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  • 1.
    Hällsten, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Thaning, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Multiple dimensions of social background and horizontal educational attainment in Sweden2018In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, E-ISSN 1878-5654, Vol. 56, p. 40-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We follow Swedish cohorts born between 1976 and 1984 through their educational career and analyze how different dimensions of parents' socio-economic standing (SES) in education, occupation, income, and wealth structure horizontal attainment in secondary tracks and tertiary fields. Our results show that there is strong horizontal segregation by parents' SES. However, the influence of social background dimensions on educational attainment is not uniform, but differ by combination of dimension and track or field. We identify a main contrast between parents' education, and to some extent occupation, on the one hand, and the economic dimensions of income and wealth on the other. When we assess the total contribution of all dimensions, we find that net of previous achievement about 35% of the attainment of different upper-secondary tracks, and 25% of attainment of different tertiary fields is due to social background. Despite the non-uniform pattern, this segregation is also linked to future inequality, i.e. in chances of tertiary graduation linked to upper-secondary tracks and in expected earnings linked to tertiary field choices.

  • 2.
    Thaning, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    The Social Relativity of Higher Education: The Influence of Social Capital on the Probability of Commencing Tertiary Studies2016Independent 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. 

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