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Disparity and Inequality in Education: The Crippling Legacy of Coleman

James Murphy
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Vol. 2, No. 1 (1981), pp. 61-70
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1392659
Page Count: 10
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Disparity and Inequality in Education: The Crippling Legacy of Coleman
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Abstract

It is argued that underwriting much contemporary educational research is a parochial fascination with education, which cannot handle educational difference, indifference, or dissent except as in some sense pathological and aberrant. Detectable in the analogies, assumptions and arguments of the educational researcher, it is argued that this fascination with education reaches its acme in the so-called 'radical' definition of educational equality, where 'statistical parity' is taken, or rather mistaken, for 'educational equality'. The intractable problems raised by such a definition in assessing educational equality in a pluralistic society are examined by reference to the work of its foremost advocate--J. S. Coleman.

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