Self-segregation strategies through school choice in Chile: A middle-class domain?

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Abstract

Sociological research has shown that marketized educational systems favour middle-class families’ self-segregation strategies through school choice and, consequently, the reproduction of their social advantage over poorer families. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of capitals, habitus and strategy, we analyse quantitative and ethnographic data on parents’ school choice from Chile to introduce nuances to this argument, evincing more extended and complex mechanisms of self-segregation in the Chilean marketized educational system. We found that not only middle-class parents but also parents from different socioeconomic groups displayed self-segregating school choice strategies. We also found that these strategies were performed both vertically (in relation to other social classes) and horizontally (in relation to other groups within the same social class). These findings unwrap a possible stronger effect of the Chilean school choice system over segregation.

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Carrasco, A., Mendoza, M., & Flores, C. (2021). Self-segregation strategies through school choice in Chile: A middle-class domain? Journal of Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211036505

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