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The Reproduction of Privilege in Australian Education

Brian Graetz
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 39, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 358-376
DOI: 10.2307/590483
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/590483
Page Count: 19
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The Reproduction of Privilege in Australian Education
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Abstract

This paper examines changes in the dimensions and sources of educational inequality in Australia. Data from a sample of the urban population is used, and divided into three education (rather than birth or age) cohorts in order to assess the effects of educational expansion over time. The results show that there has been some decline in the effect of social background on years of basic schooling and total years of education, and some increase in the effects of ability. However, the impact of social background remains important, while gender differences in qualifications and tertiary attainments are mostly undiminished. This suggests that while basic schooling has become more meritocratic with the expansion of educational opportunities, higher attainments still reflect and perpetuate systematic inequalities within the broader society.

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