Inequality Across Societies: Familes, Schools and Persisting Stratification: Volume 14


Table of contents

(16 chapters)

We thank guest editors David Baker and Regina Werum for an enjoyable collaboration in creating this volume. We also value the contributions of Bob Hass, of Hass and Associates, who helped to edit the manuscripts. For their ongoing support and review of manuscripts, we would like to acknowledge our editorial board: Annette Lareau, Temple; Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Harvard; Pedro Noguera, New York University; Aaron Pallas, Columbia; Francisco Ramirez, Stanford; Stephen Raudenbush, Michigan; Yossi Shavit, Tel Aviv; and Fran Vavrus, Columbia. Finally, we appreciate the fine work of external reviewers called upon for this volume.

Beyond reporting on new possibilities, the nine empirical chapters and two commentaries that follow lend order to what scholars are discovering about the mechanisms, motivators, and tacit forms of inequality that characterize stratified societies, and that implicate the school institution at every turn.

Among U.S. children, research indicates that early childhood experiences, including the child care environment, affect later educational outcomes. Yet, research on educational stratification in low-income countries rarely features the preschool years. We investigate the organization of child care among preschoolers in China. In-depth interviews reveal that grandmother care and formal care are highly desirable. Formal care, in particular, is perceived to provide educational advantage. Using China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data, and mixed random effects logit models, we explore the determinants of grandmother care and formal care. Results suggest poverty is associated with gender bias; in low-income households, boys without siblings are especially likely to receive formal care. These results call for greater attention to early childhood in research on educational stratification in China and other low-income settings.

During the past few decades, South Korea has experienced a remarkable educational expansion at its secondary and tertiary levels as well as at the primary level, resulting in extraordinary variation between the educational attainment of recent and older cohorts. Using 1990 data from the Social Inequality Study in Korea, the study examines trends in the influence of social background on educational attainment across three male cohorts born between 1921 and 1970. Although in general the impacts of social origin have changed little at the secondary levels of education, there is a significant reduction in the effect of father’s occupation on the odds of completing middle school for the youngest cohort. From a multinomial model of transitions to each type of tertiary education, it is found that family background has a stronger effect in the transition from high school to four-year university than to junior college. Interestingly, there has been an increase across cohorts in the influence of father’s education on the likelihood of entering a university, while such a pattern is not observed for the transition to junior college.

Within individual countries, the paths towards increasing educational attainment are not always linear and individuals are not equally affected. Differences between boys’ and girls’ educational attainments are a common expression of this inequality as boys are more often favored for continued schooling. We examine the importance of birth cohort, sibship size, migration, and school accessibility for explaining both the gender gap and its narrowing in secondary schooling in one district in Northeast Thailand between 1984 and 1994. Birth cohort is a significant explanation for the narrowing of the gender gap. Migration, sibship size, and remote village location are important explanations for limited secondary education opportunities, especially for girls.

The high value that Japanese place upon college prestige suggests that Japanese families will do whatever it takes to gain entry into the nation’s top colleges, including paying the high costs of preparation, tuition, or relocation. Of all the costs confronting parents of college-bound students, the greatest is that of migration, or the cost of attending college away from home. I use a 1995 cross-sectional dataset to examine how the pursuit of college quality factors into migration decisions among college students in Japan. My findings clearly show that the difference in university resources across regions is an important factor in determining migration decisions, while financial considerations are secondary.

The papers in this section investigate a range of conventional educational stratification topics – gender inequality, class-based differences, and social mobility – as they relate to pre-primary through higher education in Asia. Yet, the authors are able to move beyond typical tests of stratification theories. While all of the papers are grounded in comparative frameworks, they also draw on the authors’ deep, country-specific knowledge. This local knowledge enables authors to consider institutional organization, educational policy, and the cultural or economic context of schooling in their interpretation of results.

This study examines educational inequalities under socialism in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Russia to assess the extent to which egalitarianism was achieved and whether there was restratification after the common retreat from egalitarian ideology and practices since the 1970s. Exploring the extent of parental influences in three key educational outcomes and their changes in four birth cohorts, the study finds remarkable stability across cohorts and across transitions. Contrary to expectation, the net effect of parental social capital (communist party membership status) is prominent only in the former Soviet Russia and Bulgaria, moderate in Czechoslovakia, and negligible in Hungary and Poland. On the other hand, the effect of parental cultural capital is consistently strong but its influence is somewhat weaker at higher transitions. Its inclusion also dramatically reduces the effect of parental education and father’s occupation, suggesting that a significant extent of intergenerational transmission of educational inequality is mediated through parental cultural capital rather than human capital per se.

