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The Social Relativity of Higher Education: The Influence of Social Capital on the Probability of Commencing Tertiary Studies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The decision of whether to enter higher education or not is strongly structured by social background, i.e. parents’ social class. This paper examines if and to what extent enrolment in tertiary education also is related to social capital, and furthermore, if social capital can account for differences in social background. Two aspects of social capital are examined: extended network resources, operationalized as family acquaintances holding different occupations, and peer influences, assessed as the number of friends already engaged in higher educational studies. The sample consists of two subsequent surveys of Swedish adolescents, divided in three stratums based on parents’ country of birth: Iran, former Yugoslavia and Sweden. The findings suggest that resources and returns of extended social networks enhance the probability of enrolment to university studies. The results concerning peer influences seem to indicate an impact on the probability of university admission, however, there might be causal and analytical problems of measurement involved. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Social capital, educational attainment, inequality, class, stratification.
Keyword [sv]
Socialt kapital, utbildning, ojämlikhet, klass, social stratifiering
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125338OAI: diva2:892425
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-10 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Thaning, Max
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