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Social Class and Educational Attainment in Historical Perspective: A Swedish-English Comparison Part I

Jan O. Jonsson and Colin Mills
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Jun., 1993), pp. 213-247
DOI: 10.2307/591218
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591218
Page Count: 35
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Social Class and Educational Attainment in Historical Perspective: A Swedish-English Comparison Part I
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Abstract

This is Part I of a pair of articles describing changing social class inequalities in educational attainment in England and Sweden during the twentieth century. The organization and reorganization of the educational systems in the two nations are described and comparable branching points in the typical educational career are identified. Nationally representative data sets are used firstly to describe the overall pattern of educational expansion as it is produced by changing propensities to 'survive' these branching points. Secondly, these propensities are plotted for different social classes. Class differences in absolute rates tend in general to decrease at the earliest branching point. This is more marked in Sweden, where the equalization is mainly due to the increasing attainment of farmers' and workers' children who faced extremely poor educational opportunities at the beginning of the century. In England too, the gap between the offspring of workers and service-class children has narrowed.

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