Paradoxes of Inequality: Higher Education, Minorities, and Job Market
Higher education has been an important area of social disputes. Higher education functions as a basis for academic and social learning and for hierarchization in the labor market. Sociological research has shown evidence of differentiation - horizontal inequalities - according to careers, institutions, modalities of courses and types of certificates. In several countries, these inequalities strongly affect women, the poorest groups, and ethnic minorities. Over the last decades and years there has been a significant increase in enrollment in higher education, allowing the entry of these previously excluded groups. This opening of the system enables women and minorities to be better qualified. At the same time, it increases the availability of skilled labor with possible reductions in incomes, for example. On the other hand, these groups may be historically discriminated against in some societies.
The questions are then: to what extent has the incorporation of these groups (women, the poor, minorities) into the higher education system contributed to increasing equal opportunities in the labor market? Is there evidence of a change in patterns of social inequality, inequality among occupational groups? How does the higher education system itself contribute to the change in these patterns of inequality?
This session will preferably discuss empirical studies that attempt to analyze the transitions from the education system to the labor market.