School expansion and uneven modernization : comparing educational inequality in Northern and Southern Italy
Title: School expansion and uneven modernization : comparing educational inequality in Northern and Southern Italy
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
Citation: Research in social stratification and mobility, 2014, Vol. 36, pp. 69-86
ISSN: 0276-5624; 1878-5654
The paper asks whether the patterns of educational expansion and inequality were the same in the two parts of Italy: the North, more industrialized and developed, and the more backwards South. This is a theoretically relevant issue as, despite this major socioeconomic heterogeneity, Italy has a centralized school system, whose main institutional features are the same all over the country. By means of an educational transition analysis of the five waves of the Italian Longitudinal Household Survey we analyze school expansion and long-term trends of educational inequality, both in general and at each specific school transition. The main results indicate that there has been increasing divergence between the two areas in educational expansion and in the effect of social background on years of education attained, favouring the North. The main difference between the two areas is found at two transitions, the one from elementary to lower secondary and the one from lower to upper secondary. While the first difference diminishes over time, the second grows over time and is currently crucial. Its reasons are found in the different propensity of the offspring of the working class to enrol in vocational schools, which is stronger in the North.
Subject: School expansion; Inequality of educational opportunities; Inequality of educational outcomes; Social inequality; Educational transitions model; Maintained inequality; stratification; 20th-century; opportunity; attainment; models
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