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How School Choice Leads to Segregation: An Analysis of Structural and Symbolic Boundaries at Play
Lund University.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (Centrum för kultursociologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9043-4141
2016 (English)In: Secondary Education: Perspectives, Global Issues and Challenges / [ed] Edmund Harvey, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2016, 67-86 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter we analyze the pathways through which school choice leads to segregation in the multicultural setting of Malmö, Sweden and in relation to an elite-oriented program, the natural science program. As a result of school choice reforms this program has grown rapidly in recent years, as has the number of students with an immigrant background attending it. In this chapter we examine whether the latter is to be interpreted as a sign of increased integration, or whether segregation persists within the program; that is, whether these high-performing students who have chosen the same elite program still end up in different schools, depending on their social and ethnic background. Thereafter we examine the extent to which any segregation that is indeed found can be explained by students’ “free” choices, and the extent to which these choices are restricted by previous school performance. We use the concepts of structural and symbolic boundaries and examine the importance of each, using a combination of register and survey data. Both structural and symbolic boundaries are found to restrict students’ school choices in a way that, on the municipality level, creates segregation. Roughly half of the school choices found with regard to immigrant status can be attributed to differences in grades. But we find that, in addition, the most attractive schools sustain a symbolic boundary, based on Swedishness and whiteness and intertwined with a performance culture, which makes these schools less accessible to students with an immigrant background. One conclusion, therefore, is that school segregation is unlikely to be solved within the present school system; at least not until the symbolic boundaries now influencing school choice are “blurred” or dissolved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2016. 67-86 p.
Series
Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
Keyword [en]
school choice, symbolic boundaries, strukcural boundaries, ethnicity
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology Education; Social Sciences, Sociology Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-55069ISBN: 978-1-63485-054-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-55069DiVA: diva2:949922
Projects
Ett utbildningspolitiskt dilemma: skolprestationer och mångkulturell inkorporering
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 90615201
Available from: 2016-07-25 Created: 2016-07-25 Last updated: 2016-08-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf