key parameters in the formal model. Results suggest that (1) parents persistently transmit cultural capital to children throughout childhood, (2) parents adjust investments in light of new information they receive on the outcomes of past investments and (3) children accumulate cultural capital from parents throughout childhood.


Mads Meier Jæger, Department of Education, AU

Anders Holm, Department of Education, AU

Contact:: mmj@dpu.dk / aholm@dpu.dk


Andersen, Pernille Tanggaard & Eva Ladekjær Larsen: Tales of a life as unemployed and socially excluded

Moreau, Marie-Pierre  &  Charlotte  Kerner:  Constructions  of  student  parents  in higher education: a discourse analysis

Hansen, Claus D. & Johan H. Andersen: Health and School Performance amongst Danish adolescents: results from VestLiv - West Jutland Cohort Study

Panel 2

Andrade, Stefan: “Social Closure in Income Mobility”

Klausen, Trond Beldo: “Social origin and graduation age: A cohort comparison among university students.”

Thomsen, Jens Peter: “Social background and admittance to higher education based on gymnasium GPA or alternative entrance qualifications”

Panel 3

Trolle, Anders: “Nature, nurture or learning? A twin-study of grades in compulsory school and in secondary education”

Jæger, Mads Meier: “A Dynamic Model of Cultural Reproduction

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Revised 2012.01.15