Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Social Influence and Educational Decisions: Studies on Peer Influence in Secondary Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the role of peers when students’ educational decisions are formed. The thesis uses rich administrative data from Sweden, which provides opportunities to follow students over different transitions in their educational career and assess the role of peers in different educational situations. The thesis consists of one introductory chapter and four empirical studies. Study I examines how peers influence each other’s applications to upper secondary education through two different influence functions, where students both conform to their peers’ ambitious decisions and simultaneously can be discouraged from ambitious decisions by high-achieving peers. Study II builds on the findings from Study I and examines if students who conform to their peers’ educational ambitions and enroll in ambitious and demanding educations are more prone to leave such educations since their applications potentially were too myopic when influenced by their peers. Study III examines how students’ decisions to apply to gender typical and gender atypical upper secondary educations were affected by their peers. The study additionally examines if students enrolled in atypical educations are more likely to leave the education and if such decisions are mediated by the peer composition in their upper secondary education. Study IV examines how an admission reform to upper secondary education, which increased the sorting of students on achievements, affected application behavior to different tertiary education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2018. , p. 33
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; 74
Keywords [en]
Peer influence, educational decisions, school leaving, application behavior, reference group
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160739ISBN: 978-91-7797-492-5 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-493-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160739DiVA, id: diva2:1253112
Public defence
2018-11-16, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Two Functions of Peer Influence on Upper-secondary Education Application Behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two Functions of Peer Influence on Upper-secondary Education Application Behavior
2018 (English)In: Sociology of education, ISSN 0038-0407, E-ISSN 1939-8573, Vol. 91, no 1, p. 72-89Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Peers have a paradoxical influence on each other's educational decisions. On one hand, students are prone to conform to each other's ambitious educational decisions and, on the other hand, are discouraged from ambitious decisions when surrounded by successful peers. In this study I examine how peers influence each other's decision to apply to an academic track in upper-secondary education through these two functions of peer influence. The results show that students are more likely to conform to their in-group peers. However, discouraging effects are structured differently, whereby expectations about self- and peer achievement seem to be a mediating factor. This suggests that the point of reference varies with the mechanism mediating interpersonal influence together with characteristics of both peers and egos. The analysis benefits from rich population registers covering 13 full cohorts of Swedish students, facilitating controls for several sources of endogeneity, such as unobserved time-constant school and family effects.

Keywords
social contrast, conformity, application behavior, peer influence, educational decisions
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152613 (URN)10.1177/0038040717746113 (DOI)000419722300004 ()
Available from: 2018-02-05 Created: 2018-02-05 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved
2. My peers made me choose it: The probability of leaving a natural sciences track early when enrollment is based on conformity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>My peers made me choose it: The probability of leaving a natural sciences track early when enrollment is based on conformity
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the strongest sources of interpersonal influence on educational decisions is generated through conformity between peers. Despite the large literature on conformity and educational decisions, temporal implications of such effects have been overlooked. This study examines if students conform to educational decisions they later regret by analyzing students in transition from lower to upper secondary education in Sweden. More specifically, the probability of leaving a natural science track within a year from enrollment is examined as an effect of conforming to the decisions of peers in the previous educational context. The study uses administrative population data covering all students transitioning from lower to upper secondary education in Sweden from 1999 to 2010. Such unique data also provide opportunities to examine how peer characteristics within the new educational context affect ego’s probability of leaving the track. The findings provide robust support for the expectation that, to some extent, peers alter ego’s educational decisions towards decisions they later regret.

National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160734 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2018-10-08Bibliographically approved
3. Gender atypical decisions and the role of peers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender atypical decisions and the role of peers
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gender norms are one of the strongest sources of horizontal stratification within education and peers are important mediators of gender norms. Despite vast amounts of research on how educational decisions are stratified by gender there are relatively few studies examining selection and persistence in gender typical and atypical educations at early stages of the educational career. This study examines how peers mediate selection into the most gender stratified educations within the Swedish upper secondary educational system and how peers mediate the decisions to leave such educations early. The study capitalizes on Swedish administrative data covering 12 full cohorts of students applying to and enrolling in upper secondary education 1999-2010. Such unique data allow me to isolate peer influences from parental influences on gendered educational decisions, using same-sex sibling fixed effects. The results suggest that same-sex peers influence each other to make both gender typical and atypical educational decisions, suggesting that norms about appropriate gender roles are formed locally within schools. The results also show that token girls enrolled in male dominated educations are more likely to leave the education early compared to their sisters enrolled in other types of education. While no such differences are found among token boys enrolled in a female dominated education.     

National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160735 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2018-10-08Bibliographically approved
4. Elite schools, elite ambitions?: The consequences of achievement sorting for the formation of educational ambitions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elite schools, elite ambitions?: The consequences of achievement sorting for the formation of educational ambitions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Does a surrounding of high achievers inspire more ambitious choices? Or is such a surrounding depressing for self-concepts, making choices less ambitious? We evaluate these contradicting expectations in the context of high school graduates’ application decisions to higher education. To identify the effects of the social surrounding, we exploit a school choice reform that dramatically increased achievement sorting across secondary schools in the municipality of Stockholm, employing a before/after design with a control group of students in similar schools located outside this municipality. We find increased achievement sorting to have a mean positive effect on the propensity to apply for tertiary educational programs, but with diverging effects across achievement groups and types of tertiary educational programs. Among high achievers, achievement sorting strongly increases the propensity to apply for ambitious, ‘elite’ educational programs. Low achievers weakly increase their propensity to apply for moderately ambitious, ‘non-elite’ educational programs. These effects translate into increases in the gender gap, the immigration gap, and the parental education gap in educational choice, but these effects are rather small and imprecisely estimated. Our results support the conjecture that school choice, and the increased achievement sorting it implies, to some extent polarizes the educational choices of students.

National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160736 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Social Influence and Educational Decisions(572 kB)312 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 572 kBChecksum SHA-512
e8128331726846ad5065b86786cf15fc2b75b6051eab124947726a5df47ebf95f62438b2a2febf798adf55fed25a705f403d24ddc23872cd9573700089fe5dcb
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rosenqvist, Erik
By organisation
Department of Sociology
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 312 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1910 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf