Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
Tel.: +7 (499) 128-85-19
Fax: +7 (495) 719-07-40
Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Educational inequality is constantly in the scope of foreign and Russian scientists alike, however there are differences in the way it is interpreted. If we were to consider education as a system, we could acknowledge the existence of inequality in initial educational opportunities (at the system’s gateway), as well as inequality in the education process itself (within the system), and inequality of education results (when transitioning from one stage to the next, or when exiting the system). The goal of this study was to determine the specifics of how territorial factor in a specific type of environment influences educational inequality among children. Part of the study was to verify the suggestion that this factor has been increasing its influence in Russia. Empirical data was collected using focus group and expert interview methods. Adult and adolescent participants of the study were asked questions about the interpretation of educational inequality (how it manifests in schooling), determining factors which affect the reproduction of educational inequality, including whether there is a territorial aspect to how it manifests. Study participants described local features in educational inequality, comparing city and village, large and small towns. The logic of comparing large and small settlements can be traced throughout the remarks of informants of all ages. Children spoke more of inequality within the education system, citing examples such as differences in how schools are equipped, varying level of skill among teachers, differences in the amount of cultural-leisure, educational and other facilities in their settlement. Experts also pointed out examples of educational inequality at the system’s “gateways” and “exits”, while speaking about socio-cultural and financial capital being possible sources for educational inequality, which from an organizational standpoint is considered by the study participants on the level of school – locale – region. The suggestion that territorial factor currently plays an increased role in reproducing educational inequality needs to be further researched utilizing regional statistical data.
region, educational inequality, school, educational opportunities, family
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