This research compares the effects of career credentials and family factors on self-employment careers in the United States and Western Germany. In Germany, both general education and vocational credentials structure self-employment, primarily at entry. In the United States, general education alone structures self-employment, primarily by stabilizing the self-employment careers of workers with higher credentials. Intergenerational transmission of self-employment is more prominent among men, while spousal transmission of self-employment status is more prominent among women. In the United States, but not in Germany, there is evidence of a “caretaker” pathway that brings mothers of young children into self-employment for short periods of time.

An empirical study of the aspirations of Israeli Arab high school students shows that in comparison with the low educational and occupational attainments of their predecessors, Israeli Arab high school students hold unrealistic, highly optimistic views regarding their future educational and occupational destinations, irrespective of their social origins. These findings contradict extant sociological perspectives, which view the gap between aspirations and destinations as improbable, and to the extent that this gap exists, as an expression of naiveté, ignorance, or non-rationality. The puzzling gaps between aspirations and destinations among Israeli Arab adolescents led to a new model of the production of minority aspirations. This model suggests that high aspirations among minority youth are produced by converging expectations of local community leaders, school personnel, and parents, who actively heat up future aspirations amongst young cohorts. The paper concludes with proposals for comparative studies of minority aspirations in different societies.

This case study of Kano, Nigeria, examines changes over the past four decades in an education and labor market relationship that has evolved since the 10th century. We first offer an analysis of the historical origins of Kano’s current three-layered segmented labor market and its corresponding three distinct, but increasingly overlapping, educational pathways. We then compare the labor market entry pathways reported in 1974 and 1992 by two cohorts of young adult males, the respondents having first been surveyed as 17-year-olds in 1965 and 1979.

Despite higher levels of modern secular education in 1992 for males in all occupational destinations, apprenticeship participation was significantly lower in 1992 only for young men who entered the professional and clerical positions that dominate Kano’s public sector. Islamic training remained universal, and in fact increased significantly in years of participation across all occupational destinations. We next show that the jointly educated young men who were part of the first, more traditional sector of the labor market, were less seriously impacted in their earnings by Nigeria’s turbulent end-of-the-century economy. Finally, we discuss the possible advantages of an apprenticeship system coupled to modern secular education for moderating social inequality and stabilizing economic development in sub-Saharan Africa and other less-developed regions.

Growth in female tertiary enrollment has been accompanied by persistent gender differentiation within systems of higher education worldwide. We identify three dimensions of female “status” in higher education – overall female enrollments, sex segregation across tertiary levels, and sex segregation across fields of study – and we offer a conceptual framework for understanding cross-national similarity and variability on these dimensions. Commonalities across countries reflect the interaction of global pressures for expansion and democratization of education with persistent cultural representations of “gender difference.” Variability can be attributed, in part, to the different ways in which global cultural and structural pressures have been manifested within particular socio-historical settings.

As guest editors, we welcomed the opportunity to help compile a volume that reflects current trends in cross-national analyses of educational stratification. Our interest in macro-comparative stratification research stems from a shared dissatisfaction with the extensive amount of research on schooling and social stratification exclusively on American education. Of course, studying what is close at hand is less complicated (and less fraught with data limitations), and investigations of a single nation or society often provide the basis for more or less universal generalizations.

