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The Persistence of Educational Inequalities in State-Socialist Hungary: Trajectory-Maintenance versus Counterselection

Eric Hanley and Matthew McKeever
Sociology of Education
Vol. 70, No. 1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 1-18
DOI: 10.2307/2673189
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673189
Page Count: 18
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The Persistence of Educational Inequalities in State-Socialist Hungary: Trajectory-Maintenance versus Counterselection
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Abstract

In this article, which examines the persistence of inequalities in the allocation of education in state-socialist Hungary, the authors challenge the theory of counterselection, which holds that quotas implemented after the Communist seizure of power reduced educational inequalities based on class of origin, and advocate a theory of trajectory maintenance, which takes into account efforts by social groups to maintain intergenerational social status. Using data collected in 1983 and 1992 by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, the authors show that the persistence of class-based inequalities during the state-socialist period can be explained largely in terms of the ability of two groups-cadre administrators and professionals-to use the educational system for reproducing social status. They also show that the children of professionals were much more likely than those of cadres to advance to technical and academic high schools and then into tertiary institutions.

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