The Concept of Values of Education and Its Role in the Reproduction of Educational Inequalities

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Jan SCHARF, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Andreas HADJAR, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
While rational theories on educational inequalities focus on expected utilities and perceived benefits of education in regard to (monetary) labour market outcomes and status attainment, our concept of values of education tries to broaden this view. Based on the Social Production Function (SPF) theory by Lindenberg and colleagues (Lindenberg, 1986; Ormel et al., 1999), we developed a concept and measuring instrument of “Values of Education”. Central are perceptions of how schooling contributes to the production of stimulation, comfort, status, behavioural confirmation, and affection as instrumental goals. Objectives of our paper include I) introducing and theorising the concept and the dimensions of value of education, II) an empirical validation of the measuring instrument, and III) an inquiry into how values of education contribute to the reproduction of inequalities considering social origin, gender and immigrant background. Empirical analyses are based on panel data of the international project SASAL – School Alienation in Switzerland and Luxembourg. This study – carried out between 2015 and 2018 – follows Swiss and Luxembourgish school students from grade 7 to grade 9 in secondary school. Results indicate that the “Value of Education” measure appears to be a valid measure across different groups of students. The five instrumental goals outlined by Lindenberg and colleagues are easily identifiable in the data. Comfort and status seem to be strongly related and cannot be separated from each other. While comfort/status and affection do not differ along the axes of inequality outlined before, there are gender differences in stimulation, and class differences in behavioural confirmation to be noted in both the Swiss and the Luxembourgish sample. Regarding outcomes, stimulation shows a negative correlation with school deviance.