David P. Baker is a Professor of Education and Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is also the associate director of the Social Science Research Institute. He publishes widely on the comparative analysis of education and stratification, and the global impact of education as an institution. Recent publications include “Student Victimization: National and School System Effects on School Violence in 37 Nations” (American Journal of Education Research, 2002) and “Socio-Economic Status, School Quality, and National Economic Development: A Cross-National Analysis of the ‘Heyneman-Loxley Effect’ on Mathematics and Science Achievement” (Comparative Education Review, 2002).Aaron Benavot is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Grounded in an institutional approach to education and development, his research has examined historical and cross-national patterns in official school curricula, the consequences of educational expansion on economic development and democratization, the economic impacts of curricular contents, and the origins and expansion of mass education. He is currently studying the diversification of educational knowledge in local Israeli schools and also the dynamics of transnational social science research projects in the European Union.Karen Bradley is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Western Washington University. Her research examines women’s participation in higher education cross-nationally. Recent publications include “Equal but Separate? A Cross-National Study of Sex Segregation in Higher Education” (with Maria Charles, American Sociological Review, 2002) and “The Incorporation of Women into Higher Education: Paradoxical Outcomes?” (Sociology of Education, 2000). She is currently collaborating with Maria Charles on a project sponsored by the Spencer Foundation and the American Educational Research Association that examines factors underlying women’s underrepresentation in engineering and math/computer science programs in several countries.Wendy Cadge is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bowdoin College. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. Her research focuses on the cultural aspects of globalization in the United States and Southeast Asia. Her first book, Heartwood: the First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.Maria Charles is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Her research explores how cultural ideologies and social structures affect the economic and social status of individuals and groups. Most recently, Charles is author of “Deciphering Sex Segregation: Vertical and Horizontal Inequalities in Ten Countries” (Acta Sociologica 46:265–286, 2003), and coauthor of Occupational Ghettos: The Worldwide Segregation of Women and Men (with David Grusky, Stanford University Press, in press) and “Equal but Separate: A Cross-National Study of Sex Segregation in Higher Education” (with Karen Bradley, American Sociology Review 67: 573–599, 2002).Chang Y. Chung is a Statistical Programmer at the Office of Population Research, Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of South Carolina and M.S.E. in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is involved in multiple research projects as statistical programmer, data manager, and co-author. A recent publication is “Employment and Earnings of Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers in U.S. Labor Markets” (with Thomas Espenshade and Margaret Usdansky, Population Research and Policy Review, 2001).Sara R. Curran is an Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology at Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has research interests in demography, migration, gender, economic development, environment, aging and Southeast Asia. She is currently writing a book, Shifting Boundaries, Transforming Lives: Globalization, Gender, and Family in Thailand. Recent publications include: Ambio. Special Issue: Population, Consumption, and Environment, (with Tundi Agardy, 2002) and “Engendering Migrant Networks: The Case of Mexican Migration,” (with Estela Rivero Fuentes, Demography, 2003).Bruce Fuller is a Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the dilemmas around the decentering of public aims and institutions within the worlds of child care, family welfare, and school reform. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher, he worked for a state legislature, a governor, and then as a heretical sociologist at the World Bank. His most recent books are Inside Charter Schools: The Paradox of Radical Decentralization (Harvard, 2000), and Government Confronts Culture (Taylor & Francis, 1999).Emily Hannum is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on education, poverty, and social inequality, particularly in China. Recent publications include “Ethnic Differences in Basic Education in Reform-Era Rural China” (Demography, 2002) and “Education and Stratification in Developing Countries: A Review of Theories and Empirical Research” (with Claudia Buchmann, Annual Review of Sociology, 2001). Currently, she is working on a project sponsored by the Spencer Foundation and National Institutes of Health that investigates factors in the family, school, and community that support rural children’s education and healthy development in Northwest China.Nabil Khattab completed his Ph.D. at the University of Jerusalem. He is currently a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester. His main areas of interest are sociology of education, the ethnic and gender aspects of the labor market, and social inequality. His most recent publication is “Segregation, Ethnic Labor Market, and the Occupational Expectations of Palestinian Students in Israel” (The British Journal of Sociology, 2003). In his current project, he is looking at the labor market prospects for Pakistani-Bangladeshi women in the U.K. and Muslim women in Israel.Patricia McManus is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research centers on gender and family inequality under advanced capitalism. She will spend 2003–2004 in Berlin at the Max Planck Institute’s Center for the Study of Sociology and the Life Course, where she will study welfare state policy and married women’s work careers in the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. Current projects also include a study of the impact of residential mobility on gender inequality within households (with Claudia Geist), and a cross-national comparison of the wage penalties for motherhood in the United States and Germany (with Markus Gangl).Stephen L. Morgan is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. His main