07 SES 07 B, Minority Students' Perspectives on Participation
Equality of education and equal opportunities in German education are the main research areas, that constitute the framework of this paper. The focus is to qualify the impact of the social background on the educational progress of non-academic milieus and to describe how and why educational attainment was achieved. PISA (2016), TIMSS (2015) and IGLU (2016) showed that educational success in all European education systems is still closely linked to social origin. Particularly in Germany there is a very strong link between socioeconomic status and educational success. The situation of non-academic students in Germany has hardly improved since the 2001 “PISA shock”. The social background continues to have a significant impact on the academic careers of young people. In education and socialization research, social background is usually measured by parents' socioeconomic status, thus to their financial means, power and prestige. These social principles of organization determine familial social position in the social fabric and the different life chances, as highlighted in this paper.
For example, 2015 TIMSS results show that students whose parents belong to higher grades have a performance advantage of one to two years compared to workers. At this stage it is possible to balance these skills gaps with targeted support services, but these can often not be provided by families from lower social strata. The IGLU study 2016 reveals similar results. In elementary school, the impact of their origins has a strong influence on teacher’s transitional recommendations and parents’ educational goals. In many cases, transitional decisions are taken under the control of their respective family backgrounds. In addition, the results show that children from lower social classes must achieve 100 points more in the reading test than children from higher classes to receive a high school recommendation. Comparing the IGLU results between 2001 and 2016, inequality of opportunity between social classes has even increased. If a child from a non-academic family gets a high school diploma, these children are less likely to study than children from academic contexts. This shows that in addition to primary and secondary source effects or cost-benefit calculations, habitual modes of perception, thinking and acting influence education decisions. In this context, Pierre Bourdieu's theory of habitus was chosen as the central theoretical framework to illustrate the mechanisms of reproduction and legitimation of educational inequalities between different social classes. This model describes the construct of society as a social interaction space in which the subjects interact with each other and position themselves differently in the social space according to individual capitalization (economic, cultural and social capital) and internalized habitus.
Social positioning can be changed by transforming one form of capital into the other. For example, by using economic capital (paid tutoring hours), cultural capital (education certificates) can be acquired.
Although investing in cultural capital pays off in the long term, often low-level social classes do not have the economic resources to make long-term investments.
Low social classes have low capital resources. Often, they are more anxious to invest or preserve in capital that currently seems significant than long term. Although investing in cultural capital pays off in the long term, often low social classes do not have the economic resources to make long-term investments. Educational advancement from less privileged social contexts is therefore rare. At this point, the relevant question is how and why educational advancements are taking place. Based on biographical narratives, an attempt is made to reconstruct the conditions and motives of educational advancements. The approach is to find out why and how people from non-academic family contexts make educational progress, under what conditions, and how social background affects educational advancement.
Based on educational-biographical narratives, collected between spring and summer of 2017, an attempt was made to reconstruct and understand the educational progress of newcomers from non-academic backgrounds in terms of their conditions and motives. On the empirical level, the data were collected using the narrative interview developed by Fritz Schütze and evaluated using QDA software based on qualitative content analysis approaches, which appeals to Mayring (2015) and Kuckartz (2016), and finally reconstructed along the biographical narrative. The approach only considered cases that have an educational advancement from a non-academic social background. Such educational advancement is "unlikely" from the perspective of qualitative social research. Moreover, the selection was limited to former students who have completed university studies and have established themselves through the acquisition of an academic degree and professional success in social space. Finally, there were a sample of four cases. There were three doctoral candidates, of which only one subject began education with a high school recommendation, while the other two completed the ascent with a secondary school recommendation or main school recommendation. The fourth test person has established itself professionally after graduation, working in management of the family business. What they all have in common is that parents only have a lower secondary school leaving certificate, which makes their education more unlikely. The collected date amount to a total of 3.5 hours of audio material and about 60 pages of transcript. The QDA software was used to perform a qualitative content analysis after the data was subjected to intensive textual work. Finally, the data was completely transferred to the QDA software and subjected to inductive coding. Main categories formed the following codes: Origin, Habitus, Rise, Support, Challenges. In further coding processes, in-depth codes were formed that describe the process of ascension (irritations, breaks, role conflict, door opener). In addition, in vivo codes were used. Some of them had clear references to the habit theory vocabulary (irritation, role conflict, breakage). The coding process was repeated until no further codes could be found. All obtained codes were revised and the ultimately comprised 99 codes were distributed over nine upper codes and formed finally 509 codings. With the help of the obtained codings and with reference to Bourdieu's theory of habitats, four case-by-case analyzes were carried out, which finally allowed a reconstruction of the socio-economic conditions, motives, challenges and support in the ascension process.
The four reconstructed educational advances show very different and at the same time in some aspects in similar ways, how and why educational advancements from non-academic family backgrounds can take place despite or even because of their social background. The correlations and influencing factors of the social background on the educational advancement were pointed out on the concrete individual cases. Social origins on a societal level produce significant differences between the subjects, but do not have an exclusively deterministic effect on educational advancement. The reconstructed educational processes of newcomers are based on four advocacy motives: self-realization, personality development, (further) education and critical examination of knowledge, autonomy and freedom. The motives develop for all newcomers only in the context of habitual dispositions and usually at a later stage of school education in which vocational orientations become relevant. It turns out that at this stage, role models, social sponsors and cultural practices of social background become important for educational orientation and the development of advancement motives. In principle, peers can also be interpreted as motivation relevant to the ascension, since orientation to them can indirectly influence educational success or failure. Regarding the question of how and under what conditions educational advancement took place, the structures and practices of school and social origin have the greatest influence on whether educational progress succeeds or not. For example, school can fail to recognize potential and underestimate the need for support, or it can guide the educational process by showing perspectives and providing guidance, as shown in this work. Through the reconstruction, it was possible to work out how the social background influences the educational advancement of newcomers and which motives are behind the aspirations for advancement.
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