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What does class origin and education mean for the capabilities of agency and voice?

Journal article
Authors Erica Nordlander
Mattias Strandh
Annica Brännlund
Published in British Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume 36
Issue 2
Pages 291-312
ISSN 0142-5692
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 291-312
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2013.82...
Keywords class origin, education, agency, voice
Subject categories Sociology

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between class origin, educational attainment, and the capabilities of agency and voice. The main objectives are to investigate how class origin and educational attainment interact and to consider whether higher education reduces any structural inequalities in the social aspects of life. A longitudinal approach is applied, using a national survey of 1058 Swedish young people, controlling for baseline values of agency and voice. The empirical analysis reveals an association between class origin and agency and voice. University education proves to be of central importance for the capabilities of agency and voice; however, this varied for young people with different class origin. Young people from manual working-class backgrounds benefit from higher education, while no significant result was found for young people with white-collar parents. The results indicate that higher education reduces structural differences in capabilities central for social participation.

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