05 SES 12, School Alienation: Causes and Consequences
Dealing with educational inequalities along different inequality axes, school alienation is considered as one major mechanism. It is characterized by a low attachment to school and learning, an emotional detachment from academic goals and values. As a kind of motivational resource, it relates to primary effects of inequality (Boudon, 1974), i.e. resource deficits going along with a lower achievement and a lower educational success. In previous studies, school alienation proved to be highly gender- and class-specific with boys and working class being more alienated from school than others. We analyzed the role of school alienation for educational inequalities of gender, social origin and migration background at the same time. The key question is whether school alienation is a universal phenomenon among risk groups in the educational system, or if it is only explaining disadvantages of some groups. Analyses are based on a randomly-selected classroom sample from the Swiss Kanton Bern (872 school students in grade 8). Results show that school alienation is linked to the lower school success of boys and working class students.
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