areas of interest are social stratification, sociology of education, and methodology. Recent publications include “Modeling Preparatory Commitment and Non-Repeatable Decisions: Information Processing, Preference Formation and Educational Attainment” (Rationality and Society, 2002) and “Counterfactuals, Causal Effect Heterogeneity, and the Catholic School Effect on Learning” (Sociology of Education, 2001). His current projects include studies of black-white differences in educational achievement and changes in labor market inequality in the 1980s and 1990s.William R. Morgan is a Professor of Sociology at Cleveland State University. He has been studying and developing education in northern Nigeria over a period of 25 years. In Cleveland, he recently completed data collection for a seven-year study of the impact of the treatment and recovery process for cocaine-addicted women on their children’s development, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. His new project is a pilot study of the peer recruitment method to deliver HIV/AIDS education to networks of high-risk adolescents and young women.Hiroshi Ono is an Assistant Professor at the European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics. He is interested in social stratification and inequality, and the sociology and economics of education, family, and work. Currently he is working on two projects. The first is examining Internet inequality in five countries, and the second is comparing human resource practices between foreign-owned versus domestic firms in Japan. His recent publications include “College Quality and Earnings in the Japanese Labor Market” (forthcoming, Industrial Relations), and “Gender and the Internet” (with Madeline Zavodny, Social Science Quarterly, 2003).Hyunjoon Park, a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is interested in social stratification, education, and health inequality with a particular focus on East Asian countries. His current project examines the process of the transition to adulthood among Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese young people across several dimensions, including educational and occupational attainment, and family formation. Two forthcoming publications include “Intergenerational Social Mobility among Korean Men: In Comparative Perspective” (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2003), and “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Voluntary and Involuntary Job Mobility among Young Men” (with Gary Sandefur, Social Science Research, 2003).Susan E. Short is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. She specializes in family sociology, social demography, and social inequality. Recent coauthored publications include “Use of Maternity Services in Rural China” (Population Studies, forthcoming); “Maternal Work and Time Spent in Child Care in China: A Multimethod Approach” (Population and Development Review, 2002); “China’s One-Child Policy and the Care of Children: An Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Data” (Social Forces, 2001); and “Birth Planning and Sterilization in China” (Population Studies, 2000). In on-going research, funded by the NICHD, she examines the consequences of China’s one-child policy for child well-being.Rongjun Sun is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Cleveland State University. His research focuses on population aging, and family relations in both the United States and China. Recent publications include “Old Age Support in Urban China from both Parents’ and Children’s Perspectives” (Research on Aging, 2002) and “Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Older Veterans: Does the Pneumonia Prognosis Index Help?” (with Lona Mody and Suzanne Bradley, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2002). He is currently studying the mortality of the oldest-old in China.Anchalee Varangrat is a Lecturer at the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand. Her research focuses on family formation, population, and development. She is the author of Population Projection for Thailand, 2000–2025 (Thailand Ministry of Public Health and Mahidol University, 2003). Currently, she is working on a project sponsored by the Wellcome Trust on factors affecting Thai marriage patterns.Regina E. Werum is Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University. Her research focuses on educational inequality from comparative historical and international perspectives. Recent publications include “Warehousing the Unemployed? Federal Job Training Programs in the Depression-Era South” (American Journal of Education, 2001), and a forthcoming chapter with B. Powell and L. Steelman titled, “Macro Causes, Micro Effects: Linking Public Policy, Family Structure, and Educational Outcomes” (in After the Bell: Educational Solutions Outside of School, edited by D. Conley). Currently, she is working on a project sponsored by the NAE/Spencer Foundation and NSF that investigates cross-cultural differences in how social capital affects academic outcomes.Raymond Sin-Kwok Wong is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include inequality and stratification, sociology of education, quantitative methodology, urban poverty, and economic sociology, particularly Chinese entrepreneurship in East Asia. His recent publications include “Multidimensional Association Models: A Multilinear Approach” (Sociological Methods & Research, 2001), “Occupational Attainment in Eastern Europe Under Socialism” (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2002), and “Chinese Business Firms and Business Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong” (De-Essentializing Capitalism: Chinese Enterprise, Transnationalism, and Identity, edited by Edmund Terence Gomez and Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, 2003).Gad Yair is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests include the sociology of schools and schooling, organizational theory, the sociology of learning, sociological theory and its history, and the theory-methodology nexus. Recent relevant publications are “Educational Battlefields in America: The Tug-of-War over Students’ Engagement With Instruction” (Sociology of Education, 2000) and “Decisive Moments and Key Experiences: Expanding Paradigmatic Boundaries in the Study of School Effects” in The International Handbook on the Sociology of Education: An International Assessment of New Research and Theory, 2003).

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Research in the Sociology of Education